“Praecipiolum: Or The Immature-Mineral-Electrum”, 1683




Take of the best Argentum vivum, which you shall Distil from its own Minera, that is of the best Hungarian Minera which shall hold abundance of Argentum vivum, one pound will hold twelve, thirteen or fourteen ounces of Quicksilver, you shall distill this Minera, (first pulverized) in a Glass Retort with a Receiver, then you shall squeeze the Mercury divers times through Leather. If you cannot get any Minera Mercurii Hungari∣ci, take Spanish Mercury, which is the best after the Hungarian, squeeze it through Lea∣ther divers times. If you cannot get this Spa∣nish Mercury, take of the best Argentum vi∣vum, that is to say, if you put a little of it into a Silver Spoon, and hold the Spoon o∣ver glowing Coals, and when the Mercury flyes away it leaves a yellow or white spot in the Spoon, this Mercury will serve, but if the Mercury leave a black spot, it is not good for any Work. Take the Mercury which leaves a yellow or white spot in the Spoon, wash it ten or twelve times with Salt and Vi∣neger, and then squeeze it as many times through Leather, that it may be purged from its outward foulness, the Hungarian and Spanish Mercury are clean of themselves and need no washing.

Imprimis, you are to separate the Mercu∣rium coagulatum from the Mercurius Vivus, without any corrosiveness, and that the Mer∣curius Vivus shall be alive still, and so clear as a Venice Looking-gloss: Which Mercury coagulate Paracelsus, and Helmont calls Praeci∣piolum or Mercurius Coagulatus,and that it shall be separated dead from its own Minera, and that the Mercury Vivus shall be still alive after that the Praecipiolum is separate from it, and that the Corpus Mercurii vivi is the Prae∣cipiolum Minera, and that the Electrum Mine∣rale immaturum▪ is the Mercurii vivi Minera. Item Helmont & Paracelsus mentions that when the Argentum Vivum or Mercurius Vivus shall come to his loca destinata, that then the Ar∣gentum vivumshall leave his Praecipiolum behind him in the form of a coagulated Mercury, and the Mercurius Vivus will go away alive and remain a Mercurius Vivus.

The loca destinata, where the Argentum vi∣vum shall leave the Semen Mercurii, and the Prae∣cipiolum is Gold and Silver, Gold is the best place, by reason of the Fixation and Purity, and next to Gold is Silver.

In this Praecipiolum lyeth hidden the whole Art of the true Chymistry. If a Chymist know not how to make or separate that Prae∣cipiolum from Mercurius vivus, he will fail of the whole Art.

This Praecipiolum is the matter whereof shall be made the Philosophers Mercury, that is, when it is reduced to his first matter, that is in a clear Water, like the Water which runs out of our Eyes now and then, and is slippery: This Water will eat and drink his own Flesh and Blood, and multiply it self with it ad infinitum, and this Water will bring all Gold and Silver into their first mat∣ter, before Praecipiolum is brought into his first matter, (it is when it is prepared Phi∣losophically without Corrosiveness) it will cure triplicem Hydropem, podagram, morbum vene∣rium and also many more sicknesses.

The Philosophers call Argentum vivum their Wine, and the Praecipiolum they call their Tartar, both maketh the Philosophers Spiritum vini Philosophicum, which they call now and then, Astrum Mercurii, Spiritum Mercurii, their Fire their Sal Minerale & Sal Armoniacum, their Horse-dung their, Balneum Mariae, and an hundred more names to de∣ceive the People.



Processus compositus Praecipioli.

Take in the Lords Name of the Mercury which is well purged: ten parts of our Gold or of our Silver, (not common Gold or Sil∣ver as the common-people make use of it) take ours, that is to say, Gold which is well refined through Antimony, or if you will make it with Silver refine it with Lead, and purge those both very well from their Dross and foulness: If you have ten parts of our Mercury.

