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  Random Quotes
Frank Lloyd Wright (1868-1959)
A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.
 
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The Book of the Archer
The Principles of Discordian Magick
Energy
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  Six Principles of Magic
1. Every magician has a beautiful vision for the world.
2. Every system of magic is a single artists tool, used to reshape reality.
3. If you believe, it shall exist.
4. When you call, they will answer.
5. Success and failure, is one and the same: ignorance and depression is the enemy.
6. Be like all equally, and you shall unite; refuse and separate.

by Dalamar
 
  Mythology of THOTH
Thoth Egyptian God
Discover more about the myth and legend of Thoth & The Book of THOTH
 
Alchemical allegories





Alchemical allegories

 Alchemical texts often use elaborate extended allegories as a means of communicating key philosophical points, or to illustrate a particular alchemical process. In these allegorical texts a figure, with which the reader is supposed to identify, goes on an journey in search of wisdom or understanding of the mysteries of alchemy. There this figure meets various archetypal characters, kings, queens, various alchemical birds and animals, and witnesses a process of transformation. This parallels the use of series of symbolic illustrations in various alchemical books and manuscripts - these allegories are in essence the working out in text of similar alchemical ideas and processes as are found in the sequences of emblematic symbols.


 

The Allegory of John of the the Fountain
The Fountain allegory of Bernard of Treviso
The Parabola of Henricus Madathanus Lumen de lumine


 

The Fountain of the Lovers of the Science,
Composed by John Fountain of Valencienn in the County of Hainault. Lyons 1590. The third edition.

[This English translation of this important early alchemical allegory (thought to have been composed in the 15th century) is found in MS. Sloane 3637 in the British Library (a 17th century manuscript). This work was published in French in various editions, the earliest of which I have seen being issued at Paris in 1561, though the Sloane manuscript refers to the edition published at Lyon in 1590. A. McLean.]

It was in the time of the month of May, when one should bury sorrow and care, that I entered into an orchard, whereof Zephyrus was the gardener. When I passed before the Garden, I was not clothed in silk, but arrayed in sorry garments, that I might not in public appear naked; and diverting myself with a desire to chase away unpleasant thoughts, I heard an harmonious song of many grateful birds. Then I beheld the entrance of the garden which was shut, but as I judged by my sight, Zephyrus soon opened it. He afterwards retired, seeming thereby as if he had not done it. And when I saw the manner of it, I retired a little back, and afterwards I entered in. My teeth not having eaten for a day I was very dry and hungry. But I carried bread with me, which I had saved for a week. Then I perceived a fountain of very clear, pure and fine water, which was under a hawthorn tree. I joyfully sat down by it, and made me pottage of my bread. Then after eating I fell asleep within this pleasant orchard. And according to



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my apprehension, I slept long enough for the pleasure which I took, being in the dream which I dreamed. You now may know it from my dream, and I after found it a fiction. It is true that methought two comely Ladies with beautiful looks, seeming like the daughters of a King, in respect of their noble atire, came softly towards me, and I humbly saluted them, saying to them, Glorious Ladies, God save you both bodies and souls, May it please you to tell me your names, do not ye deny me this. One answered very courteously. Friend my name is Knowledge. Behold here Reason which accompanied me, whether it be in the mountains, or in the valleys, or in the fields, she can make you very wise. Then understanding this language and believing myself to be awake, I much wondered at what happened. For I saw issue from the fountain, which is so agreeable and wholesome, seven streams which I had never seen before. Having lain me down in this way, which wetteth me so much, that I was all be-dirtied, the water there gushed out abundantly. Then I desired the Lady Reason who was with Knowledge, to tell me the signification of the fountain, and the streams which are so plentiful and comely, and whose the enclosure was, on all sides well beset with trees and with sweet flowers, moistened with running waters, so that I thought I never saw its equal. But she most gently said to me. You, my friend, shall know how this affair does stand, which you so much desire to know; hearken attentitively to me. In it the fountain has a thing, which is most nobly contained. He who shall know it well, will love it above all other things. He who would seek and search it out, and being found put it afterwards into the earth and dry it to a most subtile powder, then again dissolve it in its water, but which has before been separated, then gather the parts together, which the earth shall set to rot in the water which should nourish it. Thence there will a maiden breed, bearing fruit at both her breasts. But that we should remove the rottenness, which neither she nor her fruit does care for, the maid I speak of in many things bestirs herself, and fervently desires it. For she mounts into the air flying on high; afterwards descending down gliding in the valley, and in descending down she fawns the fawn which Nature gives to her. It is a Dragon which has three throats, hungry and never satiated: all around him everyone assaults or kicks at him, surrounding him just as it were in a street and chasing him with a violent pursuit, so that a sweat do cover his face, (alias But beforehand by heat one drives away the sweat which covers the face) which blackens and beglews it, as with bird lime then impregnates it and [le mengue - an unknown word]. In the same manner she brings forth again (This amorously done) much more powerful than before, then drinks it as the juice of the apple. So the infant according to its manner often drinks, and afterward brings forth again, so that it clearer is than crystal, in truth the work is just so [Ytall - another obscure word]. And when it is so shining in a most strong and powerful water, it thinketh to devour its mother, who has eaten up its brother and father. So as it gives suck and broods, the dragon strikes it with his tail. Into two parts divide its Mother, which does assist it after this division: deliver it then to the three throats, which they have sooner taken it than a gargle. Tis then the strongest in the World, there's nothing ever does confound it.



