“The Key Of Alchemy”, by Samuel Norton 1421

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

Bufonem vidi rubrum potare liquorem

Uvarum, donec viscera rupta erant.

By this toad he meaneth the red Lead, that is Adrop or Minium or Saturne or Capricorne or Rupiscissus Antimonae; of which & vinneger distilled, is the vegetable, Quin ex vite est. Take therefore the base afore named<href=”#_ftn4″ name=”_ftnref4″ title=””>[4], & to his every pound weight, pour on a gallon of distilled vineger, & set it in a cool place for 3, 4 or 5 days, every day stirring it 4 or 5 times a day, & after that filter it over, with a woollen cloth of flannell into vessels or bodies of glass, so long that, the matter may be clear & crystalline; By which meanes the bodie is now become no bodie, but brought or reduced into the first matter, into a viscous matter, where of it was in the bowels of the earth engendered; And thereon writeth the Philosopher in his […]<href=”#_ftn5″ name=”_ftnref5″ title=””>[5], there is nothing alterable except it be brought into his first matter; Here Riplies toad drinks so fast, that his bowels be all burst, heere have we made spissum liquidum; hereon saith Guido; The first matter of our Stone is viscous water, made thinne in the bowels of the earth; In another place also: The first matter of our Stone, is water sulphureous & mercureall: The which is plainly signified by the words of Arnold, where he saith, Sciant Artifices & let the Practisers of Alchimie understand, that the kinds of metalls be not transmutated, except they be brought into their first matter, & then may they be altered into other kinde, than they were at the first; Agreeing with him writeth the Philospher Whazchamech<href=”#_ftn6″ name=”_ftnref6″ title=””>[6]; Corpus habet liquefieri in materiam su am primum; The bodie ought first of all to bee made liquid, into its first matter; which is our first solution in preparation; Not yet which the philosophers term “solutio prior” of which shall here after be spoken; But because in this solution we have a great deal too much vinigere, which we seek not but rather use as a meane to draw our gummie water from the lead; wee therefore place this water over a slow fire on a trevet that the superfluous waterishness of the vinigere<href=”#_ftn7″ name=”_ftnref7″ title=””>[7] may be so evapored away that wee may find the extracted matter of lead drawne out by the vertue of vinegere; ffor so are we taught both by Riplie & Ive; according both in that point, touching the preparation of the base where his words are thus, vapour away the vinegar upon a lent fire, until an oile thick and viscous remaine in the bottome, like liquid pitch; whose substance being cold, becommeth of greene coullor; Of which I find written in the Tabula Scientiae majoris, these words; Imprimis habetur in Leone nostro viridi vera materia & cujus coloris sit, & vocatur Adrop, Azoth aut Duenech viride; The ffirst point is to finde out the true matterials, & what couller it is, which is found in our greene Lyon<href=”#_ftn8″ name=”_ftnref8″ title=””>[8], & is called Adrop, Azoth, or green duenech, which word is by John Garland counted to be vitriolum viride, green vitrioll, And therefore Riplie speaketh in another place & calleth it vitriolum, Azoc, to give men to understand, what it is, & that it was not meant to be green copprass<href=”#_ftn9″ name=”_ftnref9″ title=””>[9].

But to return to our purpose, when this our gumme of Sericon is perfectly could, let it be ground into as small parts as it may, & so putting it into a bodie of glass never exceeding above the proportion of 4 pounds at a time, lute too the head or Alembick very sure & fast, so that no breath may expire or break out, which being done, put to distil in a sand fire, & make distillation first with a lent fire, untill the superfluous waterishness of the vinneger, have no sharpness, from thence let it be parted, & luting there to another great or large receiver, increase the fire & then the white Smoke will beginne to ascende, & so falling doune to the bottom of the glass in red oile; continue on this distillation ffor the space of 6 hours<href=”#_ftn10″ name=”_ftnref10″ title=””>[10] & if you shall receive a red humour or thereabouts in coullor which Raimond calleth his stinking menstrue, & is our Mercury vegetable; Of which Mercury Geber pronounceth these words, Prima materia corporum non est Mercury non est vulgi, sed est vapor unctuosus et humidus; The first matter of bodies is not Mercury common but is a vapor unctuous & moist; ffor we recite in common philosophy, that aire condensed becometh raine; So the condensed aire or vapor of our base, condensed in the head of our Alimbeck turneth into water, which is our menstrue or Mercury vegetable; Not unaptly therefore finde it set doune in Tabulae Scientiae majoris<href=”#_ftn11″ name=”_ftnref11″ title=””>[11]; In secondi similiter habetur quasi ter corpora solvuntur in Ar: vi: philosophorum in Aqua Mercuriali Mercury nostri, & fit unum corpus novum. It is likewise the second work to have, or find out, after what sort the bodies are dissolved into Ar: vi: of philosophers; that is into water of our Mercury, & so becometh our only new bodie.

