[TRUE TINCTURE OF ANTIMONY NOT MADE OF CRUDE AND MELTED ANTIMONY]
Therefore first know and consider, that the True Tincture of Antimony, which is the Medicine of Men and Metals, is not made of crude and melted Antimony, as it is sold by Merchants and Apothecaries; but extracted from the Minera, as it is taken out of the Mountains, and before it is formed into Glass. But how that Extraction should be made, is the principal Work in which the whole Art consists: Health and Riches attend him, who rightly attains to that. [TRUE TINCTURE OF ANTIMONY NAMED THE STONE OF FIRE] But, my Reader, you must diligently mind this, viz. that the Tincture of Antimony prepared fixed and solid, or the Stone of Fire (as I name it) is a certain pure, penetrative spiritual and fiery Essence, which is reduced into a coagulated Matter, like the Salamander, which in Fire is not consumed, but purified and conserved.
Yet the Stone of Fire tingeth not universally, as the Stone* of Philosophers, which is made of the Essence of Gold itself. To this no such power is given, as that it should perform such things, but it tingeth particularly; viz, Silver into Gold, Tin also and Lead; but Mars and Venus it toucheth not, nor do they yield more, then from them by Separation may be effected.
[THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE STONE OF FIRE AND THE STONE OF PHILOSOPHERS] As much as Heaven is elevated above the Earth, so much doth the true Stone of the Philosophers differ from this Stone of Fire. I myself do candidly confess, that although I have found this, yet I am very far distant from the other. And this, whatsoever it is, I own to be received from the Wisdom of Basilius. Do you take heed you be not deluded by your own Fantasy, and that others deceive you not.
Moreover, one part of it can tinge no more, then five parts of Metal, so as to persist in the Trial of Saturn and Antimony; whereas, on the contrary, the Great Stone of Philosophers can transmute to infinity. Also in augmentation it cannot be so far exalted; yet the gold is pure and solid.
[EARTH OF ANTIMONY] The Minera, out of which this Stone or Tincture is made, is no other then (as I above mentioned) the very Earth of Antimony; from which, I say, it is made: but how or with what virtue, force, and power it is endued, you shall hear anon.
[POWDERS FIXED, WHY CALLED STONES] Let the Reader consider, that there are many kinds of Stones found, which tinge particularly; but all fixed Powders, which tinge, I here signify by the name of Stones; yet one tingeth more highly then another, as especially the Stone of Philosophers, which obtains the principal place; [TINCTURES, THEIR DIFFERENCE] the next is the Tincture of Sol; and of Luna. For the White: after these, the Tincture of Vitriol or Venus; likewise the Tincture of Mars; either of which hath in it self the Tincture of Sol, when reduced to Fixation. Next to these follow the Tinctures of Jupiter and Saturn for Coagulation of Mercury; and lastly, the Tincture of Mercury itself. This is the difference and multiplicity of Stones and Tinctures, all which notwithstanding are generated from Seed, and from one original Matrix, from which the true Universal Stone proceeds, but out of these no other Metallic Tincture is to be found. But all other Things, by what name soever called, all Stones (whether precious or common) I touch not now, nor have I any Intention to write or speak anything of them at this time; because they contain in themselves no other Virtues, then what appertain to Medicine. Nor shall I here make mention of Animal or Vegetable Stones; because they are only conducent to Medicine; but for Metallic Works unprofitable and void of all Virtue. Yet all the Virtues of all Things, Mineral, Animal, and Vegetable, collected into one, are found in the Stone of the Philosophers.
[SALTS, ENDUED WITH NO TINGING VIRTUE] Salts are endued with no tinging Virtue, but are only Keys* for the Preparation of Stones; otherwise of themselves they effect nothing.
[SALTS ARE KEYS] *Salts, as here is rightly said, are Keys; they open the Chest wherein the Treasure lies. But you must be sure to take the true Key; otherwise you may spoil the Lock, and not open the Chest. It is not safe in this Case to take Quid for Quo, as Apothecaries are wont. You must have a Philosophic Key, and proper Salts fit for opening must be taken. Nor condemn this Distinction, which is intimated, between Salts opening, which the Author here calls (as they are) Kleys, and Salts fixing, which enter the Treasure itself; as is sufficiently manifest by the Text.
[FIXATION, WHENCE] Yet, as for Metallic Salts (I now speak to the purpose if you rightly understand, what distinction I put between Mineral Salts) they are not to be slightly esteemed, nor to be rejected in Tinctures, since we can in no wise be without them, in their Composition, For in them lyes that most precious Treasure, from which every Fixation derives its Original.
