The Ordinall of Alchimy - Thomas Norton
Transcribed by Martin Stewart
Back to English alchemical verse .
Liber iste Clericis monstrat Scientiam,
Liber sed Laicis auget inscitiam:
Liber,honores juvans per copiam:
Et Liber pauperum fugans inopiam:
Liber fiducia est & veritatis:
Regibus consilium,doctrina Praelatis:
Et Liber utilis viris beatis
Vivere qui cupiunt absa peccatis.
Liber secretum,Liber doni Dei,
Electis semita , vires bonae spei,
Valens constantibus firmae fidei:
Ve non credentibus verbis oris mei.
Quaerunt Alchimiam,falsi quoque recti:
Falsi sine numero,sed bi sunt rejecti,
Et cupiditatibus(beu)tot sunt tres electi,
Istam ad scientiam multi sunt vocati
Qui no lunt labores , neque tempus pati ;
Ideo non perficient,quia sunt ingrati.
Liber Artis filios docet iste satis,
Quibus haec percipere deus dedit gratis,
Versiculis propheticis quatuor bis credatis,
Omnia dat gratis divinae fons pietatis.
Haec nobilis scientia est tantum illis data,
Qui diligunt justitiam,mente cum beata;
Dolosis,&raptoribus sed est denegata,
Propter peccata tardantur munera grata.
This Booke the greatest Clearkes mayteach,
But shorteneth the Vulgar-Reach:
A Booke that gets by Wealth)Renowne,
And Boggles at a thred-bare-Gowne:
A trusty-Booke of faithful-Things;
Instructing Priests,Advising Kings:
A Booke of secrets given by God;
To men Elect,a Beaten-Trod:
Availing such as constant be
In Faith,and Hope,and trusting Me.
Good Men and Bad, even Numberlesse,
(The latter,but without successe)
Desire the Art: But still (Alas!)
They are so given to Avarice,
That of a Million,hardly three
Were ere Ordaind for Alchimy.
Yet many called every Houre,
Learn'd and Unlearned,Rich,and Poore;
Who'll neither Tend,nor take the Paines;
And therefore Trudge without the Gaines.
On whom God doth this Art bestow,
Her Sons may herein fully know:
By these* foure-lines you may believe
Heaven doth all things gratis give.
This Art in such you only finde
As Justice love,with spotles-Minde:
But tis deny'd to guileful Men;
For sin protracts the gifts of Heaven.
*These foure Prophetick
lines extracted from
Sir John Abbot of Bridlingtons
Prophecies,llbi de Tauro&c.
Saepe Reges Anglia decorasset haec res ,
Firma si in domino fuisset eorum spes;
Ile sed qui capiet per hanc rem honores,
Antiquos Mores mutabit in meliores.
Iste cumque venerit, regnum reformabit,
Virtutibus,& moribus,&exemplum dabit
Sempiternum Regibus;plebs tunc jubilabit,
Et mutuo se diligens laudes Deo dabit:
O Rex,haec facturus ! Deum Regem ora,
Et ejus auxilium pro re hac implora:
Tunc regi justo fulgenti mente decora
Grata Supervenient qua non sperabitur bora.
These had adorn'd the English-Throne,
If they had trusted God alone:
For he that hereby Honor winns,
Shall change the old for better things.
And when he comes to rule the Land,
Reforme it with a vertuous hand:
Leaving examples of good deedes
To every King that him succeedes
Then shall the People Jubilize
In mutuall love;and Sacrifise
Praises to God. O king that shall
These Workes !implore the God of all
For timely helpe,in this good thing :
So to a Just,and Glorious King,
Most goodly Graces shall descend,
When least look'd for :to Crowne his End.
To the honor of God,One in Persons three,
This Boke is made,that Lay-men Shulde it
And Clerks alsoe,after my decease,
(see,Whereby all Lay-men which putteth
them in prease,)
To seech by Alkimy great ryches to winn
May finde good Counseller they such warke begin;
And greate deceipts they may hereby eschewe,
And by this doctrine know fals men from trewe.
Nathles Clerks greate seacreats heere may leare,
But all Lay men shall finde heere cause to feare,
And to beware of Fals illusions,
Which Multiplyers worke with their Conclusions :
But for that I desire not worldly fame,
But your good prayers,unknowne shall be my name.
That no man shulde therafter search,ne looke,
But wisely Consider the flowers of this booke:
Of every estate that is within Mankind
If yee make search much peolple ye may finde,
Which to Alkimy their Corage doe addres
Only for appetite of Lucre and Riches.
As Popes with Cardinalls of Dignity,
Archbyshopes with Byshopes of high degree;
With Abbots and Priors of Religion,
With Friars,Heremites,and Preests manie one ,
And Kings with Princes and Lords of great blood,
For every estate desireth after good;
And Merchaunts also which dwell in the fiere
Of brenning Covetise,have thereto desire;
And Common workemen will not be out-lafte,
For as well as Lords they love this noble Crafte:
As Gouldsmithes whom we shulde left repreve
For sights in their Craft meveth them to beleeve:
But wonder it is that Wevers deale with such warks,
Free Masons and Tanners with poore Parish Clerks;
Tailors and Glasiers woll not thereof cease,
And eke sely Tinkers will put them in the prease
With greate presumption ;but yet some collour there was,
For all such Men as give Tincture to Glasse:
But many Artificers have byn over-swifte
With hasty Credence to fume away their thrifte:
And albeit that losses made them to smarte,
Yet ever in hope continued their hearte ,
Trusting some tyme to speede right well,
Of such truly I can tell,
Which in such hope continued all their lyfe,
Whereby they were pore and made to unthrife:
It had byne good for them to have left off
In season,for noughte they founde but a scoffe,
For trewly he that is not a greate Clerke
Is nice and lewde to medle with this warke;
Ye may trust me well it is no small inginn
To know all secreats pertaining to the Myne;
For it is most profound Philosophie,
The subtill science of holy Alkimy ,
Of which Science I intend to write,
Howbeit I may not curiously indite.
For he that shulde all a common people teache,
He must for them use plaine and common speache;
Though that I write in plaine,and homely wise
No good Man then shulde such writenge dispise.
All Masters that write of this Soleme werke,
They made their Bokes to many Men full derke,
In Poyses,Parables,and in Metaphors alsoe,
Which to Shollers causeth peine and woe:
For in their practise when they would it assay,
They leefe their Costs, as men see aldaye.
Bacon,and Raimond,with others many moe
Wrote under covert,and Aristotle alsoe.
For what hereof they wrote with their penn,
Their Cloudy Clauses duiled many Men:
Fro Lay-men,Fro Clearks ,and so fro every Man
They hid this Art that no Man finde it cann.
By their bokes do they shew Reasons faire,
Whereby much people are brought into dispaire.
Yet Anaxagoras wrote plainest of all
In his boke of Conversions naturall;
Of the old Fathers that ever I founde
He most disclosed of this Science the grownde;
Whereof Aristotle had greate envy,
And him rebuked unrightfully
In many places,as I can well report,
Intending that men to him shulde not resort:
For he was large of his cunning and love,
God have his soule in blisse with him above:
And suche as sowed envious seede,
God forgive them their misdeede.
As the Mounke which a Boke did write
Of a thousand receipts in mallice for despight;
Which be coppied in many a place
Whereby hath beene made pale many a Face;
And many Gownds have byne made bare of hewe,
And men made fals which before tyme were trewe.
Wherefore my Pitty doth me consteyne
To shew the trewth in fewe words and plaine,
Soe that you may fro false doctrine flee,
If ye give Credence to this boke and mee;
Avoide your Bokes written of Receipts,
For all such Receipts are full of Deceipts;
Trust not such Receipts,and lerne well this Clause,
Nothing is wrought but by his proper Cause :
Wherefore that Practise falleth farr behinde
Wher Knowledge of the cause is not in minde:
Therefore remember ever more wisely,
That your woorke nothing but you knowe howe and whie.
Alsoe he that would in this Arte proceede ,
To eschewe falshood he hath greate need:
For trewth is good which this Arte must guide,
Wherefore to falshood ye may never slide;
But stedfastly your minde must be set,
Fals Colloured Metall never to Counterfett ;
As thei that seeke Blanchers or Citrinacions,
Which woll not abide all Examinacions,
Wherewith fals Plate they make as they cann
Or Money to beguile some good trew Mann:
But God hath made that of this blessed Arte,
All that be fals shall have thereof noe parte;
He must have Grace that would for this Arte sue,
Therefore of right him needeth to be trew:
Also he may not be trobled in his Minde
With outward changes ,which this Arte would finde:
And he that would have his intent,
He must have Riches sufficient.
In many wayes he maie not looke
But only pursue the order of this Boke;
Named of Alkimy the Ordinall,
The Crede mihi,the Standard perpetuall:
For like as the Ordinall to Preests setteth out
The service of the dayes as they goe aboute:
Soe of all the Bokes unordered in Alkimy
The effect is here set out Orderly:
Therefore this Boke to an Alchimister wise,
Is a Boke of incomparable price;
Whose trewth shall never be defiled,
Though it appeare in homely wise compiled:
And as I had this Arte by Grace from Heaven,
I give you the same here in chapters Seaven:
As largely as by my fealty I may,
By licence of the dreadfull Judge at domes daye.
The first Chapter shall all Men teache
What manner People may this Science reache,
And whie the trew Science of Alkimy ,
Is of old Fathers called Blessed and Holy.
In the Second Chapter maie be sayne,
The nice Joyes thereof, with the greate paine.
The third Chapter for the love of One,
Shall trewly disclose the Matters of our Stone;
Which the Arabies doon Elixir call,
Whereof it is, there understonde you shall.
The fowerth Chapter teacheth the grosse Werke,
A foule laboure not kindly for a Clerke.
In which is found full greate travaile,
With many perills, and many a faile.
The fift Chapter is of the Subtill Werk,
Which God ordeyned only for a Clerke;
Full few Clerks can it comprehend,
Therefore to few Men is the Science send.
The sixt Chapter is of Concord and love,
Between low natures,and heavenly spheares above:
Whereof trew knowledge advanceth greatly Clerks,
And causeth furtherance in our wonderfull werks.
The seventh Chapter trewly teach you shall,
The doubtfull Regiments of your Fires all.
Now Soveraigne Lord God me guide and speed,
For to my Matters as now I will proceede,
Praying all men which this Boke shall finde,
With devoute Prayers to have my Soule in minde.
And that noe Man for better ne for worse,
Chaunge my writing for drede of Gods curse:
For where quick sentence shall seame not to be
Ther may wise men finde selcouthe previtye;
And chaunging of some one sillable
May make this Boke unprofitable.
Therefore trust not to one Reading or twaine,
But twenty tymes it would be over sayne;
For it conteyneth full ponderous sentence,
Albeit that it faute forme of Eloquence ;
But the best thing that ye doe shall,
Is to reade many Bokes,and than this withall.
Maistryefull merveylous and Archimastrye
Is the tincture of holi Alkimy:
A wonderfull Science,Secrete Philosophie,
A singular grace & gifte of th'almightie:
Which never was founde by labour of Mann,
But it by Teaching,or Revelacion begann.
It was never for Mony sold ne bought,
By any Man which for it hath sought:
But given to an able Man by grace,
Wrought with greate Cost,with long layfir and space.
It helpeth a Man when he hath neede,
It voydeth vaine Glory,Hope,and also dreade:
It voydeth Ambitousnesse,Extorcion,and Excesse,
It fenceth Adversity that shee doe not oppresse.
He that thereof hath his full intent,
Forsaketh Extremities,with Measure is content.
Some people would not have it cauled Holy,
And in this wise thei doe replye,
Thei say how Painims maie this Arte have,
Such as our Lord God woll never save:
For their wilfull fals infidelitie,
The cause of goodnes, possessours cannot be.
Alsoe it maketh none other thing
But Gold or Silver,for Mony,Cupp,or Ring.
Whiche of wise men is proved and well founde
Least verteous thing that is upon the Ground.
Wherefore concluding all men of the sect,
Say,how this Science n'is holy in effect.
To this we say and wittnes as we cann
How that this Science was never taught to Man;
But he were proved perfectly with space,
Whether he were able to recyve this Grace:
For Trewth, Vertue, and for his stable Witt,
Which if he faulte he shall never have it;
Also no man coulde yet this Science reach,
But if God send a Master him to teach:
For it is soe wonderfull and soe selcouth,
That it must needes be tought from mouth to mouth:
Also he must(be he neverr soe loath)
Receive it with a most sacred dreadfull Oath,
That as we refuse greate dignitie and fame,
Soe he must needly refuse the same.
And also that he shall not be so wilde
To teach this seacret to his owne childe;
For nighnes of Blood ne Consanguinity
May not accepted be to this dignity:
Soe blood as blood,may have hereof noe part,
But only vertue winneth this holy Arte:
Therefore straightly you shall search and see,
All manners and vertues with th'abilitie
Of the person which which shall this Scyence leere,
And in likewise make him straightlie swere:
Soe that noe man shall leave this Arte behinde,
But he an able and approved Man can finde;
When Age shall greeve him to ride or goe,
One he may teach,but then never no moe:
For this Science must ever secret be,
The Cause whereof is this as ye may see;
If one evill man had hereof all his will
All Christian Pease he might hastilie spill,
And with his Pride he might pull downe
Rightfull Kings and Princes of renowne:
Wherefore the sentence of perill and jeopardy,
Upon the Teacher resteth dreadfully.
So than for doubt of such pride and wreach,
He must be ware that will this Science teach:
No Man therefore maie reach this greate present,
But he that hath vertues excellent.
Soe though Men weene Possessours not to aide,
To hallow this Science as before is said;
Neither seeme not blessed effectually,
Yet in her Order this is holy.
And forasmuch as noe Man maie her finde
But only by grace,she is holy of her kinde.
Also it is a worke and Cure divine,
Foule Copper to make Gold or Silver fine:
No man maie finde such chaunge by his thought,
Of divers kinds which Gods hands have wrought.
For Gods Conjunctions Man maie not undoe,
But if his Grace fully consent thereto,
By helpe of this Science,which our Lord above
Hath given to such Men as he doth love;
Wherefore old Fathers conveniently
Called this Science Holy Alkimy.
Therefore noe Man shulde be too swifte,
To cast away our Lords blessed guift:
Consideringe how that Almighty God
From great Doctours hath this Science forbod,
And graunted it to few Men of his mercy,
Such as be faithfull trew and lowly.
And as there be but Planets seaven
Amonge the multitude of starrs in Heaven:
Soe among millions of millions of Mankinde,
Scarslie seaven men maie this Science finde.
Wherefore Lay men ye may lere and see
How many Doctors of great authoritie,
With many searchers hath this Science sought,
Yet all their labours have turned into nought;
If thei did cost, yet found thei none availe,
For of their purpose every tyme thei faile;
And in despaire thei reason and departe,
And then thei said how there is noe such arte;
But fained Fables thei name it where thei goe,
A fals fond thing thei say it is alsoe:
Such Men presume too much upon their minde,
They weene their witts sufficient this Arte to finde.
But of their flaunder and words of outrage,
We take thereof trewlie little Charge:
For such be not invited to our feast,
Which weeneth themselves wise and can doe leaste.
Albeit such Men lift not lenger to persue,
Yet is this Science of Alkimy full trew;
And albeit some proude Clerks say nay
Yet every wise Clerke well consider may,
How he whiche hereof might no trewth see
Maie not hereof lawfull wittnes be,
For it were a wonderous thing and queinte,
A man that never had sight to peinte.