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

Thy distillation accomplished & that it be cold, take off thy head, & take the matter aforenamed out of thy glass, & put it into an earthen panne, upon a few coals to calcine for the space of one halfe hour untill they become of coullor bright like gold or yellowish, & so are they sufficiently calcined, which is the calcination of the faeces. Take therefore a pound weight of them & put them to a gallon of distilled vinegar; Dissolve, stirre, ffilter, vapor & distill as afore, – twice or thrice. For that as yet, the best of the fiery elements lieth yet behind in that black earth, which is called terra nigra prima of which we afore spake. Of this drawing of the menstrue & calcination of the faeces, saith the philosopher: first dissolve, that is thy base in Menstrue, Next calcine, that is thy black earth here named yr Thic Mercury being on this wise extracted, & that thou hast thy whole proportion determined, thus loosed into thy natural liquor, then according to the doctrine aforesaid, you must on this sort proceede to the separation & rectification of elements, which separation is diversely given out of philosophers; And that by Riplie himself; The proof of which I full dearly bought; for thereby I lost all my quantity of white tincture in seeking of the Lunarie after that manner, for that which I found, thinking it to have been Riplie’s owne manner of separation was but a note of separation by Riplie taken out of the works of Hortulanus; And therefore I admonish to refuse that way of separating, & follow this way, which Riplie set downe, as from the Authoritie of Aristotle; which I know to be right true & good; & therefore (expertus loquor) which separation is allowed by Hermes, saying: Cum habueris aerem ab igne, when you shall have the Ayre from the fire; which are the two virtues operative (so termed of Aristotle)<href=”#_ftn12″ name=”_ftnref12″ title=””>[12] it is in this wise brought to effect; Take your Liquor aforesaid, put it into a Gripes Egge & stopping it verie close, place it in Balneo; there to digest, for the space of tenne daies, that done; take out they glass & put they digested matter into a bodie to distill; Lute the head close, & thy receiver so likewise, & draw thy water with an easy fire, & that which then riseth with most lent heat of the bath is the Aire or burning water, termed (Aqua Ardens) which ye must thus trie; power one or two drops thereof into a spoone, wetting a linnen cloth therein, put a candle thereto, & with the flame provoke it to burne & if it burne not clean away, distill it by itself in another bodie luted as before; & that which will not burne, but hydeth behind, throw that away: for it is the flood or faint water, & so doe 3 or 4 times, & that which will burne, keep it, & distill it over 4 times more which maketh 7 Rectifications in the whole. But if the last two times were done in ashes, it were a great deale the better for it, in that it will make it the softer & better able to worcke. And this is the Ayrie element, separated, rectified, & exhaled up into Quintessence; so writeth Riplie, which is then to be kept in a glass close sealed; This done; In the same bath exhale the floud, that is his watery substance which is not as the Aire is, of pale waterish colour, but of colour under whit; distill this till there be in the bottome or ground of the glass a substance black, liquid, & thick; And so have we another element & the water that burneth not, but extinguisheth fire, which water take & put upon the black substance, mingling them well together, & shut the vessel, & let them so stand to digest in balneo 7 daies; that the elements may be the better separated. Which done, proceed to the separation of the water & oile from the earth; Then with a most strong fire of ashes or sand, exhale the water untill the foresaid substance remaine blacke and drie in the bottom of the glass; which earth is the earth of the Stone & is that which I afore termed Terra nigra secunda. The water & oile which were from the same afore drawne together, separate in the lent fire of the bath, until the thick oyle remaine in the bottome; Which take & keep apart in their vessailes; for that you have the 4 elements separated one from the other: Scilicet, water, ffire, Aire & Earth; And thus is the Stone clensed from his original filth; by separation and rectification of the elements. But if any will proceede to go further in this separation of elements, to create Raimmond his Lunarie<href=”#_ftn13″ name=”_ftnref13″ title=””>[13]; Then follow this way of Aristotle I advise thee; (for happie are they whom other men’s harmes doe make to bee ware) Seeke not in any wise to calcine the black earth afore said into white; but calcine it from his blackness to some faire colour, in a furnace of Reverberatione; Then make it subtill into powder; And here on put your water ardent aforesaid; & so distill it from the earth in ashe fire 7 times, every time calcining the earth as afore, & so wee have that water, which Raimond called his Lunarie perfectly rectified, which come from wine; By virtue of which all bodies are dissolved, putrefied & purified, & the elements are divided, & the earth is exalted into a mervailous salt, by his virtue attractive. He that thinketh there is any other water is a foole & ignorant, & shall never come to effect.

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

Let us now proceed to the 4th worcke, which is conjunction or comixtion, that between male and female, Agent and patient, water & earth, that the sonne of the fire may be engendered; which is held so dear among philosophers; Which Sonne is that which is called Sulphur of Nature; And is to be obtained two waies: the one by putrefaction; the other by alteration. Who will therefore create this Sulphur upon this unperfect bodie; Let him follow this way of Riplie, Take of this first black earth & calcine it till it bee faire & yeallow; Take thereof one ounce, or twaine according to proportion of this matter or Lunarie. Thereon power such a quantitie of Lunarie as may scarce cover the earth & so do from 8 days to 8 days, that is every 8 days once, until it will drink no more, but that the water stand upon him two fingers thick; And so is commixtion or conjunction made; And heere the two winged & flying dragon is joined with the dragon without wings; Of which the fixed, or not flying dragon eateth of the wings of the flying dragon, till at last they both die together; And so rising againe become both one flying dragon. Conjunction thus made, whereas afore in time of commixtion the vessaile or Gripes egge was in a cold place, but only loosely stopped with a linen cloth; Now seale it up with Solomon’s Seale, or else with some other close kinde of stopple; for in this place are Geber his words to be verified: “Evolat & imprimis incluseris undique rimis”<href=”#_ftn14″ name=”_ftnref14″ title=””>[14]; ffor otherwise the spirits will flie away and not joyne with the bodie.

