Samuel Norton - The Key of Alchemy

Rules of Multiplication and Projection

This transcription was originally made by W.A. Ayton in the latter decades of the 19th century, from the original manuscript in the Bodleian Library, Ashmole 1421. Samuel Norton was the great-grandson of the famous 15th century English alchemist Thomas Norton, author of the Ordinall of alchemy.
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Here beginneth the 8 th treatise of the Key of Alchimie containing the Rules of Multiplication and Projection


Having in the 7 afore passed Treatises labored, that this our key is now able to open our secret lock of Alchimie; yt now alonelie reseth that coveting to walcke and wander into these places at will, wee turne our key about in the locke, by which action wee turne back the spring the dore flieth open, and the way to entrance is plaine which in this Treatise I briefly mean to accomplish, in shewing the waies of multiplication and projection.
Wherefore note that as soone as our fixion aforesaid is made by setting our Elixir to fix in a furnace of fixation where the fire may be made above that by healp thereof the fire may strike downe the spirit upon the water, with whom it is to be joyned, in such sort that it ascend not, be kept downe, that by the helpe of administration of fire it may be kept still with the bodie and soule; that they may altogether commix into one masse, which will not fume but yeald easy fusion in fire; and pearse quickly; at which time we count it perfect Elixir and call it the Elixir of the first degree; for that it is then able to runn on a smaller quantity: which if it be fedd with milk and food will chaitoren like come to a fuller growth and so at the last to a man's stature; when hee shall bee to use the act of nature, and multiplie in his kinde; either as a plant, which nurished; or moistured with the heavenlie dew and raine, commeth by nurishing and ascending to a great tree and bringeth forth fruict innumerable; Of whom the seede, or kernel groweth, and againe becommeth to multiply in his owne proper kinde: Even so our Elixir fedd and nourished with the heavenly dewes and raines, that is tinctures which wee afore caled their vertues operative Namelie Lunaire and oile; the one to the white, and the other to the redd.
And thereof speaketh Aristotle that there behoveth to be much store of oile and tincture after the first fixion: For so much multitude of tintcure shall there bee, as there is of oile, water (1.) Lunary: Note therefore that although there bee but one multiplication in generall, that is to say, the multiplying of the white and redd: yet for that is done by two kinds and manners of worcking, wee therefore divide it into two parts: of which the one call multiplication, - spirituall, and the other, corporall; that is the one in quallitie, the other in quantitie; that that which before runned on 10, may be made to runne on a 100 to a 1000, and upward by the increasing thereof; of which I will first speake, and that alonelie to be done that the fixed may be made volatill, and againe the volatill fixed; and that by the often subliming of the water not fixed; upon the earth fixed.
Of this kind of multiplication, I find in Clangor Buccinae, et augmentum in qualitate pro bonitate est, yt and the augmentation or multiplication in quality and goodness is to dissolve and coagulate the [...] that is to imbibe it with our Mercury and to drie it up; with this place accordeth Arnold, saying, [...] tincturae praeparatee partem unam, yt Take of our prepared tincture, one parte, that is of our Elixir of the first degree, and dissolve him in 3 parts of our Mercury - that done, put it in a glass and seale it fast, and put it all under hot ashes untill it bee dried up and made into dust. That done, open this glass and imbibe it again [...] the after you shall doe soe, soe much the more shall you winn and have it tincted the higher; and transmute the larger; according and agreeing with those words written in Clangor Buccinae, Primus modus est, yt the first man is that you dissolve in the water, of his white or redd Mercury: of whom he was created, untill it become cleare water, and after that you shall congeale it and with his oiles incere it upon the fire untill it flows, by which his vertues shall be doubled in Tincture; which all his operations, and perfections, as shall be perceived in projection.