How shoulde a borne blinde Man be sure
To write or make good Portrature.
To build Poules steeple might be greate doubt,
For such proude Clerks to bring aboute;
Such might well happ to breake their crowne,
Ere they coude wisely take it downe.
Wherefore all such are full farr behinde.
To fetch out the secreatest pointe of kinde.
Therefore all Men take theire fortune and chaunce,
Remit such Clerks to their Ignorance.
Now ye that will this Science pursue,
Learne ye to know fals Men from trew.
All trew searchers of this Science of Alkimy,
Mustbe full learned in their first Philosophie:
Else all their laboure shall them let and greive,
As he that fetcheth Water in a sive;
The trew men search and seeke all alone
In hope to finde our delectable stone,
And for that thei would that no Man shulde have losse,
They prove and seeke all at their owne Cost;
Soe their owne Purses they will not spare,
They make their Coffers thereby full bare,
With greate Patience thei doe proceede,
Trusting only in God to be their speede.
The fals man walketh from Towne to Towne,
For the most parte in a threed-bare-Gowne;
Ever searching with diligent awaite
To winn his praye with some fals deceit
Of swearing and leasing ;such will not cease,
To say how they can Silver plate increase.
And ever they rayle with perjury;
Saying how they can Multiplie
Gold and Silver,and in such wise
With promise thei please the Covetise,
And Causeth his minde to be on him sett,
Then Falsehood and Covetise be well mett.
But afterwards within a little while
The Multiplier doth him beguile
With his faire promise,and with his fals othes,
The Covetise is brought to threed-bare clothes:
But I dare not least I give comforte
To such as be disposed to Treachery;
For so much hurte mought come thereby;
Wherefore advise you and be wise,
Of them which proffer such servise.
If they had Cunning have ye no doubt,
They woll be loath to shew it out:
When such men promise to Multiplie,
They compasse to doe some Villony,
Some trew mans goods to beare awaye;
Of such fellows what shulde I saye?
All such false men where ever thei goe,
They shulde be punished,thei be not so.
Upon Nature thei falsely lye
For Mettalls doe not Multiplie;
Of this Sentence all men be sure,
Evermore Arte must serve Nature.
Nothing multiplieth as Auctors sayes,
But by one of theis two wayes,
One by rotting,called Putrefaction;
That other as Beasts,by Propagation;
Propagation in Mettalls maie not be,
But in our Stone much like thing ye may see.
Putrefaction must destroy and deface,
But it be don in its proper place.
Mettalls of kinde grow lowe under ground,
For above erth rust in them is found;
Soe above erth appeareth corruption,
Of mettalls,and in long tyme destruction,
Whereof noe Cause is found in this Case,
But that above Erth thei be not in their place.
Contrarie places to nature causeth strife,
As Fishes out of water losen their Lyfe:
And Man,with Beasts,and Birds live in ayer,
But Stone and Mineralls under Erth repaier.
Physicians and Appoticaries faut appetite and will,
To seech water flowers on a dry hill:
For God hath ordeyned of his wisdome and grace,
All things to grow in their naturall place.
Against this doctrine some Men replie,
And say that Mettalls doe Multiplie:
For of Silver,Lead,Tinn,and also Brasse,
Some veyne is more,and some is lasse,
Or which diversitie Nature shulde cease,
If Mettalls did not multiplie and increase;
Wherefore they say that reason sheweth nowe,
How that under Erth they multiplie and growe;
Why not then above Erth in vessells close and faire,
Such as shulde preserve them from Fire Water and Aier:
Hereto we say this reason is but rude,
For this is noe perfect similitude;
For cause efficient of Mettalls finde ye shall
Only to be the vertue Minerall,
Which in everie Erth is not found,
But in certaine places of eligible ground;
Into which places the Heavenly Spheare,
Sendeth his beames directly everie yeare.
And as the matters there disposed be
Such Mettalls thereof formed shall you see.
Few grownds be apt to such generation:
How shoulde then above ground be Multiplication:
Also all men perceyven that be wise,
How Water conjealed with Cold is yse;
And before tyme it harded was
Some lay in more places ans some in lasse,
As water in fosses of the Carte-Wheele,
Were veynes smale whan they began to keele,
But water in ditches made veynes more,
For plenty of water that was therein froare.
Hereupon to say it were noe good advice,
That therefore of yse should multiply more yse.
Soe though there be of Mettalls veynes more and lasse,
It proveth not that they increase more then it was,
Alsoe ye may trust without any doubt,
If Multiplying should be brought about:
All th'engredience must draw to simplcity,
And breake Composition as yearly ye may see:
For Multiplying of Hearbes how Nature hath provided,
That all things joyned in the seede be divided:
Else stalke and leaves which vertually therein be,
May not come forth actually that eye mought them see.
But Mettall holdeth his holle Composicion,
When corrasive waters have made dissolucion:
Therefore syth yse is nerrer to simplicity,
Then is Mettall,and maie not increased be,
Trewly ye maie trust as I said before,
How of one ounce of Silver,maie Silver be noe more.
Also nothing multiplyed shall ye finde,
But it be of Vegetative or of Sensitive kinde:
Where Mettalls be only Elamentative,
Having noe seede,nether feeling of life;
Wherefore concluding all Multipliers must cease,
For Mettalls once Mettalls shall noe more increase;
Nathlesse one Mettall transmuted we finde,
Unto a Mettall of another kinde,
For propinquity of matter that in them was,
As it is knowne betwixt Iron and Brasse.
But to make trew Silver or Gold is noe ingin,
Except only the Philosophers medicine.
Wherefore such leasings as Multipliers use,
Clerks reprove and utterly refuse;
Such art of Multiplying is to be reproved,
But holy Alkimy is right to be loved,
Which treateth of a precious Medicine,
Such as trewly maketh Gold and Silver fine:
Whereof example for Testimonie,
Is in a Citty of Catilony.
Which Raymond Lully,Knight;men suppose,
Made in Seaven Images the trewth to disclose;
Three were good Silver,in shape like Ladies bright,
Everie each of Foure were Gold and did a Knight:
In borders of their Clothing Letters did appeare,
Signifying in Sentence as it sheweth here.
1.Of old Horshoes (said one)I was yre,
Now I am good Silver as good as ye desire.
2.I was(said another)Iron fet from the Mine,
But now I am Gould pure perfect and fine.
3.Whilome was I Copper of an old red pann,
Now am I good Silver,said the third woman.
4.The fourth saide,I was Copper growne in the filthy place,
Now am I perfect Gould made by Gods grace.
5.The fift said,I was Silver perfect through fine,
Now am I perfect Goulde,excellent,better than the prime.
6.I was a Pipe of Leade well nigh two hundred yeare,
And now to all men good Silver I appeare.
7.The Seventh said,I Leade am Gould made for a Maistrie,
But trewlie my fellowes are nerer thereto then I.
This Science beareth her name of a King,
Called Alchimus,Without leasing:
A glorious Prince of most noble minde,
His noble vertues holpe him this arte to finde;
He searched Nature,he was nobil Clerke,
He left Extorcion,then sought and found this werke.
King Hermes alsoe he did the same,
Being a Clerke of Excellent fame;
In his Quadripartite made of Astrologie,
Of Physique and of this Arte of Alkimy,
And also of Magique naturall,
As of four Sciences in nature passing all.
And there he said that blessed is hee
That knoweth things truly as thei bee.
And blessed is he that maketh due proofe,
For that is roote of cunning and roofe;
For by opinion is many a Man
Deceived,which hereof litle cann.
An old Proverbe,In a Bushell of weeninge,
Is not found one handfull of Cunninge:
With due proofe and with discreet assaye,
Wise men may leare new things every day.
By Cunninge,Men know themselves and every thinge;
Man is but a Beast and worse without Cunninge:
But litle favour hath every Man
To Science whereof he litle can;
And litle Cunning maketh men proud and wilde,
Sufficient Cunning maketh men full milde.
Nobil men now in manner have despighte
Of them that have to Cunning appetite:
But noble Kings in auncient dayes,
Ordained(as olde Auctors saies,)
That the seven Sciences to learne and scan,
Shulde none but only a Noble man;
And at the least he shulde be so free,
That he mought Studie with libertie;
Wherefore old Sages did them call
The Seaven Sciences liberall:
For he that would leare them perfectly and well,
In cleere liberty he must dwell.
From worldly warkes he must withdrawe,
That would lerne but Mans Lawe:
Much more the Worlde he must forsake,
Which many Sciences woulde overtake.
And for that cause Men may well see,
Why Cunninge men dispised be.
Yet nobil Memory shall never cease,
Of him which Cunninge doth increase.
Hee which loveth Cunning,Justice,and Grace
Is set aside in many a place;
But whoe to Courte bringeth in with guile,
Profit,or present,he is the Man that while.
Wherefore this Science and many Graces moe,
Be lost and be departed all ye fro.
And furthermore remember what I say,
Sinn caleth fast for his ending day:
Covetise and Cunninge have discorde by kinde;
Who lucre coveteth this Science shall not finde;
But he loveth Science for his blessed minde.
Of this Chapter more I need not teach,
For here appeareth what men may it reach:
That is to remember only the trewe,
And he that is constant in minde to pursue,
And is not Ambitious ,to borrow hath no neede,
And can be Patient,not hasty for to speede;
And that in God he set fully his trust,
And that in Cunning be fixed all his lust;
And with all this he leade a rightfull lyfe,
Falshoode subduinge,support no sinfull strife:
Such Men be apt this science to attaine.
The Chapter following,is of Joy and paine.
Normandy nurished a Monke of late,
Which deceived Men of every state.
But before that done he in his fantazie,
Weened he had caught this Art fully.
Such rejoycing thereof he had,
That he began to dote and be madde.
Of whole Joyes(albeit they were smalle)
For an ensample I write this Tale.
This Monke had walked about in Fraunce,
Raunging Apostata in his plesaunce.
And after he came into this lond,
Willing Men should understonde;
How that of Alkimy he had the grounde,
By a Boke of Receipts which he had founde.
In surety thereof he set all his minde,
Some nobil Acte to leave behinde;
Whereby his name should be immortall,
And his greate Fame in laude perpetuall.
And ofte he mused where to beginne,
To spend the riches that he shulde winn.
And ever he thought loe this I cann,
Where mought I finde some trusty Man,
Which would accorde now with my will,
And help my purpose to fulfill.
Then would I make upon the plaine
Of Salisbury glorious to be saine,
Fifteen Abbies in a little while,
One Abbie in the end of every mile.
Hereupon this Monke to me resorted,
Of trust(he said)which men of me reported,
His foresaid mind he did to me tell,
And prayd me to keep his great Councell.
I said before an Image of Saint Jame,
That I would never disclose his name;
Yet I may write without all vice,
Of his desires that were so nice.
When he had discovered his great Cunning,
He said that he faughted nothing,
But a good meane for his solace,
To labour to the Kings good grace,
To get lycence of his estate,
And of his Lords mediate,
To purchase lond for the Abbies aforesaid,
For which all coste should be well paied;
But yet he had great doubt and feare,
How to purchase,of whom,and where.
When I had heard of this greate werke,
I searched (to wit)what manner of Clerke
He was,and what he knew of Schoole,
And therein he was but a Foole.
Yet I suffered,and held me still,
More to lerne of his lewd Will.
Then said I,it were a lewd thinge,
Such matter to shew unto the Kinge;
But if the proofe were reasonable,
He would thinke it a foolish Fable.
The Monke said how that he had in fire,
A thing which shulde fulfill his desire,
Whereof the trewth within forty dayes,
I shulde well know by trew affaies.
Then I said,I would no more that tyde,
But forty dayes I said I would abide.
When forty dayes were gone and past,
The Monkes Crafte was cleane overcast.
Then all his Abbies and all his thought,
Was turned to a thing of nought;
And as he came,he went full lewde,
Departing in a minde full shrewd:
For soone after within a little while,
Many trewe men he did beguile;
And afterwards went into Fraunce.
Loe! this was a pittifull chance,
That fifteene Abbies of Religion,
Shulde in this wise fall to confusion.
Great wonder was what thing he meant,
And why he set all his intent
Abbies to build;then was it wonder,
Why nould he live Obedient under,
But be Apostata,and range about,
This blessed Science to finde out:
But as I wrote above in this Boke,
Let no Deceiver after this Science looke.
Another Ensample is good to tell,
Of one that trusted to doe as well
As Raymond Lully,or Bacon the Frier,
Wherefore he named himselfe saunce peere;
He was Parson of a little Town,
Not farr from the Citty of London,
Which was taken for halfe a Leach,
But little cunning had he to Preach;
He weened him sure this Arte to finde;
His Name he would have ever in minde
By meanes of a Bridge,imagined in dotage,
To be made over Thames for light passage:
Whereof shulde grow a Common case,
All the Countrey thereabout to please.
Yet though he might that warke fulfill,
It might in no wise suffice his will;
Wherefore he would set up in hight,
That Bridge for a wonderfull sight,
With Pinacles guilt shining as goulde,
A glorious thing for men to beholde.
Then he remembred of the newe,
How greater fame shulde him pursue,
If he mought make that Bridge so bright,
That it mought shine also by Nighte.
And so continue and not breake,
Then all the Londe of him would speake.
But in his minde ran many a doubt,
How he might bring that warke about;
He trowed that Lampes with lights of fire,
Shulde well performe his nice desire;
Wherefore Lampes for that intent,
He would ordaine sufficient:
But then he fell in full great dreade,
How after the time that he were deade;
That light to find Men would refuse,
And chaunge the Rent to some other use.
Then thoughte he well is him that wiste,
In whom he mought set all his trust;
At th laste he thought to make the light,
For that Bridge to shine by nighte,
With Carbuncle Stones,to Make men wonder,
With duble reflexion above and under:
Then new thoughts troubled his Minde,
Carbuncle Stones how he mought find;
And where to find wise men and trewe,
Which would for his intent pursue,
In seeking all the Worlde about,
Plenty of Carbuncles to find out;
For this he tooke soe micle thought,
That his fatt flesh wasted nigh to nought:
And where he trusted without despaire,
Of this Science to have been heire,
When the yeare was fully come and goe,
His Crafte was lost,and thrift also;
There was no matter for Gold ne Brasse:
Then he was angry and well neere wood,
For he had wasted away his good:
In this wise ended all his disporte,
What should I more of him report.
But that Lay-men and Clerks in Schooles,
Maie know the dotage of theis two fooles,
Remember this example where ye goe,
For in such Mindes be trewlie many moe:
Theie lewdly beleeve every Conclusion,
Be it never so false an elusion:
If it in boke written they may finde,
Thei weene it trewe,thei be so lewde of minde.
Such lewd and hasty confidence,
Causeth poverty and lewde expence.
Of trust of this Arte riseth Joyes nice,
For lewde hope is fooles Paradice.
The trewe tought Children made this confession,
Lord without thee all is digression;
For as thou arte of our Science begininge,
Soe without thee may be noe good endinge.
As of the Joyes of this Arte ye have seene,
Soe shall ye now heare some deale of the Paine:
Albeit contrary to the appetite
Of them that hath to this Science delight.
