And I, Artephius, after I became an adept, and had attained to the true and complete wisdom, by studying the books of the most faithful Hermes, the speaker of truth, was sometimes obscure also as others were. But when I had for the space of a thousand years, or thereabouts, which has now passed over my head, since the time I was born to this day, through the alone goodness of God Almighty, by the use of this wonderful quintessence. When I say for so very long a time, I found no man had found out or obtained this hermetic secret, because of the obscurity of the philosophers words. Being moved with a generous mind, and the integrity of a good man, I have determined in these latter days of my life, to declare all things truly and sincerely, that you may not want anything for the perfecting of this stone of the philosophers.
“The Secret Book Of Artephius” 1150
Finally, I found that which I desired, which I also soon knew by the strong scent and odour thereof. Having this, I easily accomplished the Mastery, for, knowing the preparation of the first Agents, and after following my Book according to the letter, I could not have missed it, though I would. Then, the first time that I made projection was upon Mercury, whereof I turned half-a-pound, or thereabouts, into pure Silver, better than that of the Mine, as I myself assayed, and made others assay many times. This was upon a Monday, the 17th of January, about noon, in my house, Perrenella only being present, in the year of the restoring of mankind, 1382. And afterwards, following always my Book, from word to word, I made projection of the Red Stone upon the like quantity of Mercury, in the presence likewise of Perrenella only, in the same house, the five and twentieth day of April following, the same year, about five o’clock in the evening; which I transmuted truly into almost as much pure Gold, better assuredly than common Gold, more soft and more plyable. I may speak it with truth, I have made it three times, with the help of Perrenella, who understood it as well as I, because she helped in my operations.
“Hieroglyphics”, by Nicolas Flamel 1382
I do most positively and solemnly assert that I have with my own hands performed every one of the experiments which I have described; and I know many others whose experience has shewn these things to be true. How can our opponents hope to prevail against eye-witnesses by bare negation? My testimony is borne out by the experience of such men as Albertus, Raymund, Riplaeus, Flamellus, Morienus, and a host of others. I confess that the transformations of which I have spoken are not easy to accomplish, but whoever has the Key of our Art can unlock all gates, and has power over all the secrets of Nature. But this Key is possessed only by those who have both a theoretical and a practical knowledge of natural processes.
“Metamorphosis Of Metals”, by Eiranaeus Philalethes 1668
I have read not only many sincere Chemical books, but also sophistical ones, worked through the processes of the God-forsaken deceitful arch-liars, through which I have lost both my moderate fortune and my health. If but a single Christian friend had only revealed to me the meanest spark of the true being, and from thence what is absorbed by animal, vegetable, mineral and lead, flux of the solar-rays, yea! If he had led me and directed me to catch hold of the astral, viscous, fat water, I would be forever obliged to that one from that hour forth: In any case, for the most part I did nothing but wander through pretended, misleading, falsely groundlessly prescribed processes, and having worked, unfortunately did nothing but thresh empty straw.
For nearly thirty-seven years I laboured greatly, and in all three kingdoms there was virtually no other subject to be sought, which had not already been found to be impotent. Now when I became disgusted with the mess, the distilling, cohobating and coagulating, and set Chemistry wholly to the side, God willed it that during my travels, I had opportunity to speak with a gentleman of honor concerning the nature of things; but now I complained to him of all my labours, and how by them I had only gained great loss, and also allowed that I did not wish to think thereon for the rest of my life, nor would I: For two whole days this Elias Artista carefully gave me to understand else but comforting exhortations and then a large body of truthful lessons.
I had benefited well from all the sincere instruction, and so had been able to grasp the work; so I know not why I had to delay the work until the fourth year; by and by I lacked this or that, by and by my mirror was broken in pieces, by and by I was not able to have the proper vessels. Alone in the Work I have found that: It is neither by will nor by haste, but only by the mercy of God, and this is true. Yet for all that, because God granted me the time and opportunity to attend properly to the Work, I studied the writings of the above authors with great purpose, often to the twentieth reading, especially those who spoke clearly, and became more firmly grounded day by day; nevertheless I had a good deal of difficulty with the appearance of the water at the beginning, until finally I found more elucidations here and there in the writings; the true subject I doubted even less, for I perceived in Sendivogius’ Tract de Sulphur; Est in aere occultus vitae cibus, quem nos rorem de nocte, di die vero aquam rarefactuam voamus Cujus Spiritus invisibilis coagulatus, melior est quam universa terra. They eyes of those who intelligently read through the above authors will be opened, and seekers will attain to the true well of the sages. The Dawn Breaking Forth to Heaven, likewise the book, Of Heaven and Earth, and not least Doctor Helvetius’ Golden Calf mention sufficiently quid sit, quando et quomodo material sit sumenda.
“Chemical Moonshine”, by Johan Fleischer 1739
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 the 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.
“Hermes Unvieled”, by Cyliani 1831