For that the waight which was afore projected on a 1000 will now runne and be projected upon 10,000 and in this kinde of multiplication, there is no great labor: againe I finde in the Rosarie, that if you take these medicines when they shall be fixed, and by giving them their white and redd Mercuries, and so congeale them, in their white and redd Mercuries, and so congeale them, their vertues shall everie time be doubled: so that if at the first his one part converts an 100 partes, it shall at the second time convert a 1000, at the 3rd time 10,000 and at the fourth 100,000, and the fifth time into 1,000,000 of true Sun and Moon.
Wherefore it is to be noted that in how much the more the medicine is dissolved, sublimed and congealed; so much the more, better, and abundantly it will work, because that in every imbibition and sublimation it winneth 10, in projection it therefore is no wearisome labour, in reiteration of sublimations or coagulation: ffor that by those meanes, the matter is better digested, united, fixed; and worcketh more perfectlie, his spiritual multiplication is done 2 waies, one by solution of heate, that you take the medicine; put it into a glass, and burne it in our moist fire; for 7 daies, until the medecine be dissolved into water; without any turbulent foeces; The other may by solution of thinness; that you take the glass vessaile with the medecine; and let it be hanged in a brasse pott, whose mouth is straight, in which let water boile, the mouth thereof being shut, that by the vapor of the boiling water, which ascendeth upward, the medecine may be dissolved, yet take heede, that the boiling water touch not the glass by the space of 3 fingers, and the solution will be done perhaps in one day, either in 2, or else in 3 daies: And after that the medecine shall be dissolved, take it off, and being cooled, let it be set to fire and congealed, to be hardened or dried; And in how much more the medicine shall be dissolved and fixed; the perfecter shall it bee; and such solution is his subtiliation and spiritual sublimation; which the more oftner it be done; so much greater and more full shall it tinct. Whereupon writeth Rasis: The goodness of this multiplication dependeth not, but in the often reiterating of it, in sublimation and fixation of the perfect medecine; For inasmuch more as the order of his [...], is reiterated, so much shall his exuberation worck the more and be increased the more; ffor how much more you shall dissolve the perfect medicine, so much more shall you winne every time to project one on a thousand, for if at the first it follow 1000 at he the second it will fall on 10,000, at the 3rd on a 100,000, at the 4th upon a 1000,000, and so to infinit:
To conclude this spirituall multiplication with the saying of Morien: Know for certaine (saith hee) that the more our stone is dissolved and congealed; so much the more the spirit and the bodie is conjoined, and the Tincture shall be increased: On this sort therefore make spirituall multiplication; Take the Elixir after it will run on 100, as it is a mean Elixir that tinckteth not so deep, and of him take one halfe and that dissolve with Mercury white or redd according to the nature of the Elixir, by powering of those Mercuries upon him untill he become by setting in Balneo liquid and cleane dissolved: then congeale him under fire till hee be powder: and so often you may it be congealed and dissolved, that it will no more become powder or drie, but remaine in oile; At which time it is oile incombustible and great Elixir, and this spitiruall multiplication belongeth chiefly to the Great Elixir:
The other multiplication which is done by often dissolving and congealing of the medicine; which is the augmentation in reretie, without any new adding of tincture, seventh to the lesser Elixir: To come therefore to multiplication, corporall or in quantitie; is when we cast it on bodies, thereby to make one ounce weight 100 or 1000 ounces weight and this is done by projection; Namelie, that an ounce weight of Elixir be cast on a 100 ounces of Mercury purged, and that it be thereby converted into medecine, whereof one ounce of that will burne a 100 more into medecine.
For better and plaine understanding; Take of the Elixir made into oile an angelle waight, which wee terme Elixir of the highest degree; and oile incombustible, project him upon his tenn waight of crude or common gold purged, and it shall bee turned into a pouder verie brittle, of which throwe his own angell waight on a hundred angell's waight of quick silver purged; and it shall bee medecine, converted into such a brittle substance, that if thereof bee throuwne upon his owne bodie, that is, on any of the bodies, if the Elixir's Mercury bee of the same, it shall bee converted into medecine, Of that, take one part and throwe on Mercury purged, or of his proper metall 1000, and it shall be turned into pure gould; and so likewise for silver, for the white Elixir; The medecine thus made is called the Elixir peregrinats; for it may be carried in one's purse, in pouder whereof, if you will multiply one part in vertue, grind it small, and therein poure of your Mercuries, which will dissolve and congeale as wee afore taught you; and so may do infinitely on the first manner of projection; which is on gold and silver purged.