The first Paine is to remember in minde,
How many seeken,and how few doe finde,
And yet noe Man may this Science wynn,
But it be tought him before that he beginn;
He is well lerned, and of full cleere witt,
Which by teaching can surely lerne it:
Of many diversities he must be sure,
Which secreats woulde know of working Nature:
Yet teaching maie not surely availe,
But that sometime shall happ a man to faile;
As all that be now dead and gone
Failed before theie found our Stone:
One tyme or other,first tyme or laste,
All Men failed till trew Practise were paste;
No Man sooner faileth in heate and colde,
Then doth the Master which hasty is and boulde:
For noe Man sooner maie our Worke spill,
Then he that is presuminge his purpose to fulfill:
But he that shall trewlie doe the deede
He must use providence and ever worke with dreade;
For of all paines the most grevious paine,
Is for one faile to beginn all againe.
Every man shall greate Paine have
When he shall first this Arte covet and crave,
He shall oft tymes Chaunge his desire,
With new tydings which he shall heare;
His Councell shall oftentimes him beguile,
For that season he dreadeth noe subtile wile:
And oftentymes his minde to and for,
With new Oppinions he shall chaunge in woe:
And soe long tyme continue in Phantasie,
A greate adventure for him come thereby:
Soe of this Arte be ye never so faine,
Yet he must taste of manie a bitter paine.
Of Paines yet I must shewe more,
Against your appetite though it be full sore:
It is greate Paine, as all wise-men gesse,
To witt where a trewe Master is;
And if ye finde him,it will be Paine,
Of his trewe love to be certeyne.
Forasmuch as noe Man maie teach but one,
Of the making of our delicious stone;
And albeit yee finde him that will ye teach,
Yet much trouble and paines may ye reach;
For if your minde be verteously set,
Then the Devil will labour you to lett;
In three wises to let he woll awaite,
With Haste,with Despaire,and with Deceipte:
For dreade of Vertue which ye maie doe,
When ye shulde attaine this grace unto.
The first perill aforesaide is of Haste,
Which causeth most destruction and waste;
All Auctors writing of this Arte,
Saye haste is of the Devils parte:
The little Boke writ of the Philosophers feast,
Saith,omnis festinatio ex parts diaboli est:
Wherefore that Man shall soonest speede,
Which with greate Leasure wisely woll proceede;
Upon assay ye shall trewly knowe
That who most hasteth he trewly shalbe slowe;
For he with haste shall bringe his warke arreare,
Sometymes a Moneth,and sometymes a whole Yeare
And in this Arte it shall ever be soe,
That a hasty Man shall never faile of woe:
Alsoe of haste ye may trewly be sure
That she leaveth nothing cleane and pure;
The Devil hath none so subtill wile,
As with hastinesse you to beguile;
Therefore oft tymes he will assault,
Your minde with haste to make default;
He shall finde grace in Towne and Land,
Which can hastines all tymes withstand:
I say all tymes, for in one pointe of tyme,
Haste may destroy all your engine;
Therefore all haste eschewe and feare,
As if that she a Devil were.
My witt trewly cannot suffice,
Haste sufficiently for to despise;
Many Men have byne cast in greate care,
Because thei would not of haste beware:
But ever call upon to see an end,
Which is temtation of the Fende:
Noe more of haste at this present,
But blessed be ever the Patient.
When with Haste the Feind hath noe availe,
Then with Despaire your mind he wil assaile;
And oft present this Sentence to your minde,
How many seeken,and how few maie finde,
Of wiser Men then ever were yee:
What suretie than to you maie be :
He woll move ye to doubt also
Whether your Teacher had it or noe;
And also how it mought so fall,
That part he tought you but not all;
Such uncertainety he woll cast out,
To set your minde with greevous doubt;
And soe your Paines he woll repaire
With wann hope and with much Despaire;
Against this assault is no defence,
But only the vertue of Confidence:
To whome reason shulde you leade,
That you shall have noe cause to dreade;
If you wisely call to your minde
The vertuous manners,such as you finde
In your Master and your Teacher,
Soe shall you have noe neede to feare;
If you consider all Circumstances about,
Whether he tought you for Love or for Doubt;
Or whether Motion of him began,
For it is hard to trust such a Man:
For he that profereth hath more neede
Of you,then you of him to speede.
This wise certainely ye maie well win,
Before that you your warkes do begin;
When such certainety ye truly have,
Fro Dispaire ye maie be sure and save.
But who can finde such a Master out,
As was my Master,him needeth not to doubt:
Which right nobil was and fully worthy laude,
He loved Justice,and he abhorred fraude;
He was full secrete when other men were lowde,
Loath to be knowne that hereof ought he Could;
When men disputed of Colours of the Rose,
He would not speake but keepe himselfe full close;
To whome I laboured long and many a day,
But he was solleyn to prove with straight assaye,
To search and know of my Disposition,
With manifold proofes to know my Condition:
And when he found unfeigned fidelity,
In my greate hope which yet nothing did see,
At last I conquered by grace divine
His love,which did to me incline.
Wherefore he thought soone after on a tyde,
That longer delayes I ne shulde abide;
My manifold letters,my heavie heart and cheere,
Moved his Compassion,thei perced him full neere;
Wherefore his Penn he would noe more refraine,
But as heere followeth soe wrote he againe.
My very trusty,my deere beloved Brother,
I must you answer,it may be none other;
The tyme is come you shall receive this Grace,
To your greate comfort and to your solace:
Your honest desire with your greate Confidence,
Your Vertue proved with your Sapience;
Your Love,your Trewth,your long Perseverance,
Your stedfast Minde shall your Desire advance:
Wherefore it is neede that within short space,
Wee speake together,and see face to face:
If I shulde write,I shulde my fealty breake,
Therefore Mouth to Mouth I must needes speake;
And when you come,mine Heier unto this Arte
I will you make,and fro this londe departe.
Ye shall be both my Brother and myne Heier,
Of this greate secrete whereof Clerkes despaire:
Therefor thanke God which giveth this renowne,
For it is better then to were a Crowne:
Next after his Saints,our Lord doth him call
Which hath this Arte to honour him withall:
Noe more to you at this present tyde,
But hastily to see me,dispose you to ride.
This Letter receiving,I hasted full sore,
To ride to my Master an hundred miles and more;
And there Forty dayes continually,
I learned all the secreats of Alkimy:
Albeit Philosophy by me was understonde,
As much as of many other in this Londe;
Nethles fooles which for their Science sought,
Ween that in forty dayes it wilbe wrought.
Betweene Forty dayes warke now ye may see,
And Forty dayes lerninge is greate diversitie;
Then darke doubts to me appeared pure,
There fownd I disclosed the Bonds of Nature:
The cause of Wonders were to me soe faire,
And so reasonable,that I could not dispaier.
If your Master and ye resemble all aboute
My good Master and me,than have ye no doubte.
The third Impediment deceipt we call,
Amongst other to me the worst all;
And that is of Servaunts that shulde awaite
Upon your warke,for some can much deceipte;
Some be negligent,some sleeping by the fire,
Some be ill-willd,such shall let your desire;
Some be foolish,and some be over bold,
Some keepe no Counsell and Doctrine to them tould;
Some be filthie of hands and of sleeves,
Some meddle straunge Matter,that greately greeves;
Some be drunken,and some use much to jape,
Beware of thes if you will hurt escape,
The Trew be foolish,the Witty be false,
That one hurts me Sore,that other als:
For when I had my warke well wrought,
Such stale it away and left me nought.
Then I remembring the cost,the tyme,and the paine,
Which I shulde have to begin againe,
With heavie hearte farewell adieu said I,
I will noe more of Alkimy.
But howe that chaunce befell that Season,
Few men would beleeve by reason:
Yet Tenn persons be witnes trew all
How that mishapp did me befalle,
Which might not be only by Man,
Without the Devil as they tell can.
I made also the Elixer of life,
Which me bereft a Merchaunt's wife:
The Quintessens I made also,
With other secrets manie moe,
Which sinfull people tooke me fro,
To my greate paine and much more woe:
Soe in this worke there is no more to saine,
But that every joy is medled with his paine.
Of Paine there is litle yet behinde,
Which is convenient to be had in minde,
That fell upon a blessed Man;
Whereof the trewth report I cann.
Thomas Daulton this good man height,
He served God both day and night,
Of the Red Medicine he had greate Store,
I trowe never English man had more.
A Squier for the body of King Edward,
Whose name was Thomas Herbert,
Tooke this Daulton against his desier,
Out of an Abbie in Gloucester shier,
And brought him in presence of the King,
Whereof Deluis had some tiding,
For Daulton was whilome Deluis's Clerke;
Deluis was Squier in confidence
With King Edward oft in his presence.
Deluis reported that in a little stounde,
How Daulton had made to him a thousand pound
Of as good Goulde as the Royall was,
Within halfe a daye and some dele lasse;
For which Deluis sware on a Booke.
Then Daulton on Deluis cast his looke,
And said to Deluis,Sir you be forswore,
Wherefore your hert hath cause to be sore.
Of nothing said he,that I now have told,
Witnes our Lord whom Judas sould.
But once said Deluis I sware to thee,
That thou shouldst not be uttered by me;
Which I may breake well I understand,
For the Kings weale and for all his Lande.
Then said Daulton full soberlie,
This answer voydeth no perjury.
How should the King in you have Confidence,
Your untrewth confessed in his presence.
But Sir said Daulton to the Kings Grace,
I have bin troubled oft in many a place
For this Medicine greviously and sore,
And now I thought it should hurt me no more:
Wherefore in the Abbie where I was take,
I cast it in a foule and Common lake
Going to the River which doth ebb and flowe,
There is destroyed as much riches nowe,
As would have served to the Holy land,
For twenty thousand men upon a band.
I kept it longe for Lords blessed sake,
To helpe a Kinge which that journey would make.
Alas Daulton then saide the Kinge,
It was fowly don to spill such a thinge.
He would have Daulton to make it againe,
Daulton said it might not be certeine:
Why(said the Kinge)how came ye thereby?
He said by a Channon of Lichfielde trewly,
Whose workes Daulton kept dilligently,
Many yeares till that Channon must dye.
And for his service he said in that space,
The Cannon gave him all that thereof was;
The Kinge gave to Daulton Marks foure,
With liberty to goe where he would that houre.
Then was the Kinge in his herte sore,
That he had not knowne Daulton before.
And ever it happneth without leasinge,
That Tyrants be full nigh to a Kinge.
For Herberte lay for Daulton in waight,
And brought him to Stepney with deceipte.
The servaunts of Herbert the mony tooke away
Which the King gave to Daulton that day.
And after Herbert carried Daulton farr,
From thence to the Casle of Gloucester,
There was Daulton prisner full longe,
Herbert to Daulton did mickle wronge:
Fro thence he had him to prison fast
To Troy,till foure yeares were nigh past,
And after he brought him out to dye;
Daulton to death obeyed lowly,
And said Lord Jesue blessed thou be,
Me thinks I have byne too longe from thee.
A Science thou gavest me with full greate charge,
Which I have kept without outrage.
I founde noe man yet apt thereto,
To be myne Heyer when I am goe:
Wherefore(Sweete Lord)now I am faine
To resigne this thy guift to thee againe.
Then Daulton made devout prayers,and still
With smiling cheere he said now doe your wil.
When Herbert sawe him so glad to dye,
Then ran water from Herberts Eye:
For Prison ne Death could him not availe
To winn this Arte,his Crafte did him faile.
Now let him goe said Herbert than,
For he shall never hurt ne proffet man
But when Daulton from the block should rise,
He looked forth in full heavie wise,
And so departed with full heavie cheere,
It was not his will to live one yeare.
This was his Paine as I you tell,
By men that had no dread of Hell.
Herbert dyed soone after in his bed,
And Deluis at Teuxbury lost his head;
This wise greate Paine,as you may see,
Followeth this Arte in every degree.
Heere lost the King all his intent,
For Herbert was proude and violent,
Soe nobil a man to oppresse with pride,
And like a Fellone him leade and guide;
Where that by goodnesse patience and grace,
There might have growen full great solace,
As well to the King,ye may understonde,
As for th'ease of Commons of this londe;
But wonder not that grace doe not fall,
For sinn reygneth in this londe over all.
Loe here was gracefull ready at honde,
To have ceased Taxes and Tallages of this londe;
Whereby much Love and Grace would have be,
Betweene Knight-hood Priest-hoode and Comminaltie.
Here ye maie see how vicious violence
Maie not purchase the vertue of sapience:
For vice and vertue be things contrary,
Therefore the vicious maie not come thereby;
If Vicious men mought lerne this Science,
They would therewith doe wondrous violence:
And with Ambitiousnesse grow evermore
Worse of Conditions then they were before.
Now is this Chapter of Joy and Paine gone,
The Chapter following sheweth Matters of our Stone.
Tonsile was a labourer in the fire
Threescore years and more to win his desire:
Brian was another,with Holton in the Weste,
Thes were ever busie,&could practise with the best:
But yet this Science thei never founde,
For thei knew not the Matters,ne the Grounde,
But rumbled foorth,and evermore they sought,
They spent their lyfe and their goods to nought;
Much losse,much cost,much anguish they bought,
Amonge their Receipts which they had wrought:
Then made Tonsile to me his greate complainte,
With weeping Teares he said his heart was fainte,
For he had spended all his lusty dayes
In fals Receipts,and in such lewde assayes;
Of Herbes,Gommes,of Rootes and of Grasse,
Many kindes by him assayed was,
As Crowefoote,Celondine and Mizerion,
In Antimony,Arsenick,Honey,Wax and Wine,
In Haire,in Eggs,in Merds,and Urine,
In Calx vive,Sandifer,and Vitriall,
In Markafits,Tutits,and every Minerall,
In Malgams,in Blanchers,and Citrinacions,
All fell to nought in his opperacions:
For he considered not how he did rage,
When to Gods proportions he layde surcharge:
After all this,he thought nothing so good,
To worke upon as shulde be mans Blode;
Till that I said how blode would waste and fume.
In mighty fire,and utterly consume.
For Christ his love then saide he teach me,
Whereof the substance of our Stone should be:
Tonsile said I what shulde it you avayle
Such thing to know your lims doth you faile
For very Age,therefore cease your lay,
And love your Beades, it is high time to Praye;
For if knew the Materialls of our Stone,
Ere you could make it your dayes would begone.
Thereof no charge good Master said he,
It were Sufficient Comfort now to me
To know the trewe Materialls without wronge
Of that Stone which I have sought soe longe:
Tonsile(said I) It is noe litle thinge,
Whereof you would have trewe tydinge;
For many Auctors write of this doubte,
But none of them sheweth it Cleerly oute:
For Auctors which of this Arte doe write,
Besought God as witnesseth Democrite,
That he unpained would fro this Worlde take
Their Soules whom he tought Bokes thereof to make;
For greatly doubted evermore all suche,
That of this Scyence they may write too muche:
Every each of them tought but one pointe or twayne,
Whereby his fellowes were made certayne;
How that he was to them a Brother,
For every of them understoode each other;
Alsoe they wrote not every man to Teache,
But to shew themselves by a secret Speache:
Trust not therefore to reading of one Boke,
But in many Auctors works ye may looke;
Liber librum apperit saith Arnold the greate Clerke,
Anaxagoras said the same for his werke:
Who that slothfull is in many bokes to see,
Such one in Practise prompt shall never be;
But Tonsile for almes I will make no store
Plainly to disclose it that never was done before,
By way of answer for your recreation,
If ye cann wisely make Interrogation.
Good Master(said he)then teach me trewly,
Whether the matters be sol or Mercury?
Or whether of Sol or Lune it maie be,
Or whether I shall take them all three,
Or Sol by it selfe,or Mercury alone,
Or Sulpher with them,for matters of our Stone?
Or whether I shall sal Almoniack take,
Or Minerall meanes,our Stone thereof to make?