Take one part of our Gold or Silver made to fine leaves or made into fine Powder with a File, and make an Amalgama of them both in a warm Glazen or Marbel Morter, and with a Pestel of Glass mix it well, and then put this Amalgama into a Retort (as I shall give you direction below) and put it into an Ear∣then Copel or Earthen Pan, with one part of clear Sand, and three times as much sifted Ashes, and cover it with another Ear∣then Pan, and put to it a little Receiver, with∣out luting, and then make Fire in your Fur∣nace, and give an indifferent heat, and distil the Mercurium from our Gold and Silver with an indifferent heat, now and then, then take the Pan from it: If you see the Mercury is distilled from the Gold or Silver, cover it again and let the Fire go out.

The next morning take your Retort and Receiver from the Furnace or out of the Sand, your Mercury will lye some part in the Receiver, and some part will hang in the Neck of the Retort, which you shall wipe off with a Feather, to the other Mercury which is in the Receiver.

If you will, you may now and then hold a glowing Coal under the Neck of the Re∣tort that the Mercury may run into the Re∣ceiver.

When you have separated the Mercurium, then scrape the Gold which will lye at the bottom of the Retort with a crooked Iron, from the bottom of the Retort, and take it out, and put it into a Glass Morter and powder it small, then mingle or Amalga∣mate your Mercury with it again by degrees or by little and little, and put your Amalga∣ma again into the Retort, and if you shall find any Powder that will not go into the Mer∣cury, do not cast it away, but put it with the Amalgama into the Retort (or else you will lose your Praecipiolum) and distil it a∣gain as it is mentioned. Now and then take the Earthen Pan from it to see if the Mercury be almost gone over, and if it be al∣most gone over, let the Fire go out, and co∣ver with the Earthen Pan again, and let it stand until the next morning, and then take the Retort and the Recipient again from the Furnace or out of the Sand, and wipe your Mercury again with a Feather out of the Neck of the Retort into the other Mer∣cury in the Recipient, and scrape again with your crooked Iron, your Gold out of the Retort as you did before, and put it again into your Glass Morter, (observe you shall distil so that the Argent vive go from the Gold, and that not any Mercury may be found nor be seen by your Gold which re∣maineth at the bottom of the Retort.) And then take your Glass Pestel, and Powder again your Gold very small, and Amalgame your Mercury again with your Gold, by little and little, as before is mentioned.

You will find that the Gold and Mercury will not well mix together as it did in the first and second time.

Then take it and put it again in the Re∣tort and distil it again as it is mentioned, not casting any Powder away, which you will think to be faeces, if you do cast it away, you will I say lose your Praecipiolum. And when the Mercury is distilled away from the Gold again, take your Glass out of the Fur∣nace or out of the Sand copel, scrape your Gold with the crooked Iron, again out of your Retort and you shall find that your Gold is much encreased, if you should weigh it; the reason is your Gold is the Load-stone, which hath attracted the Praecipiolum, or your Gold is the Cask wherein the Philoso∣phers Wine hath let fall its Tartar which Paracelsus & Helmont calls Praecipiolum.



Now how shall the Philosophical Tartar or Praecipiolum be separated from our Gold?

Take your Gold which you have scraped out of the Retort, and put it into your Glas∣sen Morter, and pouder it very small with your Glass Pestel and mingle your Mercury by degrees as by little and little.

Your Mercury will hardly mix with the Gold, the reason is, the Gold is full of the Praecipiolum, and then it is time to separate the Praecipiolum from the Gold and Mercury, which is a Womans work, when her Cloaths, are foul, she washeth them from their foul∣ness. The same way you must cleanse your Praecipiolum from your Gold and Mercury as followeth.