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Tis marvellous and powerful, one ounce is worth a hundred weight of Gold. it is a fire of such a nature, that it overcomes corruption, and transmutes into another substance, since it brings it to its own likeness and cureth every distemper, The imposhume leprosy and gout; and gives youth to ancient bodies, and to the young ones wit and mirth. Tis as a miracle from God. Without this the Treacle cannot be made, nor any thing which is found underneath the heavens, which is experienced by the ancient prophets and doctors who teach us Nature. But one dare not make more enquiry, for fear of the Governors of the Earth; may such a mischief never happen, for without Sin one may do this. Many Wise loved it much, accursed be he who has defamed it. One ought never to reveal it, but to those who will love God, and those who will have the Victory, to serve God, love or believe. For he to whom God giveth time to live so long that he is some place have wrought this work, has from God obtained for himself grace or favour, know this for certain. Wherefore he should devoutly pray for those holy men who have put it into writing according to their way of discourse. Philosophers and Saints discreet men whose numbers I cannot reckon up. But may God shower all mercy on them who thus far have opened it. And for those who love the Science may God give them estate and patience. You ought to know that this same serpent, which I at first did mention to you, is governed by the seven streams, which are so amiable and fair. So I was minded to describe it, but I will name otherwise. It is a noble worthy Stone made by a Science divine, in which more virtue does abound, than in any thing which is in the World. Tis found out by Astronomy, and by the true Philosophy. It is produced in the Mountains, where there grows no other strange or foreign thing (alias, they find it grow aloft with all it ought to have). Know it for an approved truth, that many wise men have found it there, and it may there be still found out, with taking pains to labour well. It is the cabinet (or the quarry) of the precious stones of the philosophers which is so amiable and dear. One may have it easily and so tis better that all that can be had. But you will have undergone a deal of toil, before you have found it out. Having it you shall fail of nothing, which we can find upon this earthen world. Now let us return unto the fountain, there to know a certain thing. This valuable fountain does belong to a Lady of honour who is called Nature. Who ought to be much honoured; for each thing is made by her, and if she fails there all is undone. This Lady I assure you has been a long time established. For as soon as God had made the Elements which are perfect, Water, Air, Earth and Fire, Nature was perfect in them all. Without nature there could not grow a little oyster in the Sea. Natures the Mother of all things in the World. The noblest thing which is in Nature, does very well appear in the figure of a Man which Nature has made, wherein she has erred in nothing. So it does in many things which are produced by Nature. Birds, trees, beasts little flowers, they are all made by Nature. And so likewise it is of metals, which are not alike nor equal. For by herself they are made, very deep within the earth. Of which you will have a fuller account, when Nature shall show it you: whom I desire that you would see, to the end that you may the better follow her way and her path in your work, for she must make the discovery to you.