Here be many questions Tonsile,said I,
Wisely remembred and full craftily;
You name it not yet but onely in generall,
For you must take some deale of theis things all;
Of these and of other you must take a parte,
One time or other to minister this Arte:
Many things helpeth to apt our Stone,
But two be Materialls,yet our Stone is one;
Betweene which two is such diversity,
As betweene the Mother and the Childe may be:
An other diversity betweene them find ye shall,
Such as is found betweene Male and Female:
Theis two kindes shall doe all your service,
As for the White worke(if you can be wise;)
One of thes kindes a Stone ye shall finde,
For it abideth fire as stones doe by kinde:
But a subtill Earth,browne,roddy,and not bright:
And when it is seperate and brought to his appearage,
Then we name it our grounde Litharge.
First it is browne,roddy,and after some deale white,
And then it is called our chosen Markasite:
One ounce thereof is better then fifty pound
It is not to be sould in all Christian grounde;
But he that would have it he shalbe faine
To doe it make,or take himselfe the paine:
But one greate grace in that labour is saine,
Make it once well and never more againe.
Olde fathers called it thinge of vile price,
For it is nought worth by way of Marchandise:
Noe man that findeth it woll beare it awaie,
Noe more then thei would an Ounce of Claye;
Men will not beleeve that it is of high price,
No man knoweth it therefore but he be wise.
Here I disclosed a greate secret wonder,
Which never was writ by them which been erth under.
Another Stone Tonsile you must have withall,
Or else you fawte your cheefe Materiall;
Which is a Stone gloriouse faier and bright,
In handling a Stone,and a Stone in sight;
A stone glittering with perspecuitie,
Being of wonderfull Diaphanitie:
The price of an Ounce Conveniently,
Is twenty shillings or well neere thereby:
Her name is Magnetia,few people her knowe,
She is fownde in high places as well as in lowe;
Plato knew her property and called her by her name,
And Chauncer reherseth how Titanos is the same,
In the Channons Yeomans Taile,saying what is thus,
But quid ignotium per magis ignotius:
That is to say,what may this be,
But unknowne by more unknowne named is she;
Nethles Tonsile now I will trewlie teach
What is Magnetia to say in our speache:
Magos is Greeke,Mirabile in Latine it ys;
AEs is Money,ycos Science,A is God ywisse.
That is to say it is such a thinge,
Wherein Money is wonderous divine Cunnige.
Now here you may know what is Magnetia,
Res aeris in qua latet scientia divinaque mira.
Thes two Stones Tonsile ye must take
For your materialls,Elixir if ye make.
Albeit the first tyme materialls be no more,
Yet many things helpeth as I saide before.
This secrete was never before this daye
So trewly discovered,take it for your praye,
I pray God that this turne not me to Charge,
For I dread sore my penn goeth too large:
For though much people perceive not this Sentence,
Yet subtill Clerks have too much Evidence;
For many Clerks be so cleere of witt,
If thei had this ground,thei were sure of it;
Wher our Lord hath ordained that no man it finde,
But only he that is of verteous minde:
Wherefore olde Fathers Covered for great reason,
The Matters of our Stone disclosed at this season.
Other Materials ye shall none take,
But only theis two oure white stone to make;
Except Sal Armoniack with Sulphur of kinde,
Such as out of Mettals ye can finde;
Theis two woll abide to fulfill your desire,
The remnant will void when thei come to fire;
Sulpher woll brenn and chaunge Collours fast.
But our Litharge abideth first and last:
Ye may not with mettals or Quicksilver beginn,
To make Elixir if you intend to winn:
Yet if you destroy the whole Composition,
Some of their Compounds will help in Conclusion;
And that is nothing Els of that one or that other,
But only Magnetia and Litharge her Brother.
Of the grosse Warke now I wil not spare,
Though it be secrete,largely to declare:
To teach you the trewth is myne intente,
As far forth as I dare for Gods Commaundement.
I will informe and guide you in the way,
In such wise as you may finde your praye:
If you consider how the partes of Werkes,
Be out of Order set by the old Clerks.
As I saide before,the Masters of this Arte,
Every each of them disclosed but a parte:
Wherefore though ye perceived them as ye woulde,
Yet ye cannot order and joyne them as ye shulde.
Arnold sheweth in his writinge,
How our finall secret is to know the thinge
Whereupon our worke shulde take her grounde,
And how pure Natures&simple may be found:
In this Boke begining multipharie,
He saith in our grounded Matter two kindes be;
But how to find them he kept that in store,
Ye have their Names the last Chapter before.
Freer Bacon disclosed more of that pointe,
When he said,Departe ye every joynte
In Elementa propinqua: take good heede thereto;
But unwise Doctours never worken soe,
But headly they proceed as men well nigh madd,
To the Matters divisible moe Matters they adde:
Soe when thei weene to bringe forth a Flower,
They doe nothinge but multiply Errour.
There cesed Bacon,and so doe other such,
For very dread least they shulde shew too much.
Avicen in Porta wrote,if ye remember,
How ye shulde proceede perfection to ingender,
Trewly teaching as the pure trewth was,
Comedas ut bibas,et bibas ut Comedas,
Eate as it drinketh,and drinke as it doth eate,
And in the meane season take it a perfect sweate.
Rasis set the Dietary and spake some deale farr,
Non tamen comedat res festinanter,
Let not your Matters eate over Hastilie,
But wisely consume their food leasurelie.
Hereof the Prophet made wondrous mention,
Yf ye applie it to this intention.
Visitasti terram & inebriasti eam,
Multiplicasti locupletare eam
Et terram sine aqua in exitus aquarum.
If it I have plenty of Meate and of Drinke,
Men must wake when they desier to winke:
For it is laboure of watch and paines greate.
Also the Foode is full costly meate;
Therefore all Poore men beware said Arnold,
For this Arte longeth to greate men of the world.
Trust to his words ye Poore men all,
For I am witnes that soe ye finde shall.
Esto longanimis & suavis said he,
For hasty men th'end shall never see.
The lengthe of clensing of Matters infected,
Deceyveth much People,for that is unsuspected.
Wherefore Poore men put ye not in prease,
Such wonders to seech,but in season cease.
Excesse for one halfe quarter of an howre,
May destroy all:therefore cheefe succoure
Is Primum pro quo & vultimum pro quo non,
To know of the simperinge of our Stone.
Till it may noe more simper doe not cease,
And yet longe Continuance may not cause increase.
Remember that Water will buble and boyle,
But Butter must simper and also Oyle.
And soe with long leasure it will waste,
And not with bubling made in haste:
For doubt of perrills many moe then one,
And for supergression of our stone.
Amongst grosse Workes the fowlest of all
Is to clarifie our meanes Minerall.
Extremities may not be well wrought,
Without many Meanes wisely sought.
And everie Meane must be made pure,
If this worke shulde be made sure.
For foule and cleane by naturall lawe
Hath greate discord,and soe hath ripe and rawe.
Stedfast to stedfast will it selfe combinde,
And fleeting to fleeting will drawe by kinde:
And ever where as the Concordance is more,
Natures will drawe that were elswhere before;
This grosse Worke is fowle in her kinde,
And full of perrills as ye shall it finde.
No mans witt can him soe much availe,
But that sometyme he shall make a fayle.
As well as the Lay-man soe shall the Clerke,
And all that labour the grosse werke:
Whereof Anaxagoras said trewlie thus,
Nemo primo fronte reperitur discretus.
And once I heard a wise man say,
How in Catilonia at this day,
Magnetia with Minerall meanes all,
Be made to sale if ye for them call,
Whereby the honds of a cleanly Clerke,
Shall not be filed about so foule a werke.
And longe tyme sooner your Worke I understonde,
Shulde be farr onward before honde.
For if you shulde make all things as I cann,
Ye might be weary before your worke begann.
The Philosophers warke doe not begin,
Till all things be pure without and within.
We that must seeke Tincture most specious,
Must needly avoyd all things vild and vicous.
Of manifold meanes each hath his propertie,
To doe his Office after his degree:
With them hid things be out fett,
Some that will helpe and some that would lett.
Our Appoticaries to dresse them can no skill,
And we to teach them have no manner of will:
Whereof the cause trewly is none other,
But that they will counterfaict to beguile their Brother,
Rather then they will take the paine
Thereto belonging,ere they should it attaine:
It is there use whereof my hert is sore,
Much to desire and litle to doe therefore.
Who would have trewe warke he may no laboure spare,
Neither yet his Purse,though he make it bare:
And in the Grosse Warke he is furthest behinde,
That daily desireth the end thereof to finde.
If the grosse warke with all his Circumstance,
Were don in three yeares,it were a blessed chance:
For he that shall end it once for certeyne,
Shall never have neede to begin againe,
If he his Medicine wisely can Augment;
For that is the Mastrie of all our intent.
It needeth not to name the meanes Minerall,
For Albert writeth openly of them all.
Much I might write of the nature of Mynes,
Which in this Grosse Warke be but engines;
For in this Warke finde ye nothing shall,
But handie crafte called Arte Mechanicall:
Wherein an hundreth wayes and moe,
Ye maie commit a faulte as ye therein goe.
Wherefore beleeve what old Auctors tell,
Without Experience ye maie not doe well.
Consider all Circumstances,and set your delight
To keepe Uniformity of all things requisite.
Use one manner os Vessell in Matter and in Shape,
Beware of Commixtion that nothing miscape.
And hundreth faultes in Speciall,
Ye maie make under this warning generall.
Nethles this Doctrine woll suffice,
To him that can in Practise be wise.
If your Ministers be witty and trew,
Such shall not neede your warkes to renew.
Therefore if ye woll avoyde all dreade,
In the Grosse Warke doe by my read:
Take never thereto no Houshold-man,
Thei be soone weary as I tell cann;
Therefore take noe man thereto,
But he be Waged,however you doe;
Not by th Moneth, as nigh as ye maie,
Ne by the Weeke, but by the Daye:
And that your Wages be to their minde,
Better then thei elsewhere can finde;
And that thei neede not for Wages sue,
But that their Payment be quick and trewe;
For that shall cause them to love and dreade,
And to their Warks to take good heede,
For doubt least thei be put awaye,
For Negligence of them in one daye:
Houshold-men woll not doe soe,
From this Warke therefore let them goe.
If I had knowne this,and had done soe,
I had avoyded mickle woe.
Alsoe in this Warke must be Liberty,
Without impediment,in everie degree,
With divers Comforts peynes to release
Of labours continuall which maie not Cease;
Els anguish of Labour and Melancholly,
Mought be Cause your Warkes to destroy.
Of the grosse Warke it needes to shew noe more,
For old men have tought the remnant before;
And what is necessary that thei laft out,
This Boke sheweth it without doubt.
Wherefore this litle Boke the Ordinall,
Is in Alkimy the Complement of all;
The Chapter following convenient for a Clerke,
Sheweth the Councells of the subtill Werke.
Brise by Surname when the chaunge of Coyne was had,
Made some Men sorry,and some Men glad:
And as to much people that chaunge,
Seemed a newe thinge and a straunge;
Soe that season befell a wonderous thinge,
Tuching this Science without leasinge.
That three Masters of this Science all
Lay in one Bed nigh to Leaden-Hall,
Which had Elixirs parfite White and Red,
A wonder such Three to rest in one Bed,
And that within the space of dayes Tenn,
While hard it is to finde One in Millions of Men.
Of the Dukedome of Loraine one I understand
Was borne,that other nigh the Midle of England;
Under a Crosse,in the end of Shires three,
The third was borne; the youngest of them is he.
Which by his Nativity is by Clerks found,
That he shulde honour all English ground;
A Man mought walke all the World aboute,
And faile such Three Masters to finde oute;
Twayne be fleeting,the Youngest shall abide,
And doe much good in this Londe at a Tyde.
But sinne of Princes shall let or delaye
The Grace that he shulde doe on a daye.
The eldest Master chaunted of him a Songe,
And said that he shulde suffer much wronge.
Of them which were to him greately behould,
And manie things moe this Master tould,
Which fith that tyme hath trewly befall,
And some of them hereafter shall,
Whereof one is trewlie(said he)
After Troubles great Joy shalbe
In every quarter of this Londe,
Which all good Men shall understonde:
The Younger asked when that shulde be,
The old Man saidnwhen Men shall see
The holy Crosse honored both day and night,
In the Lond of God in the Lond of Light;
Which maie be done in right good season,
But long delayed it is without reason:
When that beginneth note well this thinge,
This Science shall drawe towards the Kinge;
And many moe Graces ye maie be boulde,
Moe then of us shall now be tould;
Grace on that King shal descend,
When he ould Manners shall amende:
He shall make full secreate search,
For this Scyence with doulced speech;
And amonge the Solitary,
He shall have tidings certainly.
So sought King Kalid of manie Men,
Till he met with Morien,
Which helped Kalid at his neede,
His Vertues caused him to speede.
Nowe of such Matters let us cease,
And of the suttill Warke reherse;
Greate need hath he to be a Clerke,
That would perceive this suttill Werke.
He must know his first Philosophie,
If he trust to come by Alkimye:
And first ye shall well understonde,
All that take this Werke in honde;
When your materialls by preparation.
Be made well apt for Generation,
Then thei must be departed a twinn,
Into foure Elements if ye would to winn:
Which thing to doe if ye ne can,
Goe and lerne it of Hortolan.
Which made his Boke of that Doctrine,
How ye shulde part the Elements of Wine.
Moreover ye must for your succour,
Know th'effects of the quallities fower;
Called Heate,Colde,Moisture, and Drines,
Of which fower all things Compounded is;
And fith in this Arte your cheefe desire
Is to have Colour which shulde abide fier,
Ye must know before you can that see,
How everie Colour ingendred shall be,
For everie Colour whiche maie be thought,
Shall heere appeare before that White be wrought.
Yet more ye would have to this summe,
Swiftly to melt as Wex or Gumme:
Els mought it not enter and perce
The Center of Mettalls as Auctors reherse;
Soe ye would have it bot fix and flowe,
With Colour plenty if ye wist howe;
Such three Contraries joyntly to meete
In one accord is a greate Secret.
Nethles he that is cleere of Minde,
In this Chapter maie it well finde;
And first to give you a short Doctrine,
Of the aforesaid qualities prime:
Heate,and Cold, be qualities Active
Moisture,and Drines,be qualityes Passive;
For they suffren the Actives evermore,
As Stones to be Lyme,and Water to be Froare.
Hereupon to Judge,ye maie be bold,
Nothing is full wrought but by Heate and Cold;
Nethles the Passives have some Activity,
As in Handicrafts men ye maie daily see;
In Bakinge, and Brewinge, and other Crafts all,
Moisture is opperative and soe Drines be shall.
Aristotle in his Phisicks and other manie moe,
Said ab actionibus procedit speculatio;
They said that Practise is roote and beginning,
Of Speculation and of all Cunning;
For the properties of every thinge,
Be perceaved by their working;
As by Colours of Urins we may be bold
To give sentence of Heate and Colde;
By thes aforesaid foure qualities prime,
We seeche Colours with length of tyme;
Of White Colour we be not full sure,
To seeche it but in a substance pure:
Greate Doctrine thereof lerne now ye maie,
When ye know how Colours growe all day.
Colour is the utmost thinge of a Body cleere,
Cleere substance well termined is his matter heere;
If Heate hath maistery in matter that is drye,
White Colour is ever thereof certainely;
As it appeareth in sight of brent Bones,
And in making of all Lyme Stones.