Speaketh Ripley; your medecine being made perfect into Elixir, it is to be projected upon cleansed and purged bodies, but most chiefly upon the pure bodies; that is, our gold and silver: And therefore writeth hee further: The two earths being made perfect, the one into whit medecine the other into redd, that is into redd medecine; make oile (saith hee) of them both (1) subtill them, till they become the oile aforesaid; Then the white on silver; and the redd on gold; and then on other bodies; and the matters are at an end:
Where, right wiselie and plainelie I find in Scalacirc; Philosophorum: Melius tamen est projicere and c; writing therefore what hee should project, he willeth, Nune demittis, to be cast on fundamenta mea, Nune demittis, for that it is come now to the last worcke, and that is the last point, namelie, the Elixir made; he biddeth to cast that on fundamenta, which is gold and silver, for that they are grounds of the stone; and going to the next pointe, cast fundamenta super verba mea, hee meaneth quick silver purged; and that converted into medecine, to be super diligam Te Domine, that is on Saturn and Jupiter, if the Elixir be made on any of their parts, if of any other metalls on them;
For their kinde embraceth kinde, and maketh better fixion, For that between Mercuries and mettalls, there is a certeine love, which hee noteth in diligam Te, and diligam super attendite, ffor that the end whereto Alchimie attendeth is to create gold and silver; Hee saith, attendite, to shew that after thrice medecine, we must cease from projection to make medecine, and attende to making mettals; which will then be on 1000;
To end therefore the manner of projection; take this Rule, that as long as the mettall whereon you project carrieth an over deep goldenish or reddish colour, increase your quantity of mettall, and when your mettall declineth and decaiyeth in colour, increase, or put on more medecine, The practick of projection, and first on Mercury; Take Mercury, and thereon to put common salt and vinegere, and stir the quicksilver well therein, that done, straine it through fine linen cloth, and then you shall have it faire and right; which put into a crucible of goldsmith's pot and setting if over the coles till it begin to fume or smoke; then put in your medecine to the vertue of his conversion, and stirre it well together, and so it will be converted into perfect Sol and Lune; this projection upon Mercury, is of all, most best, for that it is of easiest liquefaction the next bodies unto that, are Saturn and Jupiter: ffor that in easie fusion, this cometh next, whose purgation is this: melt them in a crucible and in melting them, poure on Sal Armoniak; but better to throw over your metalls with Sal Armoniak afore you blow your fire, and when your mettalls are molten and cold, you shall have them as white as silver, then melt them againe; and into your crucible put your medecine, which stirr with an iron rodd; and when you see your matter well coloured, pour it out into an ingot, and suffering it there to coole, you shall find it transmuted into perfect mettall;
Of projection on other bodies I minde not to write, because the heat of melting iron and copper is fit smiths and copper smiths, but not for Princes; There resteth now nothing, whereon I should longer intreate, since all the treatise is treated, whereon I promised to intreat; save that I trust I may, without offense retract this one thing, where I promised in the end; to set downe how farr I had gone and proved in every one of the treatises; The which because I have alreadie unwarelie given out in every treatise, and hope your Highness will not now expect re-iteration, but cleane absolve mee from breach of promise: The last parte of all which I have now to doe, standeth not in intreating any longer; although altogether consisteth in craving; Wherefore, in most humble, dutiful and lowly manner I first of all crave pardon of your Majestie to bear with all; and to accept this my simple philosophy in goode parte; which I in this volume offer and present unto Your Highness; and with the writing the writer's hand to performe it, yf Your Highness shall command.