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As she was making this discourse, I saw Nature approaching, and presently without delay I went straight on to meet her, and humbly to salute her. But truly she first bowed to me, giving me the salutation. Then Reason said, see Nature here, let it be all your care to love her, for it is she will make you the prudent Master of her Work. I hearkened diligently, and she undertook to ask me whence I was and what I sought for in that place, because it was very wild and full of darkness for those who were not clerks. Lady, said I, by the God of the Heavens I came hither as those who know not whether to go to find out some good adventure. But I will tell you without delay and propound my adventure in short. I have heretofore seen a very great prelate, skillful, a clerk, prudent and cunning, who discoursed in common speech so that he made many a man wise, to know the medicine which he made, very high and very precious: demonstrating its excellence by very great experiment, he spoke with very great reverence of the Philosophers and their Science. He had been at a very good school; then I was put to a school, which was desirous to learn and know a better things than all possessions. And it happened to me to ask him whence this science came at first. If one met with it in writing, and who it was who showed it. He answered me without delay, in this discourse which I will tell you. The Science is the gift of God, which comes by inspiration, so is knowledge given by God, and is inspired into Man. But with this that one do well improve at school, by his understanding. But before a letter was seen, this surely was a Science known, by people not learned but inspired, who ought highly to be honoured, for many have found out this Science by the divine Wisdom. And further God is omnipotent, to give to his true servant such a knowledge as he pleases. Wherefore is displeases many clerks, saying that no one is sufficient, if he have not been a student. He who is not a Master of Arts or Doctor, gets no honour among the clerks. And can you blame them for this when they no nought but praising one another. But he who well would punish them must take the books away from them. Then their knowledge will be failing in many clerks, doubt it not. And it will not be in their lays, who make up round rhymes and songs, and who know not how to versify. And many things which many men do freely make a trade of, which they find not in their books. The carpenter and the mason study but very little. No. And they also surely make as good use, as those who study Physick, or Law, or Divinity; for the employment of their Life. From henceforth I was much incited wholly to apply my mind, so as by true experience to be able to obtain the knowledge of which many men desire, by the favour of the sovereign Lord. Reason and Nature I assure you hearkened well unto my story. Then said I to Nature, Madame, Alas I am Body and Soul always in care desiring to learn the science, where I cannot fail of having honour in my life, without any envying me. For all my riches I will get as the labourers of the ground, to dig and hough the land, and afterwards to sow their seed, as the true workman do; who make their riches and their praise. And for that reason I would pray you, that you would be pleased to tell me, how they do call this Fountain, which is so amiable and wholesome. She answered; Friends behold, since you desire to know it; It most properly is called, the Fountain of



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the Lovers. How it must be known to you, that ever since our Mother Eve, that I have governed all the world, as great as tis in all the Circle, nothing without me can rule, unless God would inspire it. I who am called Nature O environed the Earth, without, within and in the middle. In everything I have taken my place, by the command of God the Father, I of all things am the Mother. To all things I give virtue. Therefore nothing is or ever was without me, a thing which might beneath the Heavens be found, which is not governed by me. But since you reason understand, I will give you a goodly gift, by which if you will use it well, you may purchase Paradise, and great riches in this World. From whence nobility might rise, honour and great Lordships, and all pleasure in thy Life. For you shall use it with delight, and many noble feats behold by this fountain and the Cave, which governs all the seven metals. They rose from thence, that is certain. But I the Fountains Mother am, which is a sweet as honey. And to the seven planets of heaven it is compared, that is to Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and the Moon, the Sun, Mercury and Venus. Observe it well; you are obliged to this. The seven planets which I mentioned, are without all doubt compared to the seven metals coming out of the Earth, which are made of one matter. Now by the Sun we mean Gold, a metal without compare; and by the Moon we mean silver, a noble handsome metal; by Venus, Copper we do mean, this also is a very fitting name. By Mars we mean Iron; and Tin by wholesome Jupiter. And by Saturn good Lead, which we call leprous Gold. Mercury is argent vive, which has all the government of the seven metals, for it is the mother (just so as here they appear) which can make the imperfect perfect. After it I would withdraw [draw] you. Now understand well what I shall say, and how I shall manifest the Fountain of Dame Nature, which you see here hard by in the Figure. If you know well how to seek Mercury to work as the letter shows, you will make the Medicine of it, whereby you may purchase Paradise, with the honour of this world, where great plenty of riches does abound. You ought to know by Astronomy and by Philosophy, that Mercury is the matter of the seven metals, and the principal. For by its lead-like heaviness, it keeps in a mass beneath the Earth, notwithstanding it is volatile, and very convertible into the others. And it is found underground, just so as is the dew, and after mounts into the Air of heaven. I Nature tell you so; and thus it may afterwards conceive. He who would have the Mercurial Medicine, must put it into its vessel in a furnace to make Sublimation, which is a noble gift of God, which I will show and represent to you, according to my Power; for if you make not pure Body and Soul, you never will make a good amalgam, nor also a good conclusion. Therefore apply your mind to it. Now understand, if you would know; (tis better than anything to have good Judgment) take your Body and make a trial of it, as others have done, know it well. You must make your spirits very clean, so that it may incorporate. There will be a handsome battle. Twenty against seven are requisite without doubt. And if twenty cannot destroy they body in this case it must [muire - an unintelligible word]. So the battle is of Mercury most strong and fierce. it is afterwards requisite to make him restore, so that one can draw out nothing [more]. When your undertaking succeeds according to your desire, then he being taken, if you would have justice from him, you shall