Where Cold worketh in matter moist & cleere,
Yet of such working Whitnes woll appeare:
As it sheweth in Ice and Frosts hore;
The cause is set out in Philosophie before:
I write not here of common Philosophie,
But example to teach Alkimy;
That one maie be perceived by that other,
As is the Child perceived by the Mother.
If Heate in moyst matter and grosse withall,
Warke,thereof Black Colour ingender shall;
Example hereof if ye of me desire,
Behold when you see greene Wood set on a fire;
When Cold worketh in matter thick and drye,
Black Colour shall be ,this is the cause whie;
Such matter is compacted and more thick,
With Cold constreyning, enimy to all quick,
Thicknes made Darknes with privation of Light,
Soe Collour is private, then Black it is to Sight,
Therefore evermore remember this,
How cleere matter is matter of Whitenes;
The cause efficient maie be manyfold,
For somewhile it is Heate, and sometime Cold:
But White and Black, as all me maie see,
Be Colours contrary in most extremitie:
Wherefore your warke with Black must beginn,
If the end shulde be with Whitenes to winn.
The midle Colour as Philosophers write,
Is Red Colour betweene Black and White:
Nethlesse trust me certainly,
Red is last in the work of Alkimy.
Alsoe they say in their Doctrine,
How theis two Colours Ruse and Citrine,
Be meane Colours betweene White and Red,
And how that Greene, and Colour wan as Lead,
Betweene Red and Black be Colours meane,
And freshest Colour is of matter most Cleane.
Physitians in Urines have Colours Nynteene,
Betweene White and Black as thei weene;
Whereof Colour underwhite subalbidus is one,
Like in Colour to Onychyne stone:
Of such like Colour Magnetia found is,
But Magnetia glittereth witj cleerenes:
In our suttill warke of Alkimy
Shall be all Colours that hath beene seen with Eye:
An hundreth Colours more in certeyne,
Then ever hath been seene in Urine.
Wherein so many Colours mought not be,
But if our Stone conteyned every degree,
Of all Compositions found in warke of kinde,
And of all Compositions imaginable by minde.
Of as manie Colours as shall therein be saine,
So manie graduations your wisdome must attaine:
And if you knowe not such graduations all,
Lerne them of Raymond in his Atre Generall.
Gilbert Kymer wrote after his devise,
Of 17. Proportions, but thei maie not suffice
In this Science, which he coude never finde;
And yet in Phisick he had a nobil minde.
Wher the royalty of the nature of Man,
Advaunceth ofte Medicines of the Phisitian:
And so honoreth oft times his Crafte,
When that the Medicines peradventure mought be lafte;
But it is not so in Phisick of Mines,
For that Arte exceedeth all other engines:
And resteth only in the wisdome of Man,
As by experience wise men witnes can.
And soe of Alkimy the trew foundation,
Is in composition by wise graduation
Of Heate and Cold, of Moist and of Drye,
Knowing other Qualities ingendered thereby;
As hard and soft, heavy and light,
Rough and smoothe, by ponders right,
With Number and Measure wisely sought,
In which three resteth all that God wrought:
For God made all things, an set it sure,
In Number Ponder and in Measure,
Which numbers if you doe chaunge and breake,
Upon Nature you must doe wreake.
Wherefore Conjunction ye not proceede,
Till ye know the Ponders full compleate
Of all Components which shulde therein meete,
Bacon said that old Men did nothing hide,
But only Proportion wherein was noe guide:
For none old Auctor,King,Prince,ne Lord,
Writing of this Science with others did accorde
In the Proportions ; which if ye would reach,
Raymond, with Bacon, and Albert, done it teach,
With old Anaxagoras, of them fowre ye shall
Have perfect knowledge, but not of one have all:
And if you would joyne fowre Qualities to intent,
Then must ye Conjoyne every Element:
As Water and Erthe after your desire,
Well compounded with Ayer, and Fier:
Knowing the worth est in his activitie,
The second, the third,every-each in his degree;
The fourth,and the vilest maie not be refused,
For it is profitable and best to be used ;
And best maie extend his Multiplication,
In whome is the virtue of our Generation ;
And that is the Erthly Lytharge of our Stone,
Without him Generation shall be none;
Neyther of our Tincture fixation,
For nothing is fixt but Erthe alone ;
All other Elements moveable be,
Fier, Ayer, and Water, as ye daily see:
But Fier is cause of extendibility,
And causeth matters permiscible to be,
And cleere brightnes in Colours faire
Is caused of kinde evermore of Ayer,
And Ayer also with his Coaction,
Maketh things to be of light liquefaction:
As Wax is and Butter,and Gummes all,
A little heate maketh them to melt and fall:
Water clenseth with ablution blive,
And things mortifyed causeth to revive.
Of multiplying of Fier is no greater wonder,
Than is of multiplying of Erth set under:
For Erth beareth Herbes daily new and newe,
Without number,therefore it is trewe
That Erth is wonderfull as well as Fier,
Though one sparke maie soone fill a Sheere:
If all a Sheere were filled with Flaxe,
One sparke than would wonderfully waxe:
Fier and Erth be multipliers alone,
And thei be causers of multiplying our Stone.
Of this Erth showeth Albert our great Brother,
In his Mineralls ,which Lytharge is better than other.
For the white Elixir he doth it there rehearse,
And the booke of Meeter showeth it in a verse.
Now to Conjunction let us resorte,
And some wise Councell thereof reporte:
Conjoyne your Elements Grammatically,
With all their Concords conveniently:
Which Concords to healpe a Clerke,
Be cheefe Instruments of all this werke:
For nothinge maie be more contrary nowe,
Than to be fixt and unperfectly flowe:
All the Grammarians of England and of Fraunce,
Cannot teach you this Concordance:
This Ordinall telleth where ye maie it see,
In Phisick in the Boke de Arbore.
Joyne them also in Rhetoricall guise,
With Natures Ornate in purified wise.
Sithens our Tincture must be most pure and faire,
Be sure of pure Erth, Water, Fier and Ayre.
In Logicall wise be it early or late,
Joyne trewe kindes not sophisticate;
Ignorance hereof hath made many Clerks,
Lewdly to leese their labour and their werkes.
Joyne them together also Arithmetically,
By suttill Numbers proportionally.
Whereof a litle mention made there was,
When Boetius said tu numeris elementa ligas.
Joyne your Elements Musically,
For two causes , one is for Melody:
Which there accords will make to your mind,
The trewe effect when that ye shall finde.
And also for like as Diapason,
With Diapente and with Diatesseron,
With ypate ypaton, and Lecanos muse ,
With other accords which in Musick be,
With their proporcions causen Harmony,
Much like proportions be in Alkimy,
As for the great Numbers Actuall:
But for the secreate Numbers Intellectuall;
Ye must seeche them as I said before,
Out of Raymond and out of Bacons lore.
Bacon sheweth it darkly in his three letters all,
And Raymonde better in his Arte Generall.
Many men weene which doth them reade,
That theie doe understonde them when theie doe not indeede.
With Astrologie joyne Elements also,
To fortune their Workings as theie goe:
Such simple kindes unformed and unwrought,
Must craftily be guided till the end be sought.
All which season theie have more obedience,
Above formed Natures to Sterrs influence.
And Science Perspective giveth great evidence,
To all the Ministers of this Science.
And so done other Sciences manie moe
And specially the Science de Pleno&Vacuo,
But the chiefe Mistris among Sciences all,
For helpe of this Arte,is Magick Naturall.
When the foure Elements wisely joyned be,
And every-each of them set in his degree,
Then of divers degrees and of divers digestion,
Colours will arise towards perfection.
For then worketh inward heate naturall,
Which in our substance is but Intellectuall:
To sight unknowne,hand maie it not feele,
His working is knowne to few Men and feild;
And when this heate naturall moved be shall
By our outward heate artificiall,
Then Nature excited to labour will not cease,
Many diversities of degrees to increase.
Which is one cause by reason you maie see,
Whie in our warke so manie Colours be:
Therfore it causeth in this Arte great doubt,
Ignorance of heate within and without,
To know how theis two heates shulde accord,
And which of them in working shulde be Lord.
Digestion in this warke hath great likenesse
To digestion in things of Quicknes:
And before other(as I witnesse can)
It is most like to digestion of Man.
Therefore said Morien, our Stone in generation
Is most like thing to Mans Creation,
In whom saith Raymond the fowre degrees all
Of the fowre Complexions together finde ye shall,
And that actually, which ye cannot finde
Amongst Creatures in none other kinde.
Wherefore amonge Creatures theis two alone
Be called Microcosmus, Man and our Stone.
Now of Digestion the aliment and foode
Perfectly to know is needfull and full good.
It is humor sollid constant with ficcitie,
Mightily medled after some degree,
In opposite passives mixed duly,
Ingendered by inward and outward heat trewly.
Soe nothing else is our Digestion,
But of humour substantiall a create perfection.
I pray ye Laymen have me excused,
Though such Tearmes with you be not used,
I must use them,for all Auctors affirmes,
How every Science hath his proper Tearmes.
Digestion sometimes advanced maie be
By outward cold, as yearly ye maie see
How in Winter men eaten more meate
Than in Summer,when expansed is their heate;
For colde maketh heate inward then to flye,
And ligge nigh together, then stronger is he;
Which by his strength his power is more
To make Digestion than he mought before.
But our cheefe Digesture for our intent,
Is virtuall heate of the matter digerent;
Nethles heate of the digestible thinge,
Helpeth digestion and her working:
Feaverly heate maketh no digestion,
Baines maie helpe and cause also destruction.
Wine digested hath more heate naturall,
Than hath new Muste,whose heate is accidentall:
Coagulation is noe forme substantiall,
But onlie passion of things materiall.
More ye must know, when Colours appeare,
Who is principall Agent in that matter Cleere.
For sometimes it is Heate, and sometimes Cold it is,
And sometime Moysture, and somewhile Drines.
The principall Agent to know at every season,
Requireth great search made by suttill reason:
Which is not perceived but of Masters fewe,
For thei mark not how Colours arise by rewe:
The principall Agent of the qualities fowre,
Hath power royall as Lord of most honour
The remnant of qualities to Converte to his kinde,
Of which conversion Anaxagoras maketh minde
In his Boke of Conversions Naturall,
It is no Jape neither light to lerne
Your principall Agent all seasons to discerne:
Which I teach you to knowne by signes fowre,
By Colour,Odour,Sapor and Liquore.
And first by Colour to serve your intente,
To know thereby your principall Agent.
Looke in your Vessell which Colour sheweth most,
He that causeth him is principall of the host
As for that season,whose pride ye maie swage,
By this our Doctrine, if ye see him rage:
Which ye maie doe when ye well understonde,
The cause of all Colours which ye have in honde.
Which I woll teach you now shortly withall,
Bycause here and there seeke them ye ne shall:
Whitnes is caused of manie matters cleere,
In another thing termined,and soe it is heere;
Blacknes is when parts of a body darke,
With thicknes oppresseth the cleernes of the Warke;
Or els it is of a Combust terrestrietie;
But of such Combustion greate hardnes shall be;
And by Commixion of Darke Cleere and Cleane,
Shall be ingendered all the Colours meane:
Every cleere thinge perspicuate and fayre,
Standeth by the matters of Water and Aire,
Whome a pure Erth doth apprehend,
Such as shall not their cleerenes offend;
And if in such cleerenes and perspicuitie,
Ye can noe speciall Colour see,
Thereupon to Judge you maie be bold,
The cause of such things was exceeding Colde:
As Christall, Berill,and other things moe,
Diversitie betweene them lerne ere ye goe;
Christall hath Water declyning toward Ayer,
Wherefore it is cleere, perspicuous and faie;
But where it declineth towards Water more,
It is darke as Berill or Ice hard frore;
But when matters draweth toward ficcitie,
Darknes with hardness ingendred shall be;
As it appeareth in the Adamant Stone,
And in other things manie one.
Twinckling and glittering as in Magnetia is,
Light is cause thereof within matter of Cleernes;
Which is superduced upon waterly vapour,
Beforetyme incenced with Heate be ye sure;
Now after cleerenes and Colours in extremitie,
Of meane Colours a litle shew will I.
Ruby colour is of a thinn fume succended
In a cleere Body ,which alsoe is amended
When in that Body reyneth plenty of light,
For more or les thereof maketh more or les bright:
As the Amatist followeth the Ruby in dignity,
In less Cleerenes and more Obscuritie:
And a Calcedonie in Slymy substance,
Followeth the Berill in degrees of variance.
Greene as a Smaragde is of Water cleere,
With Erthly substance Combust mixt full neere:
And the cleerer substance that the Erth be ,
The cleerer greeness thereof ye shall see.
Tawney is of Cleerenes terminate,
Infused with thick Fumosity congregate
Of Water, and alsoe of Erth succended,
Whereby the cleereness of Aier is suspended.
Wann or leady Colour ingendred is
Of Waterie and Erthy parts without amisse;
And where such parts be cold and thick ,
Ever Wann Colour theron shall stick;
As it appeareth in old layen Lead,
And in Men that be wellneere dead:
This Wann Colour called Lividitie,
In Envious Men useth much to be;
Naturall heate and blood done resorte,
To the Hert,them to comfort,
And leaveth Cold and Dry the Face,
For heate and blood is parted fro that place.
Likewise when Fevers be in extremitie,
The Nailes of Hands of this Colour willbe.
The Saphire Colour, that Orient Blewe,
Like in Colour to the heavenlie hue,
Is much fairer than Wann Colour to sight,
For therein is more of Aier Water and Light
Than is in Wann Colour ,and that by manifold,
Wherefore such Colour is more deerer solde;
All other Blewes tha sadder that they be,
Thei have lesse of Aier and more of Terrestriety.
Silver to Azure soone broght will be;
The cause thereof is perspicuitie,
Which is in Silver caused of Ayer,
Wherefore it turneth to hevenly Colour faire;
And Quicksilver plenty within him is,
Causeth in Silver all this brightnes:
Subtiler Erth, pure Water, with cleerenes of Air,
Causeth such brightnes to Quicksilver to repaire.
Citrine Colour Yellowe as ye see in Gould,
Is Colour most liking for some men to behould:
Caused of mighty and strong digestion,
For humor in him have strong decoction;
Such Colour with Heate ingendred be shall,
As it in Honey, Urine, Lye, and Gall:
The shining of Gould is caused as I tell,
Of pure and subtile Water termined full well,
Perspicuously condensed;for Water pure and fine,
The more it is Condensed, the better it woll shine;
For of a Mirrour the cause none other is,
But moisture termined, as all Clerks gesse,
Soe that it be polible withall;
For Aier maie not be terminate in his kinde;
So cause of shining in Water ye shall finde.
With White and Red well medled pure and fine
Woll be ingendred faire Colour Citrine.
Soe divers Comixtions of Elements,
Maketh divers Colours, for divers intents:
With divers Digestions, and divers degrees,
All Colours be made which your Eyen sees.
Of Elements ye must the proper Colour lerne,
Whereby of Colours ye maie better lerne,
Whereby of Colours ye maie better discerne;
Phisitians saie of good Herbs and soote,
Some be colde outward and hot within the roote;
Example hereof if ye list to gett,
Behold th working of the gentle Violet:
Common Philosophie the cause doth disclose,
Whie colde is within and red without the Rose:
Anaxagoras said in his Conversions naturall,
Inward and Outward be contrary in things all,
Which is trewe except such things as be
Of little composition, and nigh simplicitie;
As is Scammonye, and Lawrell the Laxative,
Which be not nourishing to vegetative.