[A STONE, WHETHER MADE WITHOUT MATTER] Here some may ask, and indeed very properly; whether such a Stone can be made without matter? I answer, No. For every Thing must have its own Matter; but not without Distinction. Animals require their Matter, Vegetables theirs, and Minerals theirs. Only consider and before all things observe this; [FERMENTATION, NECESSARY, WHY] viz. that no Body can be profitable for any Stone, without Fermentation, which I find in the end of the Work (I mean as to the Preparation of the Great Stone) cannot be omitted, if I would convert Metals with gain; for although in tangible is taken; yet from that formal Body must be extracted a certain Spiritual and Celestial Entity (shall I call it) or Apparency; for I find no other more fit name to give it: which Entity was by the Stars, before infused into that Body, and by the Elements concocted and made perfect. Yet this Spiritual Entity must again by a lesser Fire, and by the Regimen and Direction of the Microcosm, be reduced to a tangible, fixed, Solid and inconsumptible Matter.
But what do I, or what do I speak? I act as if I were deprived of my Reason*, in uttering words so openly. For if I had either Reason or Judgement, I should not discover so great Things with my Tongue, or command my hand to proceed in writing them.
*Art thou well in thy Wits, Basilius, who doest thus prostitute the Arcanum of the Stone, which hath unto this day been so diligently absconded by all Philosophers? Surely, if thou hadst not laboured with I know not what Intemperance of Mind, thou wouldst have closed thy Lips, and not have so clearly opened, what it is to separate the Pure from the Impure, what to render the fixed volatile, and again to fix that; how the Inferior becomes Superior, and that again plunged into the Deep Abyss, from which it had ascended. To discover so many Mysteries, in so few Words, as here thou doest, assuredly if it be not Madness, it is a certain very great benevolence to Posterity. This is that which moved him. Valentine seems to have burned with this Affection, and could not overcome that Inclination of Well-doing to many, by the Obligation (imposed on all Philosophers) of concealing the Secret Mystery of Nature, which by the Author thereof, that is, by Nature naturating with Intellectual Revelation, is communicated only to the Sons of Art worthy and chosen. The Secret of Secrets hath fallen from Basilius, do thou Reader attend, if you find the Pearl, be not like Aesop’s Cock.
All Tinctures of Metals ought to be separated, as that they may be moved with a certain principal Love and Affection to Metals, and have a propensity and desire of uniting themselves with tehm, and of reducing them to a better State. Will you have an Emblem, or Example? [EXAMPLE OF MAN AND WOMAN] Behold here it is of Man and Woman. If they two be inflamed with Mutual Love, neither Delay, nor Rest is admitted, until they be united, and their Desire satisfied: after this Union they rest, and are multiplyed, according to the good pleasure of GOD, and the promise of his Blessing.
Man lives obnoxious to many and perillous Diseases, some of which debilitate and consume the powers of Nature so, as the Man can by no Remedies be perfectly restored to Health and his former Strength [LOVE, A DISEASE] But Love is a disease, with which no other Disease may be compared, which is not healed unless by Production of its own like, which either Sex desireth, and that Desire is not satisfied, unless by fulfilling his will of the enkindled affection. How many Testimonies of this violence, which is in Love, are daily found? for it not only inflames the Younger Sort, but it so exagitates some Persons far gone in years, as through the burning Heat thereof, they are almost mad. Natural Diseases are for the most part governed by the Complexion of Man, and therefore invade some more fiercely, others more gently; but Love, without distinction of poor or rich, young or old, seizeth All, and having seized so blinds them, as forgetting all Rules of Reason, they neither see or fear any Snare. Peculiar Members are infected with the Singular Symptoms of other Diseases, all the other parts remaining sound and free from that Dolour. Whom Love infects, it invades all over, penetrates the Body and its whole Substance, Form, and Essence, and leaving nothing unoffended. For taking place in the Heart there it kindles a Fire, the burning heat of which is diffused through the Veins, Arteries, and all the Members of the body, and in a word I say, where Love once hath fixed its Root, the man is so deprived of all sense, reason and understanding, as he forgets all things, seriously minds nothing; he is unmindful of GOD and his Law, his promises and threats he little regards; the torments of Hell and rewards of Eternal Life he condemns. I speak of inordinate and unlawful Love, to which, if a man be once addicted, he adheres so pertinaciously, as nothing can reclaim, nothing can restrain him; he forgets his Duty, Calling and Condition; derides all admonition, despiseth the Counsels of Parents, Superiors, and others who wish him well; briefly I say, he is so blind with Love as he cannot see his own Misery; so deaf, as he cannot hear those, who by their faithful advice, endeavour to turn and avert from him, the damage and evil, which would befall him. Love leaves nothing entire, or sound in the Man; it impedes his Sleep, he cannot rest either Night or Day; it takes off his Appetite, that he hath no disposition either to Meat or Drink, by reason of the continual Toerments of his Heart and Mind. It deprives him of all Privdence; hence he neglects his Affairs, Vocation, and Business; he minds neither Labour, Study nor Prayer; casts away all thoughts of any Thing but the Body beloved; this is his study, this his most vain Occupation. If to Lovers the Success be not answerable to their Wish, or so soon and prosperously as they desire, how many Melancholies hence arise, with griefs and sadnesses, with which tehy pine away and wax so lean, as they have scarcely any flesh cleaving to the Bones; yea, at length tehy loose the Life itself, as may by many Examples! [LOVES SAD EFFECTS] For such Men (which is an horrible thing to think of) slight and neglect all perils and detriments, both of the Body and Life, and of the Soul and Eternal Salvation.
