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Emblem XXVI.
The Tree of Life is the fruit of Human Wisdom.


 
The Discourse:
Tullius has excellently described the Essentiall difference of Man whereby he is distinguished from all other animalls after this manner: As a Bird for flying, a Horse for running, so a Man is born for Reasoning. For as Lyons, Bears and Tigers do exercise and delight themselves in fiercenesse, Elephants and Bulls in strength of body, Eagles, Falcons and other Hawks in preying upon birds and swiftnesse of wings, so Man excells them and all other Creatures in Reason, Inferences and Understanding. So there is no fiercenesse, no strength of body, no swiftnesse in Brutes so great, as not to be tamed, subdued and outdone by Man's Reason only. For reason is not a thinge humane or proceeding from the Earth, but as the Poet saith a particle of divine breath sent from heaven into Man. It is sometimes called memory, sometimes the intellectuall virtue to which, if use or experience be added, Wisdom springs from thence; which is the most precious thinge that a man can obtain. For use is said to be as the Father and Memory as the Mother of so generous an offspring. But the Question is, what is true wisdom? and most worthy of man's enquiry, since the opinions concerning it are infinite, every man transferring it to their own imaginations? It may be answered that Wisdom (exception being always made of that which in divine thinges relates to the Welfare of the Soul) in human thinges does not consist in Sophisticall Arguments, Rhetoricall Speeches, Poeticall Sound of Verses, Criticall Subtility of the Grammarians. Nor in the craft of heaping up Riches by violence, lyes, deceit, perjuryes, oppression without any regard to the cryes and labour of the Poor. For wisdom is nothing else but the true knowledge of Alchymie joined with practice, which is of the greatest benefit to mankind. This is the Wisdom surpassing all thinges, which with her right hand penetrates the East, with her left hand the West, and Embraceth the whole Earth.
'Tis of this Wisdom that Solomon discourses so excellently in his Book of Wisdom and shows us how They that are acquainted have Eternall perseverance, and Her friends partake of sincere pleasures. And he that diligently enquireth after Her shall receive much Joy, for there is no tediousnesse in her conversation, but to be present with Her is mirth and gladnesse. And though wine and musick cheer the heart of Man, yet Wisdom is pleasanter than both, for she is the Tree of Life to all that lay hold upon Her, and happy is every one that reteineth her. Lactantius therefore calleth her the food of the Soul. The wise shall inherit Glory, and He that esteems wisdom shall be exalted and honoured by Her. She is more powerfull then all thinges and comforts a wise man more then ten mighty Princes that are in the city. And to this worldly wisdom may be applied what is said by the Prophet Baruch: Where is Wisdom, Where is strength and Where is understanding that thou maist know also Where is length of dayes and Life, where is the light of the Eyes and peace. And as Solomon affirms in the Book of Wisdom, Great Pleasure it is to have Her Friendship, and in the works of Her hands are infinite Riches, and in the exercise of conference with Her is prudence, and in talking with her a good report.
Morienus the Philosopher speaking of it says: This is knowledge which draws him that possesses it from the misery of this world and brings him to the knowledge of those good thinges that are to come. And he Affirms it to be the Gift of God: For this is nothing but the Gift of God most High who committs and reveals it to such of his servants and faithfull as He pleases. They therefore ought to be Humble and subject in all thinges to the Omnipotent God. And in another place: For it is convenient for you to know, O King, that this Magistery is nothing else but the Arcanum and secret of secrets of the most High and Great God, for he hath recommended this secret to his Prophets whose Souls he hath placed in his Paradise. It is also called the Tree of Life; not that it hath Eternall Life in it, but because it doth as it were show the way to it, and bears fruit profitable for this Life which it cannot be without, such as Health and the Goods of Fortune and Mind. For without these a Man living is as if he were dead, and not unlike to a Brute, although outwardly he represents him that he ought to be, but is not in his better part. 