When you have the sign that your Mercury will hardly mix with your Gold, and your Gold will not enter into your Mercurium vi∣vum, then power on it the clearest and fairest Water (distilled is best) that it may go over three Fingers breadth your Gold and Mercury, then wash it well, stirring it with your Pestel the Gold and the Mercury and the Water together which is in the Morter, I say you shall wash it together very well, un∣til you see your Water is discoloured blewish black: Then is the sign that the Gold doth let fall the Tartarum or Praecipiolum in the Water and maketh it blewish black, then power off the Water into a Glass (observe that not any Mercury may fall with the powring out the blewish Water) then powr more fresh Water upon your Gold and Mercury, and wash it again as is mentio∣ned, and when your Water is blew again powr off the Water to the former Water in the Glass, and thus continue washing till your Water remain white, then power this Water to the other Water in the Glass, and cover your Glass very close, that not any foulness may fall into the Glass. Observe that your Gold will go again into the Mer∣cury, when that Praecipiolum is washed a∣way as Wax goes in melted Butter.

Take your Amalgama abovesaid, make it dry upon warm Ashes very softly with a Spunge, and by a little heat that the Amal∣gama may be dryed and when it is dry put it again in the Retort, and distil it as is before mentioned with the Mercury as with coho∣bating; that is to say in distilling your Mer∣cury, so often from the Gold that the Gold will hardly mix with the Mercury, and this is the sign that the Gold hath attracted enough from the Praecipiolum, and then it is time to separate with washing your Praecipiolum from your Amalgama.

Now observe, I gave you Charge that you should keep your Glass wherein you put your blewish Water: which will be clear, and a Powder settled at the bottom, which is some of the Praecipiolum.

Then power off the clear Water from the Praecipiolum without disturbing the Water, as soon as you can into another Glass: Now when you have that sign, that your Gold will not mix well with your Mercury, or not with∣out great Trouble, then power the same Wa∣ter, which you powred off from your Prae∣cipiolum into another Glass, as it is mentio∣ned upon your Amalgama, and wash it a∣gain, and when your Water is blewish pow∣er off the Water to your Praecipiolum into a∣nother Glass, as it is afore mentioned, upon your Amalgama, and wash it again, till all your Water hath washed away the Praecipio∣lum, and then stop your Glass again that no foulness fall into it, then take your Amal∣gama and dry it again very gently, and distil again, as is mentioned, till you have the sign, and then you shall wash it again with the first Water, and you shall find that your Praecipiolum will Augment or increase daily. Thus stilling and washing shall you con∣tinue till the Mercury is freed from its Mercury coagulated or Praecipiolum.



Observe if the Water should grow less add to it now and then fresh Water.

Now the sign is when the Mercurius hath lost all its Sperm, or its Tartar, or its Mercury coagulate, or its Praecipiolum: The Mercury and the Gold will mix always well together, and if you should distil it a thou∣sand times that Gold and Mercury the one from the other, and if you should wash it a thousand times the one from the other with fresh Water, the Water will be clear, not blewish and so long as the Praecipiolum is in the Mercury, the Gold and Mercury will hardly mingle one with another, and then when you would have it mix together you must wash it, and then it will lovingly mix again when it is washed: So I say when your Praecipiolum is all separated from the Mer∣cury, if you should a thousand times distil your Mercury from your Gold, it will mingle al∣ways lovingly together, and you will not find any Powder left, it will go all into the Mercury and your Water remain clear and white.

Now further to our intent, as to make or prepare your Praecipiolum for a Medicine, power your clear Water, from the Powder which lyes at the bottom, in the Glass that no Water may be left by the Powder.

Put the Glass upon a little warm Ashes that the Powder may be dryed, the Powder will look blewish yellow; also, put the powder into a little Cucurbit Glass, and distil five or six times Spiritus vini from it, then your Praecipiolum is made ready for a Medi∣cine.

The Dose two Grains, or three at the most.

Compositio Aquae Albuminum Ovorum.

Take a good quantity of Eggs, boyl them very hard, then take the Whites and cut them very small, and distil them per Cineres per Alembicum very softly, till you have got∣ten all the Water from the Whites, then take the Egg-shels, burn them to Ashes, and put those in a Retort, and power upon them their own Water, and distil it per arenam very strongly, and then power this Water upon the Ashes again, and distil it again, thus continue five or six times, the Water is ready for the Praecipiolum, the Mercurys coa∣gulated Salt.