[AUTHORS CONTINENCY] But of these enough; for it becomes not a Religious Man to insist too long upon these Cogitations, or to give place to such a flame in his heart. Hitherto (without Boasting I speak it) I have throughout the whole course of my Life kept myself safe and free from it, and I pray and invoke GOD to vouchsafe me his Grace, that I may keep holy and inviolate the Faith, which I have Sworn, and live contented with my Spiritual Spouse, the Holy Catholic Church. [TINcTURE OF ANTIMONY OUGHT TO HAVE LOVE TO METALS] For no other reason have I alleged these, then that I might express the Love, with which all Tinctures ought to be moved toward Metals, if ever they be admitted by them into true Friendship, and by Love, which penetrates the inmost parts, be converted into a better State.
Now let us proceed to the Preparation of the Stone, and leave its use to the Close of this Discourse. This Stone is of a penetrable and fiery Nature, is cocted and brought to Maturity by fire, no otherwise, then all other Things, which are found in this Orb; which notwithstanding as they are of a diverse Nature, so they in diverse manners obtain that, according as the Nature of Things supplies with Disverse Fires.
[DIVERSE FIRES] The first Fire is Celestial, by GOD kindled in our Hearts, by which being inflamed we are moved with Love and a certain confidence in and of GOD our creator, of the Most Holy and incomprehensible Trinity, and of the Mercy, Grave of our Saviour JESUS CHRIST; which Confidence kindled is Us by Love, never fails, never deserts us in our Necessities, but will most certainly deliver our Souls from everlasting destruction. The second Fire is Elemental, produced by the Sun, and tends to the Ripening of all things in the Macrocosm. The third Fire is corporal, with which all Foods and Medicines are cocted and prepared, without which Men can neither obtain Health of Body, nor sustentation of Life. Of a fourth Fire mention is made in the Sacred Scriptures, viz. that, which before the Supreme Judgement of GOD shall consume this visible World: but what Fire is, and how it shall operate, that (if we be wise) we must leave to be judged of by his own Supreme Majesty. A fifth Fire is also spoken of in Holy-Writ, viz. Eternal Fire, in which never to have end, the Divels shall never be set at liberty from their Infernal Prison, and wicked Men, their Companions, adjudged to those Eternal Fires, shall be vexed, punished and miserably tormented forever: from which I pray the Omnipotent and merciful Lord to preserve us. Here I would admonish all and every Creature endued with Reason, by their Prayers to beg that Grace and Mercy from the Omnipotent, that they may so conform their Life to the Divine Precepts, and their own Duty, as that they may escape this Fire, and its Eternal Torments.
Our stone of Fire (which is to be noted) must be cocted ripened with Corporal Fire in the Microcosm, as all other Medicines and foods are prepared by the same. For where the great Fire of the Macrocosm ceaseth from it’s Operation, there the Microcosm begins to produce a new Generation; therefore this Concoction should seem strange to no Man. [EXAMPLE OF CORN] Corn is augmented and ripened by the Elementary Fire of the Macrocosm; but by the Corporal Fire of the Microcosm a new Coction and maturation is effected, that man may use and enjoy that Divine Gift for his sustentation, and by the same perfect the Last and the Least, which is produced of the first and the Greatest.
The true Oil of Antimony, of which the said stone of Fire is made, is above measure sweet, and from it’s earth is in such wise purged and separated, as if a Glass full of it be exposed to the Sun, its casts forth various and wonderful Rays (as if many fiery Speculums were there present) resembling a Ruby and other Colours. Now attent O lover of Art and Truth, and hear what I shall teach.