 
Emblem XXVII.
He that endeavours to enter into the Philosophers' Rosarye without a key, is like him who would walk without feet.


 
The Discourse:
They write of Erichthonius that He sprang out of the Earth whilst Vulcan wrestled with Pallas the Goddesse of Wisdom, and was born not with the feet of a man but formed like a serpent. Such are those Persons who by the means of Vulcan alone, without the Wisdom of Pallas, do beget Offspring that are monstrous, without feet and abortive, which can neither profit others nor benefit themselves. It is a miserable thinge for men to go upon all four, that is upon his hands and feet; but worse altogether are those destitute of feet who use Arms instead of them, for they seem to have degenerated into the Nature of Worms who go after the manner of reptiles.
But the two legs are the two organick members of man, without which there can be no true walking, no more then seeing without eyes or grasping thinges tangible without hands. So likewise medicine and every operative Art are supposed to have two legs, namely Experience and Reason, upon which they are to stand and without either of which their Art is lame and imperfect in its Traditions and Precepts, nor can it arrive at the End it proposes. But Chemistry chiefly has two subjects as its two legs, one of which is the key, the other is the bolt. With these the Philosophick Rosary although locked on every side may be opened, and free admittance given to such as have a Right to enter. But if one of these be wanting to him that is about to enter therein, it will be the same thinge as if a Cripple should endeavour to outrun a Hare. He that without a key enters into the Garden which is every way enclosed is like a Thief who coming in the dark night can discern nothing that grows in the Garden, nor enjoy what he steals thence.
But the Key is a thinge of the meanest Value which properly is called a Stone, known in the Chapter X as the Root of Rhodes, without which no Twig is put forth, nor doth a Budd swell, nor a Rose spring and send forth leaves in a thousand fold. But it may be asked where this Key is to be sought for? I answer with the Oracle: it is there to be looked for where the Bones of Orestes are said to be found, to wit Where THE WINDS, THE STRIKER, THE REPERCUTIENT AND THE DESTRUCTION OF MEN may be found together. That is, as Lychas interpreted it, in a Brasier's Workhouse. For by the Winds is meant his Bellows, by the Striker the Hammer, by the Striker Back the Anvill, and by the Destruction of Men, Iron seems to have been meant by the Oracle. If a man knows how to number well and distinguish the signs he will certainly find this Key in the Northern Hemisphere of the Zodiack, and the bolt in the Southern; and being Master of these it will be easy to open the Door and enter.
And in the very entrance he will see Venus and her beloved Adonis, for she hath tinged the White Rose of a Purple Colour with her Blood. In the same place a Dragon also is observable- as in the Hesperian Gardens- who watches over these Roses. And the scent of the Roses is said to be increased by Garlick planted near them, and that by reason of the exceeding degree of Heat which is in Garlick whereby it resists cold poisons, for the Roses want the Heat of the Sun and Earth before they can acquire a colour and smell that is most Gratefull to the Eyes and Nostrills. Moreover the Fume of Common Sulphur makes Red Roses White if it touch them, and so on the contrary the Spirit of Vitriol and Aqua Fortis refreshes them with a deep or full Red Colour which endureth. For common Sulphur is an Enemy to the Philosophickal Sulphur though it cannot destroy it, but the solutive water is friendly to it and preserves its Colour.
The Rose is sacred to Venus in regard of that Beauty in which it surpasseth all Flowers; for it is a Virgin which Nature hath Armed that it might not be violated without revenge and punishment. Violets are unarmed and trod under feet, but Roses lye among Prickles and have Yellow Hairs hidden within and a Garment of Green without. No man can pluck them and separate them from the Prickles but he that is Wise; if otherwise, he shall feel a Sting in his fingers. So none but the most Wary Philosophers will crop their Flowers, least in the Hives He should find Stings as well as Bees and Gall instead of Honey. Many have secretly and like Thieves entered the Rosary but have reaped nothing from thence but Misery and Losse of Time and Labour. Whereupon Bacusser saith in the Turba: Our Books seem very injurious to those who read them only once or twice or perhaps thrice, for they will be frustrated in their Understanding and whole Study. What is worse they will also lose all their money, pains and time which they have spent in this Art, and a little afterwards, when a man thinks he has perfected and has the World, he will find nothing in his hands.