I must rest here a while to speake somewhat of alteration; which hath almost the same course to runne; save that when the first earth in putrefaction is done with Lunarie, it is to be imbibed with his first menstrue unseparated immediately upon the stilling thereof: doe therefore on this sort: Take 4 or 5 oz.<href=”#_ftn15″ name=”_ftnref15″ title=””>[15] of the earth that remaineth of the same distillation & calcine it into a faire yeallow colour, & thereupon pour so much of the menstrue as may even scarcely cover it throughlie, & so make fast the glass; for the commixtion is done.

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

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

And after that sort understand yee that where as the philosophers doe put downe many rectifications & decoctions, that they do deceave fooles; seeing that it is but one worcke, one labour, one vessaile, one thing to be guided, namely, with the bodie & the spirit. And although in these words there may be some disseverance from other places in that it is said many rectifications and decoctions; True it is that divers philosophers have after the conjunction made mention of taking up the glass after it is black & that it ought to be removed, & again to be imbibed; which they did to beguile fooles. Of those hee meaneth it by, & not of them that speaketh of Separation & Rectification, afore conjunction, but of such as after set downe such tractations, to the beguiling of fooles; for hee knew that there was no philosopher but knew after the Seperatione conceived, there can be an opening, till birth, & therefore & after conjunction, no more but patiently abide putrefaction, for that the putrefaction of the one is the generation of the other, & without the cord of seed sowne in the grounde, do putrefie & breake, we see that no graine groweth, no herbe springeth according to Aristotle; saying in our first philosophie, corruptio unius est generatio alterius”<href=”#_ftn16″ name=”_ftnref16″ title=””>[16]. And Crases the philosopher in Turba saith, speaking of the same commixing, Sapientes accipiter aes nostrum; Yee wise men, saith hee, taketh our aes, namelie our Earth, & place it in a vessaile with our first water, that is, with the Aire or Lunarie, & so seeth it.

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

“And when his corpse the force of vitall breath begin to lack,
This dying toad forthwith became like coale for colour black”
And of his sundrie colours, if followeth:
“Which done, a wonder to the sight but more to be rehearst
This toad with colours rare through every side was pearst
And white appeared, when all the sundrie hues were past
Which being tincted, redd for ever more did last.”

And of this is generally given out among all the philosophers, One vessaile, one glass, one furnace. A great many of other speeches they have about this putrefaction, fetching their examples from humane conjunctions & generations, omitting the part of Phisicall discourses in that behalf; which to be read for reverence sake, I will not commit to your eies; most excellent & vertuous Queene, having all readie set downe as many as may suffice to leade to creation Sulphures; When there fore the white Sulphur is fullie risen in the glass<href=”#_ftn17″ name=”_ftnref17″ title=””>[17], part it as warily as may be from the foeces remaining; & if you will proceed to the red Sulphur; for the redd Elixir, to the making of gold; parte this in twaine; & in a gripes egge, put the one halfe which you minde to save redd; & set it in an ashe fire, Increasing your fire from tenne daies, until 30 daies; & that the sulphur become red, then have you that matter; which exceedeth all treasures in all the world.

And thus is the way plaine sulphur of the imperfect bodie<href=”#_ftn18″ name=”_ftnref18″ title=””>[18], & of his owne earth speaketh Aristotle<href=”#_ftn19″ name=”_ftnref19″ title=””>[19], saying in his epistle to king Alexander, “Understand therefore that there beginneth the worcke of Elixirs & not before, for all that went before, was but to create the two earths”; viz: the white & the redd which are Lune & Sol of the philosophers; for Raimond saith of these Sulphurs, our metalls are not but Mines<href=”#_ftn20″ name=”_ftnref20″ title=””>[20] in whome the clearness of Sol & Lune are infixed; Where upon wee make unto these Wines by art, & going further to the process of the worcke next ensuing, hee saith, teaching how it ought to bee imbibed to become the Stone.

Put therefore the white earth into one vessaile & the redd into another in manner of a Gripes egg & then pour the live vertues operative, scilicet water & fire, that is the Lunarie; & the red oile before reserved<href=”#_ftn21″ name=”_ftnref21″ title=””>[21]. To the white sulphur by Lunarie, & to the redd, the oile; Alwaies take heed, that to the redd sulphur you put no Lunarie, & to the white, no oile<href=”#_ftn22″ name=”_ftnref22″ title=””>[22]. This imbibition must be done in ash fire, the vessaile close stopped hard with a linning cloth; But alwaies take heede that you power not on so much at a time, for making the bellie too nesh<href=”#_ftn23″ name=”_ftnref23″ title=””>[23], which cannot be holpen, but by a vomite; Therefore, imbibe him often times, & dry him up leisurelie, untill that it will give easy fusion, or melte like waxe on a plate of silver, if it be the redd; If white trie it on copper, ffor so must the philosopher’s child be fedd with meate & food, till hee be able to doe a man’s Art; At which time here is the stone perfect, readie to be elixirated; The matter & form of which elixiration is his fermentation, which shall be shewed when we come to the 4th Treatise, as is alreadie said in the preamble.

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

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

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

I will now therefore come to the manner of Raimond’s Accortations; Of which, because this is of the vegetable Elixir, I will here place him, to end the vegetable treatise; The other accortation; for that it is Minerall & mixed, I will referre it over to the mixed stone or Elixir; And although it may be thought that all Accortations are a diminishing of perfection, save only in these which he heere setteth downe to king Robert of S., all which for the vegetable worcke hee commendeth this Accortation; of whose sorte & vertue, hee saith, Deus Novit Great God (saith hee) whom I take to witness, knoweth how this manner of Accortation in effect subtileness, vertue & goodness, is more subtill & better than all other worckes of the world; & therein all the philosophers agree that all the worcke consisteth in Mercury, Sol , & Luna<href=”#_ftn24″ name=”_ftnref24″ title=””>[24], Of which since the Elixir is engendered, there can be no greater liklyhood than in this way.

