Allegory of Bernard of Treviso

This is an extract from Manly Palmer Hall MS of a work on alchemy by Bernard [1406-1490] Count of the Mark of Treviso (in fact Treves), translated by Sigismund Bacstrom. which includes his famous fountain allegory. This has been transcribed for the alchemy website by Franco Dognini.
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The beginning of Count Bernard's Fourth Book according to a French Manuscript copy.

At length I found a large orchard made by the before mentioned Philosopher: There went I in to refresh myself, being wearied with writing and studying. In that place there was an old fort or castle, wherein dwelt two Dragons, the one red and heavy of body, without wings [☉], and the other white, with wings [aqua ♁ ♂].

And they came together and embraced each other in the heat of the Sun [In the secret fire], as he is in Aries; and they sported together untill the united dragons [☉ and aqua ♁ ♂ united by the secret fire] lost themselves and were converted into a black raven [the putrefaction of the subject]: and they humected {moistened] each other until they became white as snow [ the White Tincture] in the heat of the Sun as is from his entrance into Taurus until he comes into Leo. The Raven which had become white, became red at last as blood in the heat, and in this work of Conjuction was altered. And it called itself the richest in the world, whereat I was terrified and intended to leave the orchard.

And I found a fountain very strongly walled round, which was watched by a wise old man, of whom I enquired to whom the fountain belonged that it was so well watched? He answered me:
"The foresaid King, well known in this country is generated from the fountain. He always proceeds from the fountain. He afterwards dries up the fountain, in which he remains to bathe himself 282 days, or nine months and a half. By this bathing the King becomes so highly purified, and has his youth so much renovated that no man can afterwards overcome him. Therefore has the King himself made the fountain, [aqua ♁ ♂] clear as silver, heavenly blue; in which he reposes in a white clear and transparent stone [the globular glass vessel]: and to prevent any beast [too sudden or intense a heat] from coming near the same and gnawing it, it is inclosed in a hollow oak, cut through the middle [two hemispheres of oak] which preserves it and checks the heat of the Sun. And like manner the guard of Venus is set there [viz., the acid in the sacred fire obtained from sea salt: "Venus born of the froth of the sea" Ovid] in thick walls, so that the Fountain is well guarded; for the Fountain is of such a wonderful power and nature that it might otherwise penetrate through and escape by the action of the heat; and we should be quite undone if it should so happen that the Fountain should run out." [Should the glass be broken by any accident or ruptured by the expansive force of the vapours, excited by too strong an external heat all our labour would be lost.]

I asked him: "Have you seen the King?"
Answer - "Yes, I saw him enter, but I never saw him after his entrance [ The ☉ disappears in our ☽ when joined to it in rebis:]. He keeps himself shut up and does not suffer himself to be seen for 135 days [viz., after the sacred fire is joined to the Rebis for so long it takes before whiteness begins to show itself]; and thereafter he raises himself to appear as white as snow. In the mean time the Porter [the secret fire] serves him and warms his bath for him continually to preserve his natural heat,hidden in his clear water [the dissolved compound called azoth] as is before written, which bath is kept warm day and night."

Then I asked him: "How is the King cloathed?"
He answered: "He has a coat of beaten gold [malleable ☉ is employed, not a calx of any kind], and a jacket black as velvet [during the putrefaction of the subject]: his shirt is white as snow [the white tincture] and his body [the perfect stone] red as blood"

Then I asked: "How many people associate with the King in the fountain? Are they strangers or other common people?"
He answered me laughing: "When the King thinks fit to go in he leaves all his people, except the Porter, behind him"

[At this place the French copy becomes the same as the Latin and German, and so continues to the part where this question is asked "Has the King many servants at his court?" after which it goes on as follows:]

Answer: "He has six [viz., ♄, ♃, ☽, ♀, ♂ and ☿] "Nota, five of these are from the fountain, which is itself the sixth [viz., our coagulated mercury rendered fluid by our mercurial water or white sacred fire]. From it they every one have what they possess as well as the thing [all the metals being chiefly composed of mercury]. Therefore does the fountain attracts them all. It humects the King to death, after which it shows itself through the same kingdom [it shows its power throughout the metallic kingdom] and everyone takes his own.
Saturn takes the gold coat and keeps it forty days. Thereafter, through the desire and nature of the King, Jupiter keeps the black jacket also 40 days. Then Jupiter delivers it over to Luna who is the third person, who keeps it 80 days or more. Then comes the regimen of Mars the fourth person, and under him the whiteness becomes very brilliant: he guards it 80 days or more according to the abilities of the Artist or Philosopher, and thus the King is stript to his shirt, which is white as snow, dry without redness. Thereafter the King takes off his shirt and gives it to Venus to keep, who is the fifth person and watches it 40 days: then gives she it to Sol, so that the King becomes naked, sees his body as it were leprous and all over red as blood"

I asked "Who takes care of it at last?
Answer: "Then the fountain is opened. After having given to them the coat, jacket and shirt, there is then given to the youth [viz.,to the new made Tincture] his own body, red as blood [viz., ☉] to eat."

"This is called Sol Philosophorum and our medicine, our true Aurum potabile and Quinta Essentia, and the Great Elixer and Aquavitae - and that is the extremest desire."

Question: "Do they all wait until this time?"
Answer: "When they have the White Shirt four may be benefitted thereby: it is then however scarcely half the kingdom. Therefore they prefer waiting a little longer for the Crown of their King."

"Do no Physicians attend, or other people?"
"Only the Porter, who watches and keeps the heat up continually, without any other thing whatever"

Question. "Has this Porter much labour?"
Answer: "More in the end then in the beginning: then the fountain is hotter."

Question. "Have many people seen him?"
The fountain answered "All the world has seen him with their eyes without knowing it."

Question. "What do they do then?
A. "If the six wish to become Kings they purge themselves and do what they ought to do."

God be praised for his wonderful gifts and Goodness.

Finis.