 
Emblem XXVIII.
The King is sitting in a Vaporous Bath, and is freed from the Black Gall by the Physitian Pharut.


 
The Discourse:
As there are three concoctions in man, the first in the Stomach, the second in the Liver, the third in the Veins, there are likewise as many universall Evacuations of Excrements which are correspondent to them and daily carry of their superfluityes; namely, the first by stool which is proper to the first concoction, the second by Urine which belongs to the second, the third by Expiration through the pores of the Whole Body or by sweat which is peculiar to the third. In the first the Chylus, in the next Chymus, in the third a Dew or dewy substance is Elaborated and applied to every part of the Body. The Excrements or Faeces of the first are Thick, Bilious and Fat, which are carryed through the Bowells backward, and if they be at any time obstructed they are gently, moderately or strongly expelled by purgations. The Excrements of the second are liquid, more thin, bilious and saltish, which are brought out of the Veins by the Kidneys and Bladders as Aqueducts.
The superfluityes of the third are yet more thin and therefore do for the most part expire of themselves through the smallest pores, or are carryed out together with the Serum of the Humors as sweat. These are helped by Sudorificks, as the former are by Diureticks. The Ancient Greeks and Romans took a great deal of pains for the evacuating of this latter sort of Faeces, and to this End did so many sports and exercises, such as the Chafing of all parts in the morning, Anointing with oyle and Wrestling, Fencing, Running, Hand-ball, Tennis, daily Washing and Bathing in Rivers or Artificiall Baths. And for the convenience of these thinges so many Magnificent structures were built at Rome, which we may rather admire than imitate; such as were the Baths of Dioclesian, which are for the most part still remaining (and unlesse I am mistaken dedicated to the Arch Angels), an Aspiring, Superb and Splendid Work.
The same kinds of concoction as we have before mentioned are likewise in the Elaboration of Metalls. For the first is made after its manner in the Magnus Annus or great year, that is in the Revolution of the Highest Sphere, the second in the Revolution of the lowest sphere, the third in that of the middle one. But that the Philosophers may by the help of Art more Easily draw forth this masse of Excrements and Superfluityes, they invent severall methods such as Washings, Purgations, Bathings and Laconica or Vaporous Baths, by which they perform that in the Philosophickal Work which Physicians do in human Bodyes. Duenech therefore is by Pharut introduced into his Laconicum that there He may sweat and evacuate through his Pores the Faeces of the third concoction; for this King's distemper is melancholick or atrabilious by which he is in lesse Authority and Esteem than all the other Princes, as being charged with the morossnesse of Saturn and the Choler and Fury of Mars. He therefore has a desire to dye or be cured if it be possible. Amongst many Physicians one is found who undertakes this charge, being induced to it by rewards and entreatyes. This Allegorye is very frequent in the writings of the Philosophers, as of Bernhardus, Alanus in the Treatise of Duenech, and innumerable others.
Therefore we don't add severall other Circumstances which may be found in them, but would here observe only what Excrement and of which Concoction it is that ought to be evacuated by Bathing, for hereupon the whole matter will turn. In Stoves or Hot Baths that Heat which is included in the Body is usually, together with the Blood, brought to the superficies of the skin whereby a Beautyfull complexion is made in the Face and whole Body; and if this appears it will be a sign that the Melanchollye Blacknesse which infects the skin may insensibly be evacuated, and all the humors corrected so that a pure and Rosy blood may afterwards be generated. For it is necessary that the whole temperament of his body be amended, because being Cold and Dry it is repugnant to the bittering of his blood, whereas He on the contrary is Hot and Moist; and whether this can be done or no it is necessary for the Philosopher to foreknow and foretell by Prognosticks.