When therefore wee have our Ardent water extracted, as afore is shewed; distill it 9 times; Take thereof 12 parts, putting it into a paire Cencinissaries, that is to say to every of them 6 parts, that is the halfe; Then take of gold well made & purged into foliate, one part, & dividing it into two; where with do as with the water; In every Cemnissarie<href=”#_ftn25″ name=”_ftnref25″ title=””>[25] put equal weight; That done & thy Cemmissaries close luted & stopped, where the noses of the Alembicks enter into the bodie, place them to destill in ashes where they may in the side of the furnace be placed, so that both Cemmissaries may receive equal heate & be of equal remotion from the fire; Then when the bodies feele heate; yee shall see how that the ferment or gold will begin to dissolve; Then tie or fasten to the pipes of the Cemmissaries noses two sponges which must be kept cold continually; And when the gold is all dissolved, you shall see how the ferment dissolved will ascend with the water, & destill from one vessaile into another continuallie, twise every day & twise every night; When you see this ascension & descension continued with equal heate, you shall perceive how by reason of heat the spirit becometh thinne & subtill, which the longer it shall be destilled, doth alwaies ascend & increase in degree & heighth of subtilness & strength; And in how much more lenter fire it shall be done in, it shall be more subtiller in strength & fortitude.

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

Where as Raimond heere addeth, to take Sol brought into foliat; that do you not in any wise; but learn this general rule of mee which is both theoritably grounded & practically proved to be true; Meddle never with crude Sole & Lune<href=”#_ftn26″ name=”_ftnref26″ title=””>[26]; Crude I call it for that being in foliate, it is readie to be molten againe into gold, & therefore can never joine her minima neither may it abide examination. And therefore finde it written put not crude to worcke things; Wherefore let it bee either calxe prepared or else brought into oile as shall be declared in the treatise of fermentation; By which meanes, there ariseth another commoditie, ffor then less quantitie & proportion of water will serve, & besides that the Elixir shall be higher by reason that the ferment is tincted afore into a ruddisher colour; And these my words are not swerving from the practise in his Magick; wherein hee willeth that the Lune be dissolved into liquor first.

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

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




Here Beginneth the Second Treatise of the Key of Alchimie Intreating of The Minerall Stone
The minerall stone is diversely taken among the philosophers and yet all to one end; Some therefore which hold opinion that vitrioll is the first matter doe think that it is the Green Lion of philosophers; in that the philosophers said take it for Poniaine gold. That it is not so to be taken I shall not neede to to spend any time therein; Seeing I have declared sufficiently what is the Green Lion of philosophers and what the Green Lion of fooles; and yet I meane not to denie, but that it may be done of vitrioll or green copperose; If therefore the elements be separated and the same manner observed as shall be shewed in this treatise upon Mercury: for Riplie in his Bosome Booke sheweth the selfe same worcke much alike unto this worcke whereof wee are now to intreat whose words as they be but briefe; yet are they plain and easie enough to understand.Rx (saith hee) Leonem viridem and eum dissolve, ie: Take the Green Lion meaning by copperose and in corrosive water or Aqua Fortis dissolve it setting it in balnes by the space of 15 daies. After that out thy vessaile; and make distillation that the tincture of the vitrioll may be had; Then with his elements separated and rectified proceede upone his owne earth first calcined; or upon the calcined earth of the ferments, or other waies, as the minerall stone of Mercury is to be used;

To come therefore to the purpose of the Minerall Stone. Although some there are that not thoroughly understand the trade and secrets of philosophers doe not only think but also affirme that quicksilver is not the matter of the stone. To whom I willingly grant; and farre further they avouch divers authorities, as among others Thomas Norton’s authoritie for one, where in his 4th Chapter hee saith,

hee may not with metalls and quicksilver beginne,
To make Elixirs which yee intend to winne.
Small clarkship there is therein for they are not for this art.

These words are not amiss if they were rightly weighed; for here it is that crude metalls and crude quicksilver shall never make Elixir as they remaine or are in their crude matter, except they be before brought in their bodily compactions that thereby they may be the better and quicklier brought into the viscous waters or Mercuries: and in that behalfe are Thomas Norton his words which in a little after where hee not after his accustomed manner of most dark speech uttereth his meaning very plainly as appeareth in these words: –


“Yet if you destroy their whole composition
Some of the component parts may serve your conclusion
And that is nothing else of that one, or yet other
But only magnesia and Litharge, her brother.”
(Nota: lithargyros, PbO)


By which words is given to understand that first of all wee ought to make solution for bodies or Argent Viv: crudum, being dissolved, are not any longer bodies but dissolved liquors or Mercuries of bodies; And therefore saith Riplie in his medulla, wrighting to Markham, Bishop of Yorke, if that yee know how and after what sort with the Aire or Elements of Quicksilver dissolved by himselfe, lifted up and rectified, therewithe to elixerate the body of Sol; The Artist, saithe hee, shall bee a searcher out of the most pretious worcke; Againe in the Treatise of the Minerall Stone he hathe these words: Certeine philosophers saied Quicksilver to speake, and said I am a father of enchantments, Brother to the Sunn and Sister to the Moone; I am the water of life drawne out of wine but the quick that is not of the vegetable but of quicksilver.