You may remember I gave you Instruction, that you should pour off the clear Water from the Praecipiolum, and you should make dry the Praecipiolum, and that Praecipiolum bring to a Medicinal Powder, or you shall bring all Mettals, Principally his own Body into his first matter, which cannot be done without the Praecipiolum Salt, which is hid∣den in the Water you powred from the Prae∣cipiolum, the same Water filter through a gray paper, and set the Water to evaporate in a round Glass very softly in Ashes, when the Water is evaporated away, you shall find at the bottom of the Glass a yellow whitish Salt, which is the Salt of the Praecipiolum, and the Clavis of the Philosophers, where∣with they do unlock the Lock of the Praecipi∣oli, and bringeth the same to his first mat∣ter.

If you know not this Salt, you know no∣thing of the true Chymistry: This Salt doth decrease in the decrease of the Moon, and in∣creaseth at the full-Moon, and one Grain will Purge very softly all Podagrous, Vene∣mous and Hydropical Humors with two Grains of your Praecipioli prepared.

How to bring the Praecipiolum into his first or slippery matter.

Take your Salt and twice as much of your Praecipolum, when it is made dry first dissolve your Salt in fair warm Water, and power it upon the Praecipiolum, and evaporate it a∣way very gently in warm Ashes with a gen∣tle Fire; then take your Praecipiolum with its one Salt and put it into a little Retort, nip the Neck of the Retort very close, or melt it together, or Seal it with Hermes Seal, then put it into Balneum vaperosum and let it stand six Weeks in digestion or to putrifie, and it will turn to a slimy Water, then take your Retort, and open the Neck, then lay your Retort in a Sand Furnace and cover your Retort with an Earthen Pan, and lay a Re∣ceiver well luted, and first give a slow Fire, then a stronger, and this continue till your Spirits be well resolved into Water, first your Spirit will come in form of a white Cloud, and at last in the form of red Clouds or red Smoak, and give Fire so long till all your Spirits be come over into clear white Water, and when you have this sign, take your Recei∣ver from the Retort, and stop the Receiver very well with Wax that no Spirit may fly away: Then let your Fire go out, then take the matter which remaineth in the Retort out of the Retort, and put the same into a Bolthead and stop it well, and set it in a warm place, then take your Spirits which are in the Receiver and rectifie them once, and keep those Spirits very carefully. Observe this▪ you may remember, when the Praecipiolon hath lost its Mercury that the same Mercury, will be so bright, as a Venus Lookinglass; take the same bright Mercury and dissolve him in your before-mentioned Spirit, as now fol∣loweth.

Take one part of your bright Mercury and put it into a Bolthead, and power upon it two parts of your Spirit of Mercury, and stop it very close and let it stand in a little warmth, and the Mercury will dissolve or melt in your Spirit, and then distil it together through a Retort in Sand, and again take one part of your bright Mercury and put it into a Bolthead, and power upon it two parts of your Spirit and set it in a warm place and the Mercury will melt in the Spirit; then distil again through a Retort in Sand, and it will come over in the form of Water; this continue as long until the half part of your bright Mercury is brought to a clear Water, when you have this clear Water, keep it very close stopped with Wax, and take your Powder, which I gave you to keep in a Bolt-head, and place it very deep in a Sand Copel, and give it a very strong Fire for twenty and four Hours, then let the Fire go out of the said Copel, and stir the Powder with a Wooden-stick, and power upon it the half part of your clean Mercurial Water, and stop the Glass or melt the Glass-mouth together; then shake it, and let it stand in a warm place for three or four days in digestion, powr off this into another Glass, and powr upon the remainder of the Powder another half of the Water and stop or melt the mouth of the Glass again, and let it stand again for three or four days in a warm place in digestion; then powr it out to the former Water, and stop the Glass, or melt the mouth of the Glass very close, that no Spirit may fly out or fly away, and let it stand in your Balneo Vaporoso eight days, and then distil it through a Retort, and if any stuff shall remain in the Retort, which will be very little, powr upon it your Spirit again, and distil it over until all is gone over.