There have been some men who have taken a Cobbler for a great Prince or King's Son, but they have at length from certain signs perceived what he was in his Descent and Education. Least this should happen the Artist in the first place must be carefull to choose the true offspring of the King, who although he does not appear splendid with golden Attire, but is despicable and mean in his clothing as likewise of a Livid and Melanchollye complexion, yet let him not reject him or take another in his stead. For if he be very well washed his Royall Genius will soon appear, as in Cyrus, Paris and Romulus who were educated among Rusticks. But it is further to be observed that the Bath must be a Laconicum, that is Vaporous and Sudorifick, least the water should parch his Tender flesh or obstruct the Pores, from whence would proceed more Harm than Advantage, nor could the Effect of it be remedied. Let no person be sollicitory what clothes the King should put on after his bathing; for as the Daughter of King Alcinoi presented Garments to Ulysses who was shipwrecked and naked, so there shall be one who will send him those which are most precious, whereby he may be acknowlegded deservedly to be the offspring of the Sun.
 
Emblem XXIX.
As the Salamander lives in fire, so also the Stone.


 
The Discourse:
There are two Elements in which Animalls live, Air and Water, and as many in which nothing that is Animated can remain, to wit, Earth and Fire; for as the former are of a temperate and middle Complexion in the first and second qualitiyes, so these latter are of an extreme one, or are bodyes either too thick or too subtile, so that the thicknesse does not admitt some bodyes, and the subtilety does indeed admitt some but then it penetrates and burns them. But that men can live in Subterraneous Caves is occasioned by the Air descending thither and filling those places least there should be any Vacuum. But here we speak of every Element apart. In the Water Fishes live in incredible numbers, variety and fruitfulnesse, and even the biggest of all Animalls. In the Air live Men, fourfooted Beasts, Birds, Worms and Insects. Whatsoever is said of Spirits wandering in the secret parts of the Earth is another thinge, for they are not Animalls.
But as for the Fire, there are no Animalls said to live in it except the Salamander. Now the Salamander is a creeping worm not much unlike a Lizard, but of a slower pace, bigger head and different Colour, such as I remember seeing in the Alps under the mountein Spulga coming out of the Rocks after Thunder and Rain and lying in the way. And a Country man of the place told me it was called Ein Molch; it had round about it a clammy and viscous moistnesse, by the Virtue of which it freely passes though the Fire without Harm.
But the Salamander of the Philosophers is very different from this, although it be likened to it. For that of the Philosophers is born in Fire. This is not so with the common Salamander, but if it falls into the Fire by reason of its extreme coldnesse and moisture it is not presently burnt, but can freely passe through the Flame that is Hot and Dry. This common Salamander is Cold and Moist, for every thinge participates of the Nature of the Mother's womb and resembles the place and country of its production. Fire produces nothing but what is Hot and Dry as being like to itself; on the contrary, the Moist and Cold Caverns of Rocks being full of water send forth this moist and cold Vermin. The Philosophickal Salamander by the Similitude of its Nature rejoyces in Fire; the common Salamander by the Contrariety of Nature extinguishes it or for some time repells its force.
They say that the Fly Pyraustes is generated in Fire and flyes out of the Brass Furnaces in Cyprus. But no man has believed this to be true but in an Allegorye. For Fire if it be continued destroys and corrupts the bodyes of any Animalls whatsoever, seeing it can burn Earth into Glasse and the most solid Timber and all other compounded thinges into Ashes, some few excepted to wit such as are Mercuriall, which either wholly remain or wholly fly away out of the fire without any separation being made of their parts. For Vulcan is a most cruell Executioner who calls all thinges that are mixed and compounded of Elements to his Tryall and Judgement. Some few only are excepted from his Tribunall by the speciall Privilege and Indulgence of Nature, who is Empresse of all thinges. Over these he has no right by himself alone, unlesse he joins to him the Areopagites as other assistant Judges. And Salamanders are such as are above his Violence, which they do not fear.