I make black and white, I carry in my bellie the Sol of philosophers. He that can joyne mee being dissolved after I am virgin’s milk with my brother the Sol should faine him an hundred fould with my sister the Moon. I shall make all black bodies white; of which Quicksilver and his elements separated I finde that another philosopher saithe of Quicksilver alonsic when his elements are separated, (Nota) and againe mixed together by equall waight is made the Elixir compleate of Saturn and Jupiter (Heaven and Earth?): And further that this is meant by Quicksilver common or ar:vi (Argent Vive): hear what Raimond saith: The best Mercury cometh from Mount Parsulan (Nota: Pasuran in the NE of Java) in erthen baggs or skinns of which Geber saith in all they worckes labour to separate Mercury: for hee that cannot destroy Mercury cannot repaire Mercury; neither may you workce there with all untill it be dissolved wherefore it is said as afore; put not crude to worke things; As it only with the ferment is the Elixir made which congealeth ar:vi and all imperfect bodies;

Wherefore as Raimond saith in his booke of Mercury; it is never congealed; But with the sulphur congealing and of itselfe congealed, And because in it being dissolved not crude there is a great secret the philosophers saith. A certain thinne smoake springeth out of his own vaines, which if it be finely gathered and againe redisserted upon his owne vaines, (that is if his water had out by distillation or solution and agin put on his own earth, therewith all to be made fluxible and fixed hee then causeth a certain fixion; of which the elixir is ingendred in short space of time, for certainly without his liquorous spirit the bodie alchimick is not clensed.)

Now touching the matter of extraction. This water from Mercury crude there is but this only way; which I in theorick gather from Geber and Riplie but most specially from Paracelsus; and so have I seen it fall out in practise: Concerning the manner of doing it; Geber speaking of the dissolving of Sunn and Moon would have it done in the water of Mercury, that is, quothe hee, in the water of the dragon: And further saithe “Quod illa aqua draconis fit,” that that water of the dragon ought to be made or drawne forth by alembick without putting any other water to it; and that in drawing thereof will arise a great stinck and further willeth that the Mercury be purified twice or thrice by passing it through Alimbeck before it be destilled in strong fire: As touching the stinck and perilous savoure my great grandfather commanded that the Artist should prepare a hood of leather with glass eyes to blindfold or stop his eies, nose, mouth, eares and by appointeth breath to be featched at one’s feet for fears of the noisome aire or savour of Mercury. Ripley his way of drawing cometh somewhat neere Paracelsus way, in that his bodie was of stone his head of glasse; and touching the manner hee saith, Put they bodie which is waightie in a distillatorie of Stone and draw his sweat from him with a little spiracle as long as anything will distill: Then the vessaile being opened let the hole coole which being could; luting fast the head again, destill it and receive more of the humor. So doing manie times until the whole corporall bodie becomes after the manner of clay or dirt in the bottome of the glasse. Then put against on that matter the water distilled and make it putrifie the space of 40 daies in a dunghill or balneo: Which done destill first a white humor in a strong fire, with which worcke upon the calx of Sol and Luna prepared, either upon his owne calx or earth calcined, for that of his proper earth and oile is the redd medicine made with coagulated ar: vi (Argent Vivre). Yet thus far goeth Ripley: But to come to that which Paraclesus teacheth and that which is known proved, Take a stone bodie and set him among a heap of coales, the bodies being well luted to the head of glass or stone, then make fire until this bodie be redd fire hot, Then having a hole made in the bodie afore, a little under the head, which must be stopped with some lute so that it may be shut and opened at your will; Take your Mercury or quicksilver first well purged or lifted up by Alimbeck twice or thrice over and by a funnel of glass put in by 2,3, or 4 ounces at a time. Then close fast the hole and have your fire very hot. Then shall you hear a great noise in the bodie and the Mercury will rise over the water and fall into the receiver: which you must afore lute very soft into the nose of the Alimbeck and on this sort may you draw as much Mercury as you will and when you have done destilling. let your bodie coole and taking off your head you shall find in the bottom of the bodie an earth; He which take and calcine; for that earth is not to be taken away after it is fixed; for on that earth is the stone to be made after the separation of the elements out of the same liquor, or Menstruall Mercury aforesaid; which must be done; Take the humor as it is in the receaver; which put in to a Gripes egge close stopped, that nothing may expire; Then set it in balneo to putrifie for a space of 15 daies. That done, emptie it out into a bodie and setting on Alembick draw in the balneo gentlie all the water that will come. And that is the Lac Virginis; which thou must 7 times after destill in an ash fire; and the oile which remaineth, that keep fast in a glasse close stopped for it is the fierce element of the Minerall Stone.

The order and manner of working with these elements to the white and redd followeth and are triple; the first is with his owne earth; the 2nd on Sol and Luna; the 3rd by putrefaction; To the first take your Lac Virginis being rectified, and the earth being calcined into white, dissolve the same earth into Lac Virginis rectified and being dissolved coagulate it againe with a gentle fire over a fixatorie, the water being well stopped in a peare glass: and so put into a fixatorie and being so dried and fixed, dissolve and drie as afore untill it will flow or yield easy fusion; then may it be fermented with either the oile of Luna to the white worcke or oile of gold to the redd worcke. On this manner adjoyning to this flowing gumme being divided into 2 parts: The Luna to the white worckes in proportion halfe to halfe; and Sol in the same proportion the 4 parts; fire them well together in a fixatorie. And when they are joyned they will both flow on a fiery plate. Then take of thy redd Mercury or fierie element and pouring thereof some pretie quantity on the matter set it well stopped to dissolve in balneo; and being dissolved place it in an ash fire to drie to powder or rather in a fixatorie; And soe you may doe; increasing your medicine by dissolution and coagluation or fixation untill it will congeale no more; but remains oile, which is the great Elixir Minerall for gold Alchimik.