[ITS PREPARATION] Take in the Name of the Lord, of the Minera of Antimony, which grew after the Rising of the Sun, and Salt Nitre, of each equal Parts; grind them subtily and mix them; burn them together with a moderate Fire very artificially and warily; for in this the principal Part of the Work consists. Then you will have a matter inclining to Blackness. Of this matter make Glass, grind that Glass to a subtile Powder, and extract from it an high red Tincture with sharp distilled Vinegar, which is made of it’s proper Minera. Abstract the Vinegar in B.M. and a Powder* will remain, which again extract with Spirit of Wine highly rectified, then some feces will be put down, and you will have a fair, red, sweet Extraction, which is of great Use in Medicine. This is the pure Sulphur of Antimony, which must be separated as exactly as is possible.
*Take heed, take heed, O Lover of Chymistry, lest by this Fire, you burn the Wings of your Bird, which hath now raised itself to the top of Mountains. Few words are sufficient to the Intelligent, there is no need to inculcate the same things often, our careful Father Basilius doth that often enough.
If of this Extraction you have one pound two ounces take of the Salt of Antimony, as I taught you to prepare it, four ounces and on them pour the Extraction, and circulate them, for a whole Month at least, in a Vessel well closed, and the Salt will unite itself with the Extracted Sulphur. If Feces be put down, separate them, and again abstract the Spirit of Wine by B.M. The Powder which remains urge with vehement Fire, and not without admiration will come forth a varicoloured sweet Oil, grateful, pellucid and red. Rectify this Oil again in B.M. So that a fourth part of it may be distilled, and then it is prepared.
This Operation being completed, take living *Mercury of Antimony, which I taught you how you should make, and pour
*This word, our Mercury, which hath so often rendred Thee ambiguous, is also here to be understood: for if you take not the true Mercury of Philosophers, you do nothing. Whosoever he be, that shall candidly tell you this, he will be to you Pylades, and you to him Orestes, and nothing will be more pleasant to me in Life, then to join myself to you, as a third Sociate in Friendship.
upon it red Oil of Vitriol made upon Iron, and highly rectified. By Distillation in Sand remove the Phlegm from the Mercury; then you will have a precious Precipitate, in Colour such, as never was any more grateful to the Sight; and in Chronical Diseases and open Wounds, it may profitably be used for recovering the Pristine Sanity. For it vehemently dries up all Symptomatical Humors, whence Martial-Diseases proceed; in which the Spirit of the Oil, which remains with the Mercury, and conjoins and unites itself thereto, powerfully helps.
Take this precipitate, and of the Superior Sweet Oil of Antimony, equal parts, pour these together into a Phial, which well closed set in convenient heat, and the Precipitate will in time resolve and fix itself in the Oil. Also the Phlegm by the Fire will be consumed, and what remains become a Red, dry, fixed and fluid* Powder which will not in the least give forth from itself any Fume.
*Far hence, far hence ye Prophane, and you that are initiated in the Sacred Mysteries of Chymistry keep silence. Let the King enter into his Bed-Chamber, that he may consummate his Marriage.
O tua te quantis attollet Gloria rebus,
Yet make not too much hast to enter, or disturb this Matrimonial Conjunction, let them for many Months delight themselves with their mutual Embraces, and not go forth, until from their mutual Love they be changed into an Hermaphroditic Body, and have produced that Son desired by all, if not a King of Kings, yet at least a Regulus or Ruler, which delivers his Subjects from Diseases and Necessity.
Now my Follower, and Disciple of Arcanums, I will speak after a Prophetic manner. When you have brought your Philosophic Studies (in the Method by me prescribed) to this end, you have the Medicine of Men and Metals; which is grateful and Sweet in use, without all peril, it is penetrative, yet causeth not Stools, it induceth Emendation, and expells Evil. Use it as is fit, and it will yield you many Commodities, both for health and temporal necessity; by which means you will be freed from want in this World; which is a thing of so great Moment, as no Sacrifice of Gratitude can be found sufficient to answer this favour of GOD showed to you.
Here, O my GOD, I as a Religious Man am troubled in Mind; and know not whether I do well or ill, whether in * speaking I have exceeded or not reached the due Bounds; whilst I propose, and show to everyone, as it were, his proper House. Do thou, that art a young Follower of Art, inquire, search and try, as I have done; if you attain your End, give greatest thanks to GOD, and after him to me your Master. But if you turn aside into devious and by-paths, blame yourself, not me; for I am not guilty of your Error.