Avicenna in his Porta reckons up the various Temperaments of bodyes which are all unequall and therefore corruptible by Fire and other injuries. But He affirms that there is one exactly equall which has as much Heat as Cold and as much Drynesse as Moisture, not according to Weight but Justice as the Physitians term it; and this is that which is more Patient then Agent, in which if Fire endeavours to resolve Water its adversary into Air which is its Familiar, the Earth does not admitt this Resolution because it is incorporated with Water. And the Internall Fire of the Compound doth by its suffrage approve this pretence of the Earth, because he is the intimate Friend of the Earth. Therefore Vulcan's Judgement ceases, and he uses yet another Intrigue by endeavouring to burn the Earth into cinders as he is accustomed to do. But Water adhering to Earth brings exceptions against him and shows that she is united to the Earth and the Air, as the Fire by one side is to the Earth. Therefore he that would reduce the Earth to Ashes would likewise reduce the other Elements, and so Vulcan being disappointed suspends his Judgement least He should become ridiculous.
This Body is like the Truest Salamander, in which the Elements are Equalled by the Balance of their Powers. Concerning this Rosarius out of Geber saith: Likewise the Philosopher would have the Substances of Mercury mortified, but naturally his Mercury is in that Venerable Stone as is plain to all men. And a little further on: Also the Philosopher would have the Substances of Mercury Fixed, as is evident because he teacheth the ways of Fixing with many Cautions and Devices. But who can doubt the Substance of that Precious Stone to be most Fixed? Certainly no man that knows it. By which it appears that the Stone is by Fixation to be reduced to the Nature of the Salamander, that is to the greatest Fixednesse which neither declines nor refuses Fire. For it is no Salamander till it has learnt to endure Fire with the utmost patience, which must of necessitye be effected in long processe of time.
Hereafter in the 35th Emblematicall discourse it will be showne how Achilles and Triptolemus were by night placed under embers of Fire till they could endure the most Vehement Heat, thus by use and custom attaining to the propertyes of a Salamander. For Custom is a second Nature. But unlesse Nature communicates the Power and as a Mistresse begins the Alteration, Custom will be able to do little or nothing. And thence it is impossible to fix Ice at the Fire, but to fix Christall is possible because Nature has begun it. The same must be thought of Watery and Volatile Mercury, which in its own Nature cannot be Fixed but by the Marriage and Coition of Sulphur, which is the Philosophickal Tincture and Fixes all flying Spirits.
 
Emblem XXX.
Luna is as requisite to Sol as a Hen is to a Cock.


 
The Discourse:
Avicenna in his Book de Anima does severall times offer us this admonition: That no Eggs should be taken by the Artist unlesse they were of such Hens as had been trod by a Cock. That is that the Female subject is of no Value without the virtue of the Male, and so on the contrary that the Cock is of no use without the Hen. For these two sexes are to be joined in the Philosophickal Coop, and that so multiplication may from thence proceed. But the Philosophers do more especially use this similitude of a Cock because he has a nearer correspondence with the Power of the Sulphur than the Male of any other kind of Bird, seeing one Cock can preside over many Hens and does not easily endure any Rivall upon the Territoryes of his own Dunghill, for He knows and esteems himself to be sufficient for all his mates. He is the Bird of Mars, made as the Poets feign by the transformation of the boy Gallus, whose businesse it was to watch the Sun least he should espye the Adultery which Mars committed with Venus; and He is very Martiall in war, for He will fight with his Enemy even till death. In the Philosophickal work he represents the Sun, as the Hen does the Moon For there is the same necessitye of joining Sol with Luna as the Cock with the Hen. The Cock is likewise raised to the Sun, with whom He both rises and goes to sleep. He often looks up to Heaven and erects his Tayle on high, which falls in the shape of a sickle. He fights for his Hens against Serpents, He is the forerunner of Light and is Loved by Latona because he was present at her delivery. For Latona brought forth Sol and Luna, from whence the Cock is appropriated both to the Mother and the Son.