Of this way Riplie speaketh in his Medulla; To the end that Elixir may be had to the transmutation of metalls; there are sundrie waies; of which the first is the Mercury onlie, that is with Mercury and his owne earth of them to create gumme flowing; which must be sought of a cunning artificer; dissolve, saith hee, Mercury into a milckie water; of which milckie water hee giveth a prettie note, for therewith he affirmeth that the Artist may dissolve as much other crude Mercury into water as hee will. But passing to the process he addeth to the separation in these words: Let this dissolved liquor be put to dissolve in an easy fire and it shall distill our Virgin’s Milcke cleare and cristalline wherewith all bodies may be dissolved into their first matter. and this water is of silverie colour: which if it were fixed with his earthly faeces calcined and againe dissolved in a quantitie of his water remaining againe and so congealed and dissolved until it pierce and flow; it should make the Elixir on all bodies imperfect as Ar:vi: and others into trew white and redd. and so is made of this Mercury (Mercurial) Liquor or water permanent and (c) and by touching the process of this worcke hee saith; And because when Mercury is dissolved the elements are separable from it; a competent putrefaction had; after the white liquor a golden humor shall ensue or much like unto redd with which a little ferment to the gumm of the aforesaid white stone being added shall bee with that golden humor imbibed and brought into the redd Elixir which shall transmute and elixirate all bodies into perfect Sol and Luna, if it be handled as aforesaid. And so is that first manner accomplished.

The 2nd is in Mercury and the white bodie to the white worcke and with the redd bodie to the redd worcke; that is with the prepared calces of Sol and Luna, namely that the calx be prepared after the manner as shall be hereafter shewed in fermentation; When therefore the calces be prepared put them in a circulatorie in ashfire and put thereon a prettie quantity of Lac Virginis and so circulate them into powder having first dissolved them in balneo but far better would it be done in Gammissaries after the manner of the vegetable accortation aforesaid. And may so be handled in all points; for the third manner which is by putrefaction which Riplie plainely sheweth in these words; Moreover when Mercury shall be dissolved, dissolve in it a little of the redd ferment and put all into a kimia (Kymenna ampulla or matrass), sealed with the philosopher’s knot, and with an easie fire draw the chariot of the four elements through the depths of the sea till when the clouds are gone into the dright there shall be shine and appear a matter like to fishes eyes; then by the space of thirty daies following let it be made redd in a mighty fire till it seeme to melt like flowing wax; Then it is apt to convert all bodies into pure gold; And this Medicine may be multiplied with his proper humidities by convenient solutions and coagulations. and this is the way plain to elixirate with Mercury only; another way is there also to dissolve Mercury into water, which is called the sharp vinegar or philosophers; or the water of the sea, of which Thomas Norton (though enigmatically enough) make mention in his sixth chapter, where he speaketh of such liquors as apt the stone, hath these words: —

“Other men say no liquors from above”
Descended better than such as cungers love.”

By which hee signified the waters of the sea, that is the water of their Mercury sublimate; which otherwise Ripley termeth sharp vinegar and hath white foeces and serveth as for putrefaction with water upon the calx of Lune; did Ripley make Elixir as appeareth in the 9 worckes he did at Estergate where in his 4th worcke hee saith was upon the calx of Lune with most sharp vinegar, which is our pure water of the sea. The order of the worcking therewith is on this wise: Take the Mercury well purged and sublime it thrice from Vitrioll and combust salt and once more from Allom; Then beate or grinde it small and rubb it up and downe on a broad pewter platter and let your sublimate to stand in a coole place to dissolve and it will turne to water. Take that water and filter it oftentimes then distill it and so rectifie it 7 times. With this water dissolve his owne earth which remaineth after the first (Nota) distillation being afore calcined into white and so dissolve it and fix it often times until it be fixed and flow; for to that end are the waters of Ripley where he saith; A good quantity of the Sharp vinegar being distilled by filter, Let destillation be made by Nature form his foeces and let the foeces be taken and with a lent fire be dried up and fixed in a phiol stopped; then being iterated let them be dissolved in his own water and let the water be destilled againe and his foeces may be fixed;

So continuing solutions and fixations until you may have the medicine fixed and flowing which is to be fermented in this manner; Let the medicine be dissolved in his owne water by himselfe; and let the white calx of (Luna) also be destilled with the same water in an other vessaile. Then let the solutions be mingled together and fixed together and doe with this as aforesaid in the other; And out of the vinegar if it be convenient lie putrefient for 10 days in balneo thereout may the elements be separated to serve for the uses aforesaid shewed; And therefore saith Ripley; Let there also be made water of Ar: Vi: sublimed, as you know, wich is called our Sharp vinegar and let the calx of white or red ferment bee dissolved with vulger dissolution untill it be cleare water with which the stone shall be fermented if you list; And thus I trust I have sufficiently declared the practise of the Minerall Stone.