Now is the Salt with his own Spirit mixt together and brought into the first matter, keep it very well stopped.

This is the Water that the Philosophers have given divers, yea above a hundred Names unto it as their Horse-dung, their Balneum Mariae, their Calx Vive, and in short, this is the Philosophers true Fire, with∣out this Fire or Water no man can do any true Work in Chimistry.

The Philosophers having brought forth this Salamander, which Salamander will never waste in the Fire, the longer the stron∣ger.

This Water will increase or multiply per Infinitum, that is to say, if all the Sea should be Mercury it will turn the same into the first matter.

First you must wash your Mercury with Salt and Vinegar divers times, and at last with Water to wash away the Salt, then mix this Mercury with Calx Vive and calci∣ned Tartar, and distil it in a Retort in a Sand Furnace, and lay to it a Receiver, fil∣led almost half full with Water, and when your Mercury is dry, then squeeze him eight or ten times through Leather, and then is your Mercury well purged from his un∣cleanness.

This is the Mercury you shall use in multi∣plying your Spirit or Astrum Mercurii.

Take of this Mercury purged one part, and of your Spirit or Astrum Mercurii two parts, put them together mixt into a Bolt-head, stop well the Bolt-head, and let it stand in a warm place one Night, and your Mercury will melt in your Spirit or Astrum Mercurii, and turn it into Water, and then distil it through a Retort, and thus you may do by repea∣ting your Water with fresh Mercury as long as you please. This Water will bring or dissolve all Stones and Gold and Silver into their first matter, Item, it will bring Gold and Silver over with him, through a Retort, and that Gold and Silver will never be sepa∣rated one from the other.

The reason is, Gold and Silver and all metals be of the same Nature, and have be∣ginning from the same Water; there is no∣thing in the World, but hath its beginning from it.

The Universal Medicine.

Take of fine Gold that is made fine Powder (that is to say, take the same Gold, which did remain, when you made your Praecipiolum) one part of your finest Silver, made to fine Powder two parts, put every metal by it self into a Glass, power upon each your Astrum Mercurii, that it may go over it one finger breadth, and stop each Glass very close, and let it stand in a warm place for eight days together, and your Gold and Silver will be almost dissolved into Wa∣ter, then powr off the Water every one by it self in a Glass, and power more Water to the Gold and Silver which did remain, and let it stand eight days in a warm place, and then powr your Waters off to your former Waters, and all your Gold and Silver will be dissolved into Water, and there will remain some faeces; then take of both these Waters of each the fourth part, and put them toge∣ther in a Bolt-head, that no more of the Bolt-head be empty then three parts, and Seal your Bolt-head or melt your Bolt-head mouth very close, and put your Bolt-head into an Athanor with your matter into a con∣tinual warm heat until it do come to a fixed red Stone or Powder; before it do come to a red Powder, will appear in your Bolt-head many Colours, as black, green, yellow and red, and when it is red and a Powder, then take your Bolt-head and bury it in a Sand Copel very deep and give by degrees Fire, and at last a very strong Fire, and it will melt as Wax, and let it stand one whole week, or the longer the better, then take it out and let it cool, and break your Glass and you will find a fixt Stone, or Powder as red as Scarlet, I did give you Charge that you should keep three parts of your Gold and Silver which was dissolved into Water, put both these Waters together in a Retort, distil them, and both the Gold and Silver will go with the Water over through the Re∣tort, with which Water you shall multiply your Medicine.

Now take one part of your Medicine made into fine Powder, and put it into a little Bolt-head, and poure upon it twice as much of your Water, as of Gold and Silver, and Seal it again, and set it into your Atha∣nor again, until it do come into a red Pow∣der, and then put it again into the Sand, for to give him the Fixation, that he may melt like Wax: Upon such a way you may mul∣tiply your Medicine ad Infinitum, and your Powder will dissolve in any Liquor.

Now as to make your Astrum Horizontale, or your Golden fixt Praecipitate.