But Sol, Luna and Latona agree with Chymicall subjects and so do the Cock and Hen, for these two came out of Eggs and do likewise produce eggs, from whence their Chickens may be Hatched. So likewise the Philosophers have their Eggs, which will passe into birds of the same kind if they are nourished with a temperate heat such as the heat of a Hen that setts, remaining upon them continually. For whereas among other Birds the male setts upon the Eggs, the Cock only shows himself to be free from that Office and Burden, and all the care and labour of hatching the Chickens and breeding them up must lye upon the Hen. Wherein her Diligence and Industry is very remarkable; with what haste she eats and drinks and performs all the necessaryes of Nature, that she may run back to her Eggs least they should grow cold. Then with Force and Eagernesse she defends her Chickens; with how loud a voice like that of a Bell she calls and clucks them together; with what Endeavour she Bruises and Cutts with her Bill as with a Knife the harder crumbs or grains which she administers to them. All of which is the work of Nature, and worthy of our admiration. And all this is done least Eggs should be wanting for the food of mankind or the production of Chickens.
After the same manner the Philosopher or Artist makes like provision for all his operations. For he gathers his Eggs from such places where a Cock has been treading and diligently searches least there be joined eggs; after that he cleanses, separates and disposes them in his Vessels, as in Nests; he administers proper heat to them by which from day to day the subjects commixed among themselves do mutually Act and Suffer, till after a long time passing through various colours they at last arrive at one Colour and Essence. In which work Solution, Coagulation, Sublimation, Ascension, Descension, Distillation, Calcination and Fixion must be performed as intermediate operations. For what is hard and compact cannot be altered, therefore Solution must precede and that so it may grow soft and liquid. But when a thinge is dissolved then it must be Coagulated not to its former Hardnesse but to a Tractablenesse proportionate to that of Honey. Then Sublimation separates the Pure from the Impure and makes what was Vile become Honourable, advancing inferiour to a superiour. Whence this cannot be wanting, but is like the mistresse and governesse of all the rest. While this Sublimation is performed some parts mount upwards, which is Ascension, and others fall downwards which is Descension: afterwards, Distillation being often repeated clarifies the whole, and that which remains at the bottom is Calcined. Then both are fixed and the work is perfected. But a man may in truth reduce all these speciall operations to one generall, which is Coction. For as severall Chickens which run about are clucked together under one Hen who is their Mother and Nurse, so these various courses and methods of operation run all into one, which is the work of the woman: that is, Coction.
It is the Moon that must be exalted to the Sublimenesse of the Sun, and all these thinges are transacted for her sake. That is the finall intent: a durable Marriage between the Sun and Moon, and when that is accomplished all embassies, contracts, congresses, mistrusts shall have an End. There will be one bed and one flesh, the love mutuall and constant, the league indissolvable, the peace eternall. The Sun without the Moon is of no great Esteem, and the Moon without the Sun is of an abject condition and Vile Originall. But it is from her Husband the Sun that she receives Splendour, Dignity and Strength or Firmenesse both of Mind and Body. And the Sun obtains from the Moon the Multiplication of his Offspring and the Propagation of his Kind. Hence Rosarius says, if there were only one of them in our Stone the Medicine would never flow easily nor give the Tincture; nor if it did give it, it would not Tinge but for as much as was in it, and the remainder and Mercury would Fly away in Smoak, because a Receptacle of the Tincture would not be in it. And Geber in Libro Examinum proves that if Sol and Luna are incorporated together with Art they are not easily to be separated.
 


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