Remember how in every mixt thinge,
Evermore one Element desireth to be Kinge:
Which proud appetite of Elements and vicious,
Moveth men to be Ambitious:
Wherefore our Lord that best dispose cann,
Hath made Ordeynance for sinfull Man,
All proude appetites to equalitie to bringe;
When Requiem aeternam the Church shall singe,
Than shall everie ambitious thought,
Plainely appeare how that it was nought:
Lords, and Beggars, and all shall be
In the Charnell brought to equalitie.
Your Pricipall Agent so rebate shall ye,
When he usurpeth above equality;
Therefore Aristotle said Compound ye our Stone
Equall, that in him repugnance be none;
Neither division as ye proceede;
Take heede thereto, for it is greate neede;
And when it falleth that ye shall see
All Colours at once that named maie be;
Than suffer Nature with her operation,
At her owne leasure to make Generation:
Soe that amonge so manie Colours all,
Nature maie shew one principall:
Such as shall draw towards your intent,
According to your desired Element.
This wise by Colours yee maie provide
How in your workes yee shall yee guide.
Manie moe things of Colours I maie write,
But this is sufficient my promise to acquite,
As farr forth as Colours maie serve your intent,
By them to know your principall agent.
But manie Clerks wonder why you may see
Soe manie Colours as in our Stone woll be,
Before that perfect White and Cleere,
And unchaungeable woll appeare,
Considering the fewnes of the ingredients;
I woll that answer to please their intents,
And teach them the trewth of that greate doubte.
By kinde of Magnesia such Colours passe out,
Whose nature is of such Convertibilitie,
To everie proportion, and to everie degree,
As Christall to his Subject is founde;
For of everie thing that is upon the grounde,
Which that ye woll Christall set under,
Such Colour hath Christall, therefore cease to wonder.
Wherefore Hermes said not untruly ne Envious,
Ad perpetranda miracula rei unius:
God hath so ordeyned saith Hermes the Kinge,
To fulfill the miracles of one thinge:
Common Philosophers thereof cannot finde
The vertues of our Stone exceeding far their minde.
Smelling maie helpe forth your intente,
To know your reigning Elemente;
And be with Colour a Testimony,
To know your principall Agent thereby;
And ye which would by smelling lerne
Of your principall Agent trewly to discerne.
As White, and Black, be Colours in extremitie,
Soe of Odors, soote and stinking be:
But like as Fishes know not by sight
Noe meane Colours, because their Eyne bright
Have none Eyelidds for their sight closinge,
Soe meane Odors shall not by smellinge
Be knowne of you, this is the cause whie,
For Nostrills be open as the fishes Eye:
Therefore meane Odors be not in certaine
Smelled by the Nose, as meane Colours be seene.
Heavie Smell is not as Clerks thinke
The midle Odor, but only the lesse Stinke.
Old Fathers wrote by their Doctrine,
Of their Experience which is maturine,
That if ye medle sweete Savour and redolente
Equally with stinking to prove your intent;
The soote shall be smelled, the stinking not soe,
The cause ye may lerne now ere ye goe;
All sweete smelling things have more puritie,
And are more spirituall than stinking maie be:
Wherefore it is in Aier more penetrative,
And is more extendible, and is alsoe to life
More acceptable,as friend to Nature,
And therefore rather received be ye sure.
Odor is a smokish vapour resolved with heate,
Out of substance, by an invisible sweate;
Which in the Aier hath free entringe,
And chaungeth the Aier and your Smellinge;
As Sapor of Meates chaungeth your Tastinge,
And as Sounds Chaungeth your Hearinge,
And as Colour chaungeth your Sight,
Soe Odor chaungeth Smelling by might.
The cause of Odours to know if you delight,
Foure things thereto be requisite;
First that suttill matter be Obedient
To the working of Heate, for to present
By a fume the liknes of the same thinge,
From whome that fume had his beginninge;
Also to beare forth that pure fume and faire,
There is required a cleere thinn Aier:
For thick Aier woll not beare it farr,
But it woll reteyne it much faster;
And soe thick matter Obedience hath none,
To the working of Heate, as it sheweth in Stone:
Heate maketh Odours, Cold shrinketh, by reason
Dunghills in Summer stink more than in Winter season;
Pleasant Odours ingendered be shall
Of cleane and Pure substance and fumigale,
As it appeareth in Amber, Narde, and Mirrhe,
Good for a Woman, such things pleaseth her;
But of Pure substance with a Meane heate,
Be temperate Odours, as in the Violet;
Of a Meane heate with substance Impure,
Is Odours misliking, as Aloes and Sulphure:
But when Naturall heate beginneth to spill,
Then thereof ariseth heavie smell;
As Fish smelleth that is kept too longe,
Naturall heate rotteth, soe the smell is stronge;
Stinch is a Vapour, a resolved fumositie
Of things which of Evill Complexions be.
And when Humor onlie is in Corruption,
Soe that the Substance be not in Destruction,
Thereof shall onlie heavie smell arise,
But not verie Stinch come in that wise.
Of everie Stinch the cause of that Chaunce
Is only corruption of the selfe substance;
And when Evill substance shall putrifie.
Horrible Odour is gendred thereby:
As of Dragons and Men that long dead be,
Their stench maie cause greate Mortalitie.
It is not wholsome to smell to some Cole,
For quenching of some Snuffe a Mare woll cast her Foale.
When the Qualities of a thing according is
To your Nature, good Odour will not misse:
But when the substance is contrary to your kinde,
The Odours thereof odious you shall finde.
Fishes love Soote smell, also it is trewe,
Thei love not old Kydles as thei doe the new.
All things that are of good Odour,
Have naturall Heate for their succour;
Though Camphire, Roses, and things colde,
Have soote Odours, yet Auctors tould,
How Heate virtually inclosed is the skell,
With Purenes of substance, whie they so smell:
This olde opinion you maie teach your Brother,
How noe good Odour is contrary to another;
But it is not soe of stinking smells,
For stinch of Garlick voydeth stinch of Dunghills,
Of Odours this doctrine is sufficiente,
As in Alkimy to serve your intent,
Your Warks to understonde thereby,
When things begin to putrifie;
Alsoe by Odours this you maie lerne,
Suttilnes and grosnes of Matter to discerne:
Alsoe of Meane substance knowledge ye may get,
With knowledge of Corruption of Naturall heate;
And knowledge of Diversitie by good attendance,
When Humour corrupteth and when the Substance.
But our Substance was made so pure and cleane,
And is conserved by vertue of the meane,
That ye no stinke thereof shall finde,
Albeit that it putrifie fro his owne kinde.
The third signe and the third Testimony
To understand your principall Agent by,
Is Sapor called, of Mouth the Taste,
Which evermore is cause of waste
Of the substance of the same thinge
Whereof ye make proofe by Tastinge
Sapor shulde be much better Judge
Then Colour or Odour, and more refuge,
Were not Taste a perillous thinge,
While our Stone is in workinge;
For it is hurting to health and life,
It is so greatly penetrative;
Above all subtill things it hath Victory,
And peirceth solid things hastily,
Wherefore it is perill and not good,
Much or oft to Tast of that foode:
It Comforteth Mettalls as we well finde,
But it is Perillous for all Mankinde,
Till perfect Red thereof be made,
Such as in Fier woll never fade.
A lewde Man late that served this Arte,
Tasted of our white Stone a parte,
Trusting thereby to find releefe
Of all sicknes and of all greefe,
Whereby the Wretch was sodenly,
Smitt with a strong Paralisie;
Whom my Master with great Engine,
Cured with Bezoars of the Mine.
Therefore though Tast by Common reason,
Shulde be best judge at every season,
Yet for that Tast is abominable
Sapor is heere not profitable.
Yet of some parts seperable,
A Tast maie well be Convenable
Before Conjunctions to make assay,
Whether they be well wrought or nay;
Howbeit a Wiseman hath helpe sufficient,
By Colour and Odour to have his intent:
For manie Men can chuse good Wine,
By Colour and Odour when it is fine;
But for new Wine not fined in generall,
The trew Tast is most suertie of all;
For Smelling hath Organalls but one,
Nothing discerning but fumous things alone;
But Tast hath six Organalls without doubt,
To feele qualitie of things within and without,
Which Nature ordain'd against perill and strife,
For more suertie of of things haveing life:
An Ape chuseth her Meate by Smelling,
Men and Popinjayes trusten to Tasting:
For manie things be of good Smell,
Which to Tast be found full ill:
For they maie be abhominable sower,
Over-sharpe, too bitter, or of greate horrour,
Or Venamous, Stinking, or over-stronge,
The Tast is judge and voideth such wronge.
Old men wrote in antient time,
How that of Sapors there be fully Nyne;
Which ye maie lerne in halfe an hower,
As Sharpe tast, Unctuous, and Sower,
Which three doe suttill matter signifie;
And other three doe meane matter testifie,
As Bitinge tast, Saltish and Weerish also,
Other three come thicke substances fro,
As Bitter tast, under Sower, and Douce;
Thes Nyne be found in manie a Noble House;
Five of these Nyne be ingendred by Heat,
Unctuons, Sharpe, Salt, Bitter, and Doulcet;
But of the Nyne the remnant all fower,
Be made with cold, as is the Sapor Sower,
And so is Sowerish tast called Sapor Pontick,
And lesse Sower allso called Sapor Stiptick,
Also is Weerish tast called Unsavoury,
With Cold ingendered effectually.
Sapor of two things hath his Conception,
Of divers Substance and of divers Complection.
Of Hot and Moyst in the Second degree,
With a Thick substance, Doulcet Tast will be;
The same degrees of the same Complexion,
To a Meane substance knit by connexion,
Unctuous Sapor ingender ever shall;
But where it is Hott and Dry withall,
With a Meane substance in the Second degree,
The Tast thereof must needs saltish be;
When a thing in the Third degree Hot and Dry is,
With a substance Thick, there is Bitternes;
But in the Fowerth degree matter Hot and Dry,
With a Suttill substance, Sharpe Tast is thereby;
So five Tasts, as I said before,
Be ingendered with Heat, and not one more.
Of Cold and Dry in the Second degree by kinde,
With a Suttill substance, full sower ye shall it finde;
As by Faces of People ye maie Deeme,
The same Complexion in the same degree.
In a thing which of Meane substance shall be,
Of that is ingendred ye maie well suppose,
A Bitinge Tast as is of the Roase,
But Sower, and Sowrish, and least Sower, all three
Be of Cold and Dry in High and Low degree:
And Cold and Moyst in the First degree of all,
A Weerish Tast ingender ever shall,
As of an Egg it showeth in the glaere,
And in pale Women over White and Fayer:
For such be Cold, and of Humiditye
Thei have trewly greate superfluity,
Therefore to Men thei have lesse delight;
Cold rebateth luxurious appetite.
Isaac said there be but Tastes seaven,
For Sower and leese Sower was one but uneven,
But in Complexion thei were of one foundation,
For Unsavoury was but of Tast privation;
Compound Tasts be found also,
As Doulce Eger and others manie mo;
So by Tast men maie Craftily know
Divers complexions and degrees high and low ;
And when ye doubt by Tast to make report,
Than to your other testimonies resort.
As in Phisicke trust not to Urine
Onely, but also take witnes and Doctrine
Of your Pulses, and wisely considering
Six things not naturall the Body concerning,
Having respect also therewithall,
Unto these Seaven things naturall;
And take heed if ye woll be sure,
Of three things contrary to nature:
Compleat theis Sixteene wisely to your ground,
A lewd Phisition least that ye be found:
For so of (had I wist)ye maie beware,
And helpe the Sick man from his care:
So of this Science if ye woll advaunce
Your works, take heed of everie Circumstance,
Wisely Considering your testimonyes fower,
Three be now passed, the fowerth is Liquor.
Liquor is the Comfort of this Werke;
Liquor giveth evidence to a Clerke
Thereby to fasten his Elements,
And also to loose them for some intents;
Liquor conjoyneth Male with Female Wife,
And causeth dead things to resort to Life;
Liquors clenseth with theire ablution,
Liquors to our Stone be Cheefe nutrition;
Without Liquor no Meate is good;
Liquors conveieth all Aliment and Food
To every part of Mans Body,
And so thei doe with us in Alkimy.
Ye must consider the puritie
Of all your Liquors and quantitie;
And how thick thei be or thinn,
Or else thereof shall ye litle winn;
But not as Phisitions maketh mention,
For Elixir is a thing of a second intention;
Wherefore ye shall more Wondrous natures find
In his working, than in all other kind;
Phisitions say the thicker Urine be,
The more it signifieth Humidity,
Where thick Liquor with us hath ficcity,
And suttill Liquor betokneth Humidity:
Manie Liquors be requisit
To our Stone for his appetite.
In the Booke of Turba Aristeus deposed,
How Ayre in Water was secreatly inclosed,
Which bare up Erth with his Aierly might.
Pithagoras said that was spoke with right.
Aristotle Craftilye his words set he,
Saying, cum habueris aquam ab Aere.
Plato wrote full sapiently,
And named it stilla roris madidi:
Which was kindly spoken for Alkimy.
But common Students in first Philosophie,
Say Ayre condensed is turned into Raine,
And Water rarified becomes Ayre againe.
Some said how May was first season and faire
To take such Water as is made of Ayre.
Some said such Waters come heaven fro,
When the Sunn entereth into Scorpio.
Some said all Liquors shulde be refused,
Which Frost infected shulde not be used:
The cause whie as telleth Autors old,
Is that theire accuity is duld with cold.
Some Philosophers said that ye shulde take
Milke for the Liquor Elixir to make:
And other sort said after their intent,
No Liquor so good for the Complement,
As Water of Litharge which would not misse,
With Water of Azot to make lac virginis:
But Democrit said best Liquor to present
Elixir withall was Water permanent:
Whose naturall vertue and propertie,
Was fier to abide and never to flye:
Rupiscissa said that cheefe Liquor
Was Aqua-vita Elixir to succour;
For she was spirituall, and would revive
Dead things for death to live,
Shee was Quintessence, the fift thing,
Whereof Aristotle by his writing
In his Boke of Secrets saith soe,
How that all perfection was in quinario.
Rupiscissa called it best Liquor of all,
For it maketh grosse matter spirituall:
But of Pithagoras ye maie finde,
Our Aqua-vitae of another kinde;
He saith it was Vivificans in his sentence,
Fac fugiens fixum & fixum fugiens,
For in such wise with strong Coaction,
Fixt matters were made of light liquefaction.
Another sort said no Liquor was above
The Liquor which Congers most desier and love:
Therefore such Liquors are best found,
Nigh to Islands, and to such ground
Which the Ocean Sea hath compasses about,
For there such Liquors be soonest se out.
Of another Liquor wise men tell,
Which is fresher than Water of the Well;
Fresher Liquor there is none in tast,
Yet it woll never consume ne waste;
Though it be occupied evermore,
It will never be lesse in store;
Which Democrit named for his intent,
Lux umbra carens, Water most Orient;
Hermes said no Liquor so necessarie,
As was Water of crude Mercury:
For he shall stand said that Noble Clerke,
For the Water within our werke.
Now lerne ye which for this Science have sought,
By all these Liquors our Stone must be wrought.
Liquor is a thing moveable,
Of fleeting substance and unstable.
All such things follow the Moone,
More then standing kindes doone;
And that appeareth to a Clerke,
In working of the white Werke;
Liquors washen and maken cleane
Both Extremities and the Meane;
God made Liquors for Mans use,
To clense foule things in everie howse;
Liquor bringeth without doubt,
Hidden things in Bodyes out,
As Landres witnes evidently,
When of Ashes thei make their Lye;
Liquor comforteth the roots of Grasse,
And of Trees such as drye was;
For Liquors of Natue woll restore
Humors that were lost before.