Here Beginneth the Third Treatise of the Key of Alchimie Containing the Animal Stone
Time now aprocheth that according to the predemonstrated division in the preamble of my booke I shew forth the manner of the animal Stone, rite as I have seen, part as I have found written, and although it might seem a thing incredible unto them; which have fallen hetherto into small consideration of the worke of Nature, and unto myself also at the first verie difficult; when I waied it according to common sense, or after the common first face; for who or what is hee that seeking to physick or amend the metallick sickness of metalls thereby convert them into perfect bodies would ever imagine to deale with bloud, whose substance is of a farre other composition and in shew contrarie to metallicall or minerall kinde.Wherefore I answer that as at the first it seemeth a matter very unapt and unfit, So if it be thoroughly laid down and wiselie pondered after the sound ground principles of our philosophers; it will shew itself otherwise; for like as the diamond taken from the mine is to the ignorant of little vallew and estimation and being polished is greatly esteemed of the Lapidaries; So the animal stone proceeding from the bloud of man, afore it be polished that is, afore the cause be laid open and known for the secret worcking thereof, may appear at the first shew to be a thing darck and obscure by vew of the dissemblable likeness in kind of mettallicall substance; And because I will as shortly as I can come to the touch of the matter I heere demand these questions, which being thoroughlie and diligently serched out, will not only give great delight, but also yeeld perfect proof thereof, to come therefore to the demand, I aske two questions, whereon mettalls consist, and by what is the first matter of mettalls; Which answered trulie, the troth shall appeare.

To the first, I say that whatsoever doth consist of even and equal substance may be made and brought by course of Nature to the selfe same matters, when bloud therefore with mettalls having the communitie of substance may be brought to the selfe same matter wherein the communitie of their substance lieth, namely Sal, Sulphur and Mercurie, which, seeing it falleth out so in mettalls, that without it there can be neither in his proper mine increase of grow, nor above earth wither suffer the benefit of healpe by art, except it be brought and divided into the salt, sulphur and Mercurie, wherefore if the generation and alteration of mettalls be in salt, sulphur and Mercurie then must salt, sulphur and Mercurie serve for generation of mettalls; And being therefore that in bloud there is salt, sulphur and Mercurie no doubt but the salt, sulphur and Mercurie being perfect, may serve, supply and fullfill the dutie and part of salt, sulphur and Mercurie; so to the first question I conclude that bloud may serve for matter of the Stone if it be by art brought to the perfection of Nature required in that behalfe.

For the second demand I aske whether ought else is to be required in this art for transmutation; Save only pure water and pure earth; Wherefore saith Raimond, our gold and our silver are but our two mines etc; that is our pure water and our pure earth; Wherefore seeing that pure water and pure earth are the materialls of the mettallicall kind, To the second I determine that the pure water and the pure earth which is and are found bloud, may serve for materiall of the Stone: for so witnesseth Ripley in his concordance upon the words of Hermes and Aristotle; Who writeth thus, Although many have imagined that this worcke may be done of heares and bloud etc; which have imagined falsely and true perhaps if the elements should therefrom be separated, for heares and bloud inasmuch as it is heares and inasmuch as it is bloud, may it be made; but yet of elements; So that if elements be separated, it appeareth in this that it may serve for the Stone: Indeede of any good to be done with his Mercurie; I think little if it be separated but if bloud may be brought into sulphur of nature then no question that Sulphur is as good an earth as may be possible; and therefore writeth Guido; of the earth there is no more matter nor care to be had; So it be fixed, neither can I deny but that the elements be separated from man’s bloud are verie medicinable and comfortable for nature; for so writeth Raimond in his booke of quintessence; and Ruprecissus in his canon and Arnold in the booke he wrote to James of Toledo intreating of the bloud of man, concerning the creation of sulphur to be had out of man’s bloud.

The manner is plaine and easie to be found out by Ripley both in the 12 gates, as also in his Medulla in the treatise of the animal stone; whereas touching the matter he noteth to be in man; and tearmeth him the little world, and shewing the choice of the matter he willeth it to bee hadd out of a man of Mars, that is, out of a chollerick complexion, and for the state of man’s bodie had from a healthy and sound man, for the regard of the time and season of the yeare, in March, for the proofe of the worcke in the sort. (Nota) The worcke man’s bloud. Take (saith hee) the bloud of a sound vaine (man) and emptying or taking the superflous waterishness therefrom put it in a Gripes egge sealed to putrifie in the fire of the first degree where let it stand a long season untill it become black. That done, take it out and set it in ashes, where driying it up it will bubble, in which bubble there will shew and appear colours innumerable until it become white. Then in a strong fire for 30 daies make him redd; if for the redd worcke and then it is Sulphur of Nature: and that excelling all other things or Sulphurs: and Thereupon breaking out into a great wondering; hee saith, O Marvaile more marvailous than any marvailes; for it hath the nature of perfect Sulphur; which to make Elixir imbibe this sulphur with the redd Mercury vegetable till it be fixed and flowing and give him his ferment of (Sol) in the 4th proportion; fixe them under fire which may be multiplied as the vegetable or minerall, And is then the great Elixir, for this manner of worcking until the white Sulphur heare, heare what Ripley saith: Take this one thing, this hidden stone, him putrifie. Wash him in his own broth till white hee become; That done, see thou ferment him wittilie. Of all they worcke soe heere is whole and Some. On this way therefore it appeareth that the stone may be made of man’s bloud; which for that it cometh of man; tis said to be animall; Thus far I have proved that I have seene it black and further am not yet able to say for that this quarter of a year I have not seen it with this manner of worcking, I end the animal as touching the bloud of man.