*Our Author judgeth himself to have spoken too much, if you also think the same, you will rejoice in his Sadness. Yet it is strange, that no Man can contribute a little Light to this Philosophy, but he presently repents.
Now I have said enough, and writ enough, and taught so clearly and openly, and plainly, as more manifestly or clearly cannot be done by Writing, unless some lost and rash Man, knowing and willingly would cast himself into Hell, to be there Submerged and Perish: Because, by the Creator of all Things we are most severely prohibited further to unlock these Mysteries, or to eat of the Tree which was planted in the midst of Paradise. Therefore here I will desist, until Others show, what is here to be done by Me, and what they judge is to be omitted, and say no more of this, but pass to its Use.
[ITS USE, DOSE, ETC]
Therefore know, that the Use consists in Observation of the Person and his Complexion, with relation to what appertains to Humane Health, that Nature be not overpowered with too great a Quantity, or not helped by too small. Yet too much is not so Religiously to be feared; for it will not readily hurt; because it helps to recover the pristine Sanity, and fights against Venom, if any be in the Body. This I only add, three or four grains of it, given in one only Dose, are sufficient for expelling every Evil, if taken in Spirit of Wine. For this Stone or Tincture passeth through all the Members of the body, and contains in itself the Virtues of many Arcanums. It remedies the Giddiness of the Head, and all Diseases, which have their Original from the Lungs. It cures difficulty of Breathing, and the Cough; the Leprosy and French Disease are amended by it, in a wonderful manner. The Pest, Jaundices, Dropsies and all kinds of Fevers, are often cured by it, Likewise it expels Venom taken. It profits those, who have drunk a Philtrum or Love-potion: it confirms all the Members, Brain, Head, and all things depending thereon. It helps the Stomach and Liver; heals all Diseases, which proceed from the Reins; cleanseth the impurity of the Blood. Also this Tincture of Antimony, breaks the Stone of the Bladder to Powder; and expells it; it provokes Urine, when stopped by Flatus’s. It restores the vital Spirits, cures Suffocation of the Matrix, makes the Menstrues flow if stopped and stays them if inordinate. It causeth Fruitfulness, and makes the Seed sound, and available for Generation, both in Women and in Men. Lastly, this Stone of Fire inwardly taken (convenient Plaisters being also outwardly applied) heals the Cancer, Fistula’s, Rotteness in the Bones, and all corroding Ulcers, and whatsoever takes beginning from the Impurity of the Blood, also the Disease itself called Noli me tangere. And that I may comprehend all in few Words, this Stone, like a Particular Tincture, is a * Remedy against all Symptoms, which can happen to the Humane Body. All which Experience will very clearly demonstrate to you, and open the way further to you, if you be a Physician, called by GOD to that Office.
*Here the Medicinal Virtues are spoken of at large. For Basilius supposeth Thee not to be defiled with the Filths of Avarice, but splendid in the Light of Charity, and burning with a Desire of helping thy Neighbour, following him discovering thse Secrets. Now farewell, O Lover of Chymistry, and if thou, hast gained any Light, either from the Interpretation of Basilius, or my Commentaries, enjoy it, and communicate the same to the Sons of Art, that Philosophy oppressed for so many Years with the intollerable Yoak of Avarice, may at length be revived, and a return be of those times of Egyptians, in which Trismegistus and so many wise Magi, Philosophized not with empty denominations, but with wonderful Works.
In these, I think I have done my part, and writ more then sufficiently of Antimony. If any One follows me, he may add his own Experiences to these, that (with the singular favour of GOD) before the consummation of the World, the Mysteries of the most High may be revealed, to his Glory and honour, and the Conservation of health. Having finished this Discourse, I intend for a time to be silent and return to my Monastery, there to learn Philosophy further, that I may be able to comment of other Thigns and as I have already promised, I shall (GOD willing) write of Vitriol, common Sulphur, and the Loadstone, and open their Principle, Powers, Operations, and Virtues.
Let GOD the Lord of Heaven and Earth grant to us temporal Health here, and hereafter Eternal Salvation for the Refreshment of our Souls, in the Seas of Joy and Gladness, never to be limited within any Bounds of time. Amen.
Thus I conclude this Treatise of Antimony, and all whatsoever I have written of the Red Oil of Antimony, which is made of its Sulphur highly purified, and of the Spirit, which is prepared of its Salt. Incline your Mind to those, and with them compare these last, which I have prescribed you touching the Stone of Fire. If you acutely consider them, you may easily find their Union unto the End, by this Comparation. For the Foundation is the same, the Reason the same, the Friendship the same, by which Health is required, and the Stag long sought taken with a pleasant Hunting.