Liquors departeth Qualities asunder,
Substance resolving in Attomes with wonder;
Liquors also bringeth into one
Many things to be one Stone.
Liquors helpeth to flux and to flowe
Manie things, and lerne ye maie now
How Liquor is in manie manners found
Out of things that be on the ground,
Some by cutting,as Turpentine;
Some with Pressing, as Sider and Wine;
Some with grinding, as Oyle is had;
Some with stilling, as Waters be made;
Some with Brenning, as Colophonie;
And some with Water, as Woman make Lye;
Some be otherwise brought about,
And by naturall working set out,
As Urin, Sweat, Milk, and also Blood,
And Renniet which for Cheese is good:
By as manie manners and moe by one,
We seek Liquors for our Stone.
Every of the forenamed woll cleave
To that thei touch, and some deale leave:
But Quicksilver albeit it is fleeting,
Yet he woll never cleave to any thinge,
But to a Mettall of one kinde or other,
For there he findeth Sister or Brother.
Medling with suttill Erht doth him let,
To cleave to things such as he meet:
All the said Liquors which rehearsed be,
Conteyne fower Elements as well as he;
As Milke conteyneth Whey,Butter, and Cheese,
So done trewly every-each of all these:
Which fower maie be departed a twinn,
And after conjoynd to make ye winn.
But much more craftily they be heere sought,
Then Cheese, and Butter, and Whey be wrought;
And drawe neerer to simplicitie,
Then Cheese, Butter, or Whey maie be.
Of all Liquors which be in our Stone,
None is called simple but Water alone.
Of every Liquor which to our Stone shall goe,
Ye must know complexion and degree allso,
And than with Liquor ye maie abate
The principall Agent from his Estate,
If he permanent and abiding be,
In any point of superfluitye:
As if the reigning qualitie be Driness,
Ye maie amend it with humour of Moistnes.
Now more, now lesse, as ye see need,
And so in all qualities proceede:
And in such wise order at your will,
The principall Agent, your purpose to fulfill:
With knowledge of diversity,contrarietie, and accord,
Ye maie chuse which quality shall be Lord.
Your Liquors be ordained to add and subtray,
To make equalitie by wisdome of assay;
But trust not that any thing maie be
Hot and Moist both in one Degree:
For all that trust two qualities to be soe,
Shall be deceived where ever thei goe.
Common Schooles (so teaching)be not true,
Leave that Opinion , and lerne this of new
All Old men in that were overseene,
To set in one degree anie qualities twaine:
Else thei said so that Schollers shulde not finde
The secret mixtures of Elementall kind.
Therefore who cannot his graduations,
Maie not be perfect in our operations:
For in true Number God made every thing;
Without true Number no Man trulie maie sing;
Who faileth of his Number faileth of his Song,
Who faileth with us must doe Nature wrong.
Consider also the nature of the meane,
When it is in the Third degree made cleane;
The purer that your meanes be,
The more perfection thereof ye shall see.
The meanes reteyne a great part
Of the vertues of this Arte:
For the Principall maie not give influence
To the Finall end, neither the refluence
Unto his Principall without succour and aid
Of meanes conteyning the extremities aforesaid:
For like as by meanes of a treble Spirit,
The Soule of Man is to his Body knit,
Of which three Spirits one is called Vitall,
The second is called the Spirit Naturall.
The third Spirit is Spirit Animall,
And where they dwell now lerne ye shall:
The Spirit Vitall in the Hert doth dwell,
The Spirit Naturall as old Auctors tell
To dwell in the Liver is thereof faine,
But Spirit Animall dwelleth in the Braine:
And as long as these Spirits three
Continue in Man in there prosperitie:
So long the Soule without all strife
Woll dwell with the Body in prosperous life,
But when theis Spirits in Man maie not abide,
The Soule forthwith departeth at that tide:
For the suttill Soule pure and immortall,
With the grosse Body maie never dwell withall.
He is so heavie, and She so light and cleane,
Were not the suttilnesse of this Spirit meane.
Therefore in our worke as Auctors teach us,
There must be Corpus Anima & Spiritus:
Also in our worke ye shall so finde,
That our meanes must accord in every kinde
Of both extremities with wisdome sought,
Els all our worke shall turne cleere to nought:
For prudent Nature maie not by workinge,
Make Complement of appetite of a thing,
And so passe betweene extremities,
But if she first passe by all degrees
Of everie meane, this is truth unfained,
Wherefore Nature manie meanes ordained.
Now after all this to lerne ye had need,
Of seven Circulations of Elements for your speede,
According to number of the Planets Seaven;
Which no man knoweth but he have grace from heaven.
Old Philosophers, men of great engine,
Said how of Circulations there shulde be Nine;
It is the surer to doe by their advice,
Nethles Seaven maie your worke suffice,
By inventions late found of new,
Of later Philosophers whos workes be trewe.
But for Circulations of Elements,
Some Clerks ween to have their intents.
When they fro Fier ordaine to descend,
To Aire(thei ween not to offend)
If thei to Water doe then proceed,
And thens to Erth when thei see need,
And in such wise by order fall,
From the highest to the lowest of all:
Upon these words they tooke their ground,
That Aer est cibus ignis found.
But trust me that such Circulation,
Is but only a rectification,
Better serving for separation,
And for correction than for transmutation
But the truth is that appetite of the Fier,
Hath to worke in Erth his cheefe desire,
As upon his cheefe foode materiall,
For Fier with Erth hath most concord of all;
Because that ficcitie is the lyme of heate,
But Ayre of her kind is most wet;
Yet Fire without Ayre worketh not,
For Faces of Elements be knit with a knot
Of Gods hand that they maie not depart,
By noe engine ne craft of Mans art;
As in Plomps ye have example faire,
Where heavie Water ariseth after Ayre;
Whereof noe cause reasonable ye shall finde,
But Connexion of faces of Elementall kinde.
But our Circulation is from Fier on high,
Which endeth with Water his most contrary.
Another Circulation beginneth with Ayre,
Ending with his Contrary cleane Erth and faier.
Fro Fier to Erth, fro thence to Water cleane,
Fro thence to Ayre, then fro thence by a meane,
Passing to Erth, then eftsoones to Fier,
To such Circulations the Red worke hath desire.
Other Circulations be better for the White,
That be rehearsed for her appetite.
Every Circulation hath her proper season,
As her lightnesse accordeth with reason.
For as one Planet is more ponderous
Then is another and slower, in his course:
So some Circulations which Clerks seeks,
Must for her time have full thirtie Weeks;
Other Circulations shall oft time have lesse,
As one Planet is lighter then another was:
But the time of one with another will amount
To twenty six Weekes proved by accompt.
After all grosse workes made before hand,
And after all Circumstances had I understande;
Ignorance hereof deceiveth manie a Man,
Causing them to cease where Wisemen began.
Common People which for this Science have sought,
Ween how in forty dayes it mought be wrought,
They know not how Nature and things of Arte,
Have a proper time assigned for their part,
As it appeareth by this Similitude,
The Elephant for that she is great and rude,
Goeth with Foale years full twayne,
And fifty yeares ere that Foale gender againe.
Anaxagoras said in his Consideration,
That Mettals had for their generation
A thousand Yeares, wherefore him list to say,
In respect thereof our Worke is but one Day.
Alsoe ye must worke by good advice,
When ye see Erth above Water rise;
For as Water beareth Erth which we goe on,
So woll it doe in working of our Stone:
Wherefore Well-springs with strokes soft,
Soberly make ye must in tymes oft;
Whereby Water maie soberly flowe,
For violent Fluxes be perilous as nowe.
Moreover it healpeth in Alkimy
To know seaven Waters effectually:
Which be Coppied with manie a Man,
While thei be common seeke them as ye can,
Desire not this Boke to show things all,
For this Boke is but an Ordinall.
By those Waters men Weene in mind
All faults to amend of Metaline kinde;
Also thei weene of the Elements fower,
The effects to weene by their succour:
For thei suppose with confidence unfeined,
That all Vertues requisit in them be conteyned;
Some to molifie Mettalls hard wroght,
And some to harden Mettalls that be soft,
Some to purifie, some to make malleable;
Everie each according that he was able,
Such Liquors to know it is profitt and good,
Howbeit thei maie not to our Stone be food:
Noble Auctors men of glorious fame,
Called our Stone Microcosmus by name:
For his composition is withouten doubt,
Like to this World in which we walke about:
Of Heate, of Cold, of Moyst and of Drye,
Of Hard, of Soft, of Light and of Heavy,
Of Rough, of Smooth, and of things Stable,
Medled with things fleetinge and moveable;
Of all kinds Contrary broght to one accord,
Knit by the doctrine of God our blessed Lord:
Whereby of Mettalls is made transmutation,
Not only in Colour, but transubstantiation,
In which ye have need to know this thing,
How all the vertues of the Elements transmuting,
Upon the transmuted must have full domination,
Before that the substance be in transmutation;
And all partes transmuted must figured be
In the Elements transmuting impressed by degree.
So that the third thinge elemented of them all,
Of such condition evermore be shall.
That it trewly have it maie be none other,
But her Substance of that one, and her Vertue of that other.
A Child at his Nativitie can eate his meate and cry,
Our Stone at his Nativity woll Colour largly.
In three years after a Child can speake and goe,
Then is our Stone more Colouring also.
One upon a Thousand his tincture trewly is.
Of clean washen Mettall I am trew witnes,
Fastiely(beleeve it)and fully in your thought,
It maketh good Silver as of the Myne is wrought;
And also our Stone woll augment and increase,
In quantitie, and qualitie, and thereof never cease;
And therefore his growing and augmentation,
Is likned to man in waxing and creation.
Nathles one pointe of trewth I woll reporte,
Which to some Men maie be discomforte;
At the first making of our Stone,
That time for winninge looke for none;
If ye then cease, I understande
Ye shall departe with loosinge hand,
The Costs be so great before,
Expended and set upon the score;
But at the first augment of all
Which tyme our Stone depart ye shall
In parts twaine full equally,
With subtill ballance and not with Eye:
One for the Red, that other for the White,
To mainteyne both for your delight;
Then winning first beginneth to arise:
But afterwards if ye be wise,
At every augment continually,
Profit shall grow comodiously;
In this our White Warke alone,
As well as in the Ruby Stone;
Whereof said Maria Sister of Aron,
Lyfe is short, and Science is full long.
Nathles it greately retardeth Age,
When it is ended by strong Courage;
But some that have byne ought trewlie,
Have forsooke their worke lewdly;
When their greate labour have byne paste,
For thei know not how at the laste
Groweth the profit and the winninge,
Which thei would have at the beginninge,
Therefore I finde that it is neede,
The trewth to tell when ye shulde speede,
For when I am past and out of minde,
This my Witnes shall rest behinde,
For which cause I doe not spare,
Of this Arte the trewth to declare;
As much as I dare, that I be not shent
For breaking of Gods Commandement.
This wise endeth all our White Werke
Shewed sufficiently for an able Clerke.
After all this upon a day
I heard my noble Master say,
How that manie men patient and wise,
Found our White Stone with Exercise;
After that thei were trewlie tought,
With great labour that Stone they Caught;
But few(said he)or scarcely one,
In fifteene Kingdomes had our Red Stone:
And with that word he cast his Eye,
Looking on me full steadilye,
Of his words he saw me woe,
I said alas what shall i doe:
For above all Erthly thinge,
I most desire and love Cunninge.
And for the Red Stone is preservative,
Most precious thinge to length my Life;
The Red Stone said I is lever to me,
Then all were Gould that I would soe to be.
He said I was to younge of Age,
Of Body lusty and likely to outrage,
Scantly of the age of twenty eight yeares,
He said Philosophers had noe such Compeers;
This woefull answer then he made to me,
Till ye be elder he said it maie not be.
Alas good Master remember said I,
Howbeit my Body be light and lustie,
Prove and assay and you shall finde
Age sufficient within my Minde,
He held his words full still that tyde,
And so long tyme he did abide;
After this sudainely in wonderous wise,
He tempted me after the Philosophers guise.
Which to reherse it were too longe,
And to shew how I should doe wronge;
For that must be kept secreate,
For them which shall with Science meete;
Yet at the last with leasure and with space
I wan his love, by help of Gods Grace;
So that I had with Grace the trewe doctrine
Of Confection of the Red medicine;
Whom to seeke it availeth right nought,
Till the White medicine be fully wrought.
Alsoe both Medicines in their beginninge
Have one manner of Vessell and Workinge,
As well for the White as also for the Red,
Till all quick things be made dead;
Then Vessells and forme of operation
Shall chaunge, in Matter, Figure, and Graduation.
But my herte quaketh, my hand is tremblinge,
When I write of this most selcouth thinge.
Hermes brought forth a true sentence and blounte.
When he said Ignis & Azot tibi sufficiunt.
The Expositor of Hermes and Aristotle joynte,
In that joynte worke shewd a straunge pointe,
He said Albertus Magnus the Black Freer,
Nether Freer Bacon his compeere,
Had not of our Red Stone confideration,
Him to increase in multiplication.
The Expositor knew it sufficiently,
And my Master tought me trewly,
Albeit that I never made assaye
Of the Red worke before this Daye:
The cause appeareth in this Boke before,
When I was robbed then I would no more.
Nethlesse I have put me so farr in preass
That secreate Trewth to shew I cannot cease;
Rehersing such as were greately too bold,
So great secreats to shew as thei tolde:
They said that within the Center of incompleate White
Was hid our Red Stone of most delight:
Which maie with strength and kinde of Fier,
Be made to appeare right as we desier.
Pandulphus in Turba saide, mente secura,
Et ejus umbra in vera tinctura.
Maria confirmed it in fide oculata,
Quod in ipsa albedine est rubedo occultata.
The Boke Laudabile Sanctum made by Hermes,
Of the Red Worke speaketh in this wise:
Candida tunc rubeo jacet uxor nupta marito,
That is to saie, if ye take heede thereto,
Then is the faire White Woman
Married to the Ruddy Man.
Understandinge thereof if ye would gett,
When our White Stone shall suffer heate,
And rest in Fier as red as Blood,
Then is the Marriage perfect and good;
And ye maie trewly know that tyme,
How the seminall seed Masculine,
Hath wrought and won the Victory,
Upon the menstrualls worthily;
And well converted them to his kinde,
As by experience ye shall finde:
Passing the Substance of Embrion,
For then compleate is made our Stone;
Whom wise Men said that ye shulde feede
With his owne Venome when it is need.
Then ride or goe where ye delight,
For all your Costs he woll you quite.
Thus endeth the subtill Warke with all her store,
I need not,I maie not,I woll shew no more.
Towards the Matters of Concordance,
Consider there be no variance
Betweene such things as shulde accorde;
For of variance maie grow discord.
Whereby your Warkes maie be lost,
With all your labour and all your cost:
He that wol take our Warke in hande,
Five Concords he must understande.
The first Concord is neede to marke
Whether his Minde accorde with the Warke,
Which shalbe Lord to paie for all,
Els all your labour destroy ye shall.
The second Concord is needful to kenn,
Between this Crafte and her Workemen.
The Third shall serve well your intents,
When Warke accordeth with Instruments.
The fourth Concord must welbe sought,
With the Place where it shall be wrought:
For trewlie it is no little grace
To find a perfect working Place.
The Fift is of Concorde and of Love,
Betweene your Warkes and the Spheare above.
Of theis five Concords reherse we shall,
Beginning with the first of all.