Take the Gold that remaineth over in the working of your Praecipiolum, and make it into a Powder, dissolve it in your Astrum Mer∣curii as much as you will, distil through the Retort once or twice, and your Gold will go over along with your Water, and will ne∣ver be separated one from the other, they are both of one Nature.

Now take your Praecipiolum which is made dry, (I do not mean your Praecipiolum which is made already dry to a Medicine) put it into a little Glass Cucurbit, and pour up∣on it your Golden Astrum Mercurii, and distil it from it three or four times very slow∣ly, and at last very strong, and your Praeci∣piolum will be red and fixed, if you will you may do the same with Mercury purged, it will fix the same to a red Powder, and you may do this work with Silver, and with your Praecipiolum or Argentum vivum purga∣tum. No man can find out all those Secrets which are hidden in this Philosophical Men∣struum.

The Oyl of Gold.

Take one part of Gold, five or six parts of the best Mercury, mix them both toge∣ther, and then distil the Mercury from the Gold, and then mix the same Mercury a∣gain with the Gold, and this continue un∣til your Gold will not mix with your Mer∣cury, then take the Gold and grind it, and put it into a clean Crusible and Calcine it, till it be almost red-hot, and then extinguish your Gold in the best rectified Spirit of Vi∣neger, when it is extinguished pour off your Vineger from the Gold: make your Gold dry, and then make it hot again, then again extinguish it in your former Vineger, and this repeat five or six times, and then, take your Gold and make it dry, and Amal∣game it again with the aforementioned Mercury, and distil it again as at the first, and this do so long until the Gold will not mix with your Mercury, and then Calcine your Gold again, and extinguish it in the former Vineger five or six times, if your Vi∣neger decay or waste you may add to it some more fresh Vineger. And this you may con∣tinue until you think there is no strength left in your Mercury: Then you must take fresh Mercury and go to work as before, and so continue, till you think you have enough from the Gold.

Then take your Vineger which is impreg∣nated with the whole Essence of Gold, Eva∣porate it, or distil it very softly off, and it will lye at the bottom, like a yellow Salt, which you shall dissolve in fair distilled Rain Water; filter it and evaporate it again softly, and then put it into a little Retort, and place it in Sand, with an indifferent large Receiver for it, and give a Fire by degrees and it will come over in a white Spirit like Smoak, and then it will come over red like Saffron, and when it is resolved into a red Liquor, let the Fire go out and keep it for use, the Dose is three or four drops.

This is (saith the Author) one of the greatest Medicines under the Sun, and you can hardly get a better.

Three drops, are able to extinguish any sickness, and in this Oyl of Gold is the greatest Secret of Nature.

With this Liquor Reymond Lully figureth Mercury in Exenterata Natura.


These Processes was by a German given to Mr. Richard Pratt, who lived some time in Hantshire and cured the German of a Sickness, for which Kindness the German gave him these Processes, protesting that they were some of Van-Helmonts, and Mr. Pratt gave them to Mr. Yalden minister of Compton near Godlyman in Surry, who sent them to Dr. Salmon to Print, which he neglecting, some Years they were sent with Dr. Antonies‘s Recipe of his Aurum potabile to William Cooper to Print for the benefit of the Publick, and since I receiv’d them, I find Dr. Salmon hath newly Printed them in his Doron Medicum called Liquor Aureus, Lib. 2d. Book 11. Sect. 2. page 520 to 523. As for the Electrum minerale Immaturumwhich he calls Idea, vide Doron lib. 1. Cap. 27. page 315. to 326. But so very much mangled and altered by putting in feigned Names, when indeed he receiv’d all of them in their proper known Names as you have them here Printed one purpose to prevent mens being deceived, for Mr. Yalden is a Man of so Christian a Temper, that he thirsteth to do all the good he could in this World, the Truth hereof his poor Parishioners and Neighbours will sufficiently testifie. Therefore to undeceive the World, and to save men from false Broyleries and Chargeable Expenses, I have here Printed the true Copy as Mr. Yalden sent it to me, W. C. B.