To come therefore to the other part which Ripley speaketh of from the words of Marie the Prophetess; Whereby it falleth out that Marie by the animal stone understood a fixed earth which earth was the calcined earth of egge shells; What will some then say; how can this be true; seeing that kinde ought to be joined with kinde; which cannot be for that egge shells are not of a mettallicall kinde I answer that in this respect they are of kind for that one fixed thing or matter hath affinitie to another fixed matter; so that in the unitie of their fixedness they are of kind and are not therefore contrarie effect; That earth assuredly is most best for our intent, that is most void and exempt of humiditie superfluous namelie in which there is least Mercury; which is in the egge shell; for all that which is moist hath nature turned into the white and into the yeolke and that which is most drie hath it turned into the schell which is of colour white; for that, that heate worcking in drie bodies hath ingendered whiteness, for otherwise the schell should have been blacke and tender; for that heat worcking in moist bodies causeth blackness; and that other earths are more meet for us than our owne earth: Heare what Raimond saith, his own earth is seldom or never naturall for him: Guido likewise writing to the Bishop sheweth that that is no force what earth it bee, so that it be fixed; Therefore hee commandeth the first earth to be cast away; which place Ripley proveth to bee meant: when that the Artist will make the Stone of other fixed earth besdies his owne; which at this time is the philosopher’s intent; that shorter worcke may be had by planting our Mercury) in a more fixed bodie that his owne; And therefore writeth Alphidius (Nota — Not mentioned by L’aime du Fresnoy); The foeces from which the water was drawne are to be throwne away and cast away for that they are all of no vallew; and his Mercury) must be planted in another subtell earth; out of what bodie his earth fixed must be hadd, and what that bodie is Ripley sheweth it to be egge shells; expounding the words of Marie which she speaketh of the mountaines to be meant egge shells; which are little hills or mountaines; There Marie saith that the bodie is taken for the hittle hills or mountaines which bodie is white and cleere not suffering motion or curruption and is ingendered between male and female; Out of which of Marie’s works Ripley found this I know not; But in that treatise of Marie which passed between her and Aros the philosopher as I did find it reported in Posinus ad episcopum savatantum; are these words; Recipe herbam: and take, saith hee, the herbe that is white, cleere, honorable and growing up on the little hills, which Ripley affirmeth to be egges shells and of that herbe shee afterwarde saith that it is a true bodie not flying the fire: for the process of the worcke she agreeth somewhat with Ripley.

But to remove all doubts what earth it should bee that our Eagle ?! our Mercury should rest on: Aristotle teacheth us naming it as indeede it is by his owne name; Saying: I will name it thee by his owne name; Wherewith the common people name it, and that is the end of the egge; which being calcined and his skins removed saith Ripley, is the whitest earth and will longest abide fire; As I have seene; And it cannot be Mercury sublimat whom some would, the sublimatories to be little hills; Marie’s words are plaine in two sorts: for that she saith it groweth upon the hills which sublimate doth not but within the hills; And further (saithe shee) is a bodie which will abide the fire which sublimate will not doe; but flie the fire and vanish away in smoake. To come to an end of this animal stone let us set forth his practise: Wherein hee saith the little hills or the eggs of hennes whose shells separated from their skins and dried up after their washing ought to be calcined untill they have the whitenings of the snow (NOTA: worcke) and the utmost subtilitie; The ablution of which is after this sort, seeth the egges until they be verie hard then let them be subtillie barked or pulled off so that they may be parted from their skins as much as possible, then put the fragments of these shells in the strong lie of brine and ashes; so made with much salt: and let them there stand for eight daies every day rubbing them with your hands that their slime may be hadd away: Afterward let them be washed in water and their skins which flote above be taken away and let the shells which remaine ponderously in the bottom bee dried on a table in the Sunn; Afterward let them bee calcined in a furnace of reverberation even as much as they may possible, until they become of white colour and in manner of a subtill matter and them keep for thy use, because that earth exceedeth all earths of the world, for that it shall be more meete for thy worcke than any other; Seeing that gold nor silver can abide so great fire and dailie examination as can this earth, let therefore our mundified Mercury be planted in the earth after they are rectified. That is the white worcke, white Mercury.

Yet to the redd worcke, redd Mercury that is the oile of the stone; which must be put upon the earth and so in a circulatorie circulated upon him untill it be fusible which could verie well bee done in the Krachell or Gemmissarie and when it will so pierce and flow then ferment it as in the other Elixir; and by solution and coalgulation increase it; And in this manner of worcking accordeth with the words of Marie: saying vitrifica super illud Kybrick or Zybrych and that is, vitrificate or harden upon it Kybrick and Zubech, Kybrick (NOTA Kybrick = Sol of Mercury or ferment) is gold brought unto ferment and Zebede is that two Mercuries for so Ripley interpreted it; where hee said from the works of Marie; Maketh thy water like the runninge water; of the two Zaybeth and Zybwech; that is the two Mercuries: which Marie biddeth to be vitrificated upon the fixed bodie; and to be made liquid by the secret fire of Nature in a vessaile of philosophie; By vitrificiation she meaneth to have it dried up: which must bee done in ashes; for so did Ripley it in his first worcke; which was as he affirmeth upon the calx of the little hills with the water of the menstrue, that is with the ardent water for the white, for so he did it for the white and his accurtations upon Raimond he set it to circulate in drie ash fire; Thus therefore in this sort have wee brought the Animal stone to be Elixir.