For the first ye shall well finde
That full few Lords be stable of Minde;
Thei be hasty, the Warke is longe,
Thei woulde have you doe Nature wronge.
Some now be onward as hasty as fier,
Halfe a yeare after have noe desire;
And some in a Weeke, it is noe Nay,
Woll chaunge their mindes, and some in a day.
And for one Moneth have full beleife,
And the next Moneth thei woll the Arte repreeve.
It were much better for such to cease,
Than for this Arte to put them in preasse;
Let such like Butterflies wander and passe,
And lerne this lesson both more and lasse,
Following the Sentence of this holie letter,
Attingens a fine us'qs ad finem fortiter,
Disponens omnia suaviter,
That is proceede, mightily to the End
From the Beginning, maugre the feinde,
All things disposing in the meane space,
With great suavity that commeth of grace.
All short witted Men and mutable,
Such must needs be variable;
And some doe every Man beleive,
Such credence doth their Cofers greive;
To everie new Tale to them tolde,
They give Credence and leave the olde.
But some Lords be stable of wit,
Such be apt to finish it.
Everie such Lord or Master of this Werke,
Be he Layman or be he Clerke,
Be he rich man, Knight, Abbot or Lorde,
He hath with this Arte greate Concorde.
The seconde Concorde with this Arte is,
When ye can finde apt Ministers.
Noe Minister is apt to this intent,
But he be sober, wise, and diligent;
Trewe, and watchfull, and also timerous,
Close of Tongue, of Body not vitious,
Clenly of hands, in Tuching curious,
Not disobedient, neither presumptuous;
Such Servants maie your workes of Charge
Minister, and save from all outrage;
But trust not that two such Servants or three,
Maie sufficient for your worke be;
If your Matter be of quantity reasonable,
Then Eight such Servants be convenable;
But upon litle quantity, finde ye shall
Foure men able to performe all;
That one halfe of them must werke
While the other Sleepeth or goeth to Kerke;
For of this Arte ye shall not have your praye,
But it be ministred as well by Night as Daye
Continually, except the holy Sonday alone;
From Evensong begin till Evensong be done.
And while thei worke thei must needes eschewe
All Ribaudry, els thei shall finde this trewe,
That such mishap shall them befall,
Thei shall destroy part of their Works or all;
Therefore all the Ministers must be Men,
Or else thei must be all Weomen;
Set them not occupied one with another,
Though some to you be Sister or Brother:
Yet thei must have some good disporte
Their greate labours to recomforte:
Then nothinge shall better avaunce
Your worke than shall this Concordance.
The Third Concord is to manie full derke,
To ordeyne Instruments according to the Werke:
As everie Chapter hath divers intents,
Soe hath it divers Instrumments,
Both in Matter and also in Shape,
In Concord that nothing may mis-happ:
As workes of Division and Seperation
Have small Vessells for their Operation;
But Vessells broade for Humectation,
And some deale broad for Circulation;
But longe Vessells for Precipitation;
Both short and long serve Sublimation:
Narrowe Vessells and foure inches high
Serve Correction most properly.
Of Vessells, some be made of Leade,
And some of Clay both quick and deade;
Dead Clay is called such a thinge
As hath suffered greate roastinge;
Such medled in powder with good raw Claye,
Will Fier abide and not goe away;
But manie Claies woll leape in Fier,
Such for Vessells doe not desire.
Other Vessells be made of Stone,
For Fier sufficient but few or none;
Amonge Workemen as yet is founde
In any Country of English grounde,
Which of Water nothing drinke shall,
And yet abide drie Fier withall,
Such Stones large for our intente,
Were a precious Instrument;
All other Vessells be made of Glasse,
That spirituall matters should not out-passe;
Of Ashes of Ferne in this Londe everi-each one
Be made, but els-where be of Stone:
Of our Glasses the better kinde,
The morning stuffe ye shall it finde,
Which was Ashes the night before,
Standing in Heate all night and more,
The harder stuffe is called Freton,
Of clipping of other Glasses it come:
Tincture with anealing of Glasiers
Will not perse him as thei reherse.
By this Doctrine chuse or refuse,
Take which you woll unto your use,
But for figures of Vessells kinde,
Everie Man followeth his owne minde,
The best fashion is ye maie be sure,
She that best concordeth with Vessell of Nature;
And figure that best Concordeth with quantity,
And with all Circumstances, to matter best is she,
And this sheweth well Albertus Magnus,
In his Boke De Mineralibus.
Hereof a Secreate disclosed was,
By my good Master, to more and lesse,
Saying, Si Deus non dedisset nobis vas
Nihil dedisset, an that is Glasse.
Instruments needfull there be more,
As be Furnaces ordeyned therefore.
Olde Men imagined for this Arte,
A speciall Furnace for everie parte,
Everie-each divising after his owne thought;
But manie Furnaces of them be nought;
Some were too broade and some too longe,
Manie of them did Nature wronge.
Therefore some Furnaces maie be well used,
But manie of them must be refused,
For theie were made but by advice
Of them which seemed, and were not wise;
The most Commendable Fashion of them all,
In this Boke portaied finde ye shall,
One Furnace by me is found of newe.
Such as Olde Men never knewe,
Whose secreate Power with study sought,
And with greate Cost was dearly bought;
In him wilbe at one tyme wrought,
Threescore Warkes, and cost right nought,
More than it shulde for one Warke or twaine,
Therefore profitable it is certaine;
Threescore degrees divers ye maie gett,
For threescore warkes, and everie-ech of divers Heate,
Within that Furnace, to serve your desire,
And all thei served with one litle Fier,
Which of a Foote square onlie shalbe,
Yet everie-ech of the threescore as greate space as he:
Manie purposes ye maie thereby fulfill,
For here you shall have Heate after your will.
Of this Instrument all Men maie not be sure,
Therefore it is not formed in Picture.
Another Furnace woll serve threescore
Glasses trewly, and yet farr more,
Everie-ech of them standing in like Heate,
As by the Picture, Doctrine ye maie gett:
Another Furnace for this operation,
By me was found by Imagination,
Notably serving for Seperation
Of dividents, and for Altification,
And for Dis-junction called Division,
And for Correction called Ablution,
Yt woll for some things serve Desiccation,
Yt serveth full well for Preparation;
Soe for fix thinge it serveth well,
And yet for all at once as I can tell:
This is a new thinge which shall not be
Set out in Picture for all men to see;
Another Furnace in Picture be shall,
More full of perills than other Furnaces all,
Made for Magnetia, whereof bould Men had doubte,
To tuch with hands a poore lynine Cloute,
Which in the midle thereof unbrenned stoode,
For feare of flames brenning fierce and woode;
Which suttill Furnace I devised alsoe,
In which I found manie wonders moe
Than is convenient at this season to tell,
Whole graduation is doubtfull and casuell:
Wherein Magnetia, matter of greate coste,
Must quickly be served or suddainly be loste:
Of whole graduation if you woll not misse
Consider your Stoples, and lerne well this,
The more is the Stople the lesse is the Heate,
By manifould Stoples Degrees ye maie gett;
Whoe knoweth the power, the working and kinde,
Of everie Furnace, he maie well trewth finde,
And he which thereof dwelleth in Ignorance,
All his Warke faleth upon Chaunce:
Noe man is sure to have his intent,
Without full concord of Arte with Instrument.
Manie more Instruments occupied ye shall se.
Than in this Chapter now rehearsed be,
Which ye must ordeyne by good or sad advice
And prove them before hand oft if ye be wise.
The fourth Concord is full notable
Betweene this Arte and Places Convenable,
Some Places must needes be evermore dry,
Close from Aier, no waies Windy;
Some must be darke and dimme of sight,
In which Sun-beames none maie light;
But for some Places the trewth so is,
Thei cannot have too much brightnes:
Some Places must needes be Moist and Cold
For some workes as Auctors toulde;
But in our Warkes in everie place,
Winde will hurt in everie Case:
Therefore for everie Warke in season,
Ye must ordaine Places by reason.
Philosophers said by their engine,
How it shulde be wrought within locks Nyne:
Astrologers said it was a grace,
To finde a Chosen Working Place;
For manie things woll wonderous doe
In some Places and elsewhere not soe,
But contrarie wonders be of one thinge
In contrarie Countries wrought without leasing;
Whereof none other cause maie appeare,
But only contrarie places of the Sphere:
Whereto Places contrarie of the grounde,
To them Concordaunt and Obedient be found;
Hereof great Evidence and wittnes full cleere,
In the Magnets Stone openly doth appeare,
Whose North pointe draweth toward his Countrie,
Which under the Southe starr driveth Needles awaye;
Wherefore wise Men which for this Arte sought,
Found some Places concordant, some places nought;
Trewly such Places where Lechery is used
Must for this Arte be utterly refused.
The fift Concord is knowne well of Clerks,
Betweene the Sphere of Heaven and our Suttill Werkes
Nothing in Erth hath more Simplicitie,
Than th'elements of our Stone woll be,
Wherefore thei being in warke of Generation,
Have most Obedience to Constellation:
Whereof Concord most kindly and convenient
Is a direct and firie Ascendent,
Being signe common for this Operation,
For the multitude of their Iteration:
Fortune your Ascendent with his Lord also,
Keeping th'aspect of Shrewes them fro;
And if thei must let, or needely infect,
Cause them to looke with a Trine aspect.
For the White warke make fortunate the Moone,
For the Lord of the Fourth house likewise be it done;
For that is Thesaurum absconditum of olde Clerks;
Soe of the Sixt house for Servants of the Werks;
Save all them well from greate impediments,
As it is in Pictur, or like the same intents.
Unlesse then your Nativity pretend infection,
In contrariety to this Election,
The vertue of the Mover of the Orbe is formall,
The vertue of the Eight Sphere is here Instumentall,
With her Signes and Figures and parts aspectuall,
The Planets vertue is proper and speciall,
The vertue of the Elements is here materiall,
The vertue infused resulteth of them all:
The first is like to a workmans Minde,
The Second like his Hand ye shall finde.
The third is like a good Instrument,
The remnant like a Thing wrought to your intent.
Make all the Premises with other well accord,
Then shall your merrits make you a greate Lord.
In this wise the Elixir of whom ye make mention,
Is ingendered, a thing of a seconde intention.
Trust not in Geomantie that superstitious Arte,
For God made Reason which there is set aparte.
Trust not to all Astrologers, I saie whie,
For that Arte is as secreat as Alkimy.
That other is disproved and plainely forbod,
By holy Saincts of the Church of God.
Trust not, ne love not Negromancy,
For it is a property of the Devill to lye.
Trust to this Doctrine, set herein your desires,
And now lerne the Regiment of your Fiers.
A parfet Master ye maie call trowe,
Which knoweth his Heates high and lowe.
Nothing maie let more your desires,
Than ignorance of Heates of your Fiers.
Of manie Auctors written ye maie see,
Totum consistit in ignis regimine:
Wherefore in all Chapters you must so proceed,
That Heate worke not more ne lesse than it need;
Wherein manie of Gebars Cookes
Deceived were, though thei thei be wise in Bokes.
Such Heate wherewith Pigg or Goose is Scalded,
In this Arte Decoction it is called;
For Minerall meanes serveth such heate,
And to make our Letharge to give sweate.
Such Heate as dryeth lawne Karcheefes fayre,
In thirty operations serveth for our Ayre;
But for Divisions you must use such heate,
As Cookes make when they roast grosse Meate;
The Same Heate with a circular Fier,
For Seperation of Dividents we desire;
But for Circulation of Elements,
Ignis candens observeth our intents;
Which Fier must ever be Coequall
In every minute, and yet perpetuall:
For it maie never abate ne increase,
And yet the Fier maie never cease.
Study wisely, and looke about
Such a Fier trewlie to finde out.
And in that Fier no moisture maie be,
Which Hand maie feele or Eye see.
Ignis humidus an other Fier alsoe
Is, and yet it seemeth oppositum in adjecto:
Such Heate dissevereth at certaine tydes
Matter cleving to Vessells sides.
Manie moe things that Heate maie wynn,
It maketh oft thick Matters to be thynn.
A Philosopher mistely spake of this Heate,
And saide, the highest degree thereof to get
Shall cause and gender such Siccitie,
As of drie heate shall be in the First degree.
Another Fier is Fire of Disiccation,
For matters which be imbibed with Humectation.
An other Fier is Fier of Conservation,
For all drie things of his operation:
For Magnetia is Fier of effusion,
Full of perills and full of illusion,
Not onely perill which to the Warke maie fall,
But such alsoe which the Master hurte shall;
Against which once received is noe boote,
Ordaine therefore to fetch breath from your foote;
Provide for Mouth, Eyes, Eares, and Nose,
For it is worse than ten times the Pose.
Men hereby hath found paines sore,
Because they had not this warning before,
Ignis corrodens serveth in this Arte,
Elementa propinqua wisely to departe.
By one point of excesse all your Warke is shent,
And one point too little is insufficient;
Who can be sure to finde his trewe degree,
Magister magnus in igne shall he be.
It is the harder to know trewly his might,
There is no triall for it but our Eyesight:
Therefore all men faile in his presence,
Where Heate is lerned with cost of Experience.
Of this Heate in speciall Anaxagoras said thus,
Nemo primo fronte reperitur discretus.
Another is Heate of mighty Coaction,
For Mineralls that be of hard Liquefaction:
This Heate cannot be too stronge,
Be he continued never so longe.
Another is Heate of Calcination
For fowle Mettalls for their Preparation;
Which maie not brenn, ne doe them melte,
For so all thei maie soone be spilte.
The twelfte is Heate for to Sublime,
All the Spirits of the Mine.
The last Heate of theis goeth for all,
When to Projection our Stone shall fall.
Use maketh Masterie, there is noe more to sayne,
But he that faileth must needs begin againe.
Now have I tought you everie thing by name,
As Men teach other the way to Walsingham,
Of every Village, Water, Bridge, and Hill,
Whereby wise Men their Journey maie fulfill:
Soe maie a Clerke by this Doctrine finde
This Science well if he be cleere of minde;
All other maie finde himselfe hereby a foole
To deale therewith, which litle can of Schoole;
For this is the end of all worldly Cunninge,
Where to attaine can neither Pope ne King
By their Honours, ne by their great Councell,
But only by Vertue and Grace as Auctors tell.
This precious Stone will not be found ne wrought
But he be right devotely sought.
The Auctors forenamed with this Boke of mine,
Sheweth of Alkimy all the Doctrine,
If ye compleate their Sentences all,
Not by Opinion, but after this Ordinall;
For in this Ordinall I set you from all doubt,
Is nothing set wronge, nor one point left out.
The dayes were when that this Doctrine and ground
Had pleased me more than a Thousand pound;
Three Hundred pounds was not for my desire,
As would have byne this Chapter of the Fier.
And mervaile not Lords, ne ye freinds all,
Why soe noble a Scyence, as all Men this Arte call,
Is here set out in English blunt and rude,
For this is soe made to teach a Multitude
Of rude people which delen with this Werkes,
Ten Thousand Laymen against ten able Clerks:
Whereby yearely greate Riches in this Londe
Is lewdly lost, as Wisemen understonde;
And manie men of Everie degree
Yearely be brought to great Povertee.
Cease Laymen, cease, be not in follie ever;
Lewdnes to leave is better late than never.
All that hath pleasure in this Boke to reade,
Pray for my Soule, and for all both Quick and deade.
In this yeare of Christ One thousand foure Hundred seaventy and seaven,
This Warke was begun,Honour to God in Heaven.
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