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shut him up in the prison, from whence he cannot stir. But you must comfort him with one gift, or else for you he will do nothing, so that he will do the contrary. And if you would do him a kindness, it behoves you to set him at large, and set him again in his first estate, and for this you shall be his master. Otherwise you cannot well know that which you seek and which you would have. But by this means you shall know it, and all shall go according to your desire. But what you make of the Body, remember to make it here. First then you must without contradiction, of thy Body make a Spirit, and the Spirit reincorporate into its Body without any separation. And if you know not how to do all this, be sure do not begin the work. After this conjunction there begins Operation, out of which if you proceed, you'll have the glory of the heavens. But by this book you ought to know, which I Nature deliver to you, that the Mercury of the Sun is not like to that of the Moon, for it should always remain white to make a thing to its own likeness. But that which serveth for the Sum, must openly resemble it, for one must rubify it, and this is the first Work. And then one may conjoin them as in my argument I have said, which you herein have heard before, and which you ought to hearken to. And if you cannot understand it , in your work you may mistake, and perhaps shall lose a deal of time and waste it in vain. And if you know how to work what I have said, you may assuredly proceed therein. Now you have one point of this Work, which I Nature discover to you. You surely must with a good Judgment make afterwards a congelation of Body and Spirit together, so that one be like the other. And then you must with a right understanding separate the four elements, which you shall make all new, and then shall set them to work. First you must extract the Fire and also the Air for this affair; and afterwards reconcile them. I tell you this here in express words. Earth and water on the other part do serve very well in this Art. As also does the quintessence, for that is the Knowledge of our work. When you shall have found out the four and separated the one from the other, so as I have said before, thy work shall be half done. Now you may proceed by this means to make what I before have told you in this chapter. You shall put it into a little furnace: this is called a Marriage, when it is made by a wise man: and this is also very properly its name. Now understand the reason well: for the male may well be tied or coupled with the amiable female. And when they are found pure and clean and the one joined with the other, they produce a certain generation. So that this is a glorious work, and which is of great substance. Just so it is in another similitude of many a man and many a woman, who have good reputation and fame, by their children which they breed, which thing each one ought to esteem. From birds, from beasts and from fruits I could prove it otherwise. Put the seed of a tree skillfully into the earth; after the Putrefaction from thence will come a generation. You may know it by the cork [core]: which is more worth that all things else. By sowing one grain, you'll thence have a thousand. You need not there be very cunning. Nor ever was there any creature who could say to me Nature, I obtained a Birth without seeking after you. You in nothing can reproach me. And so it is of metals, whereof Mercury is the most subtle. Tis put into the furnace where his body is, which I have told you in my relations. And it is very necessary to do



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this, according as you shall see herein afterward. There tis requisite for him to be in love with his like, and then to work. But first that they may come together they must be parted asunder. But after this separation I assure you they reunite. The first time is the betrothing, the second the marriage, and the third time skillfully united into one nature. This is the perfect marriage in which our total work consists. Now understand well what I've said, for I indeed have falsified in nothing. When you shall have separated them, and by little and little well mended them, you shall afterward reunite them, and join the one to the other. But remember in your lesson, the proverb which Cato spoke: The man who reads and noting understands, is like a hunter who catches nought. Learn then well to understand, that you may not calumniate the books, nor the good workmen, who are perfect understanders. For all those who blame our work, neither know nor understand it. He who well shall understand us, shall very soon come to our Work. It has been opened oftentimes, and by Philosophers approved; But many men esteemed for wise blame it, for which they are fools. And all should lay the blame thereof on them, who have in themselves understanding without gall. But one may well and truly praise all those who such a jewel have, and those who think to find it out by the means of working well. And one should say it is well done: their good work deserveth praise. Now we have told a thing which briefly ought to be disclosed: which is that, if you would well proceed, you make a union of two, so that they may be betrothed in the vessel, which well knows the being or existence, and then separate it for your work. It behoves you to order it well. And to let you know the Way, tis nothing else but dissolution, of which you will have great need. If you would pursue the Work, you out to destroy the Composition, so as you have occasion for it, so that each one be by itself apart. And then having the Earth thirsty, with the water of Heaven in due manner (for they are of one nature all) tis reason it should be moistened, and it shall be governed by me. Now I have told without any error, how the body shall get a soul, and how you must separate them, and divide them from one another: but the division without doubt, is the key of all our work. It is performed by the fire: without it art would be imperfect. Some say that Fire produces nothing of or by its nature, except ashes. But saving their respect Nature's engrafted in the Fire, for if Nature were not there, the fire neer have any heat. And I will prove it thus. I will take Salt (alias Sol or the Sun) to bear me witness. But now we will leave this discourse and we will speak of other noble subjects. And when I heard this conference, I writ the word down in my heart: and said thou Lady in a bright array, will you hearken to me a while, and let us return to ye (alias the seven) metals, of which Mercury is the principal, and let you and reason make me some interpretation, or I am mistaken in your work, because of what you have said above. For you would have me to destroy that which I made at first: and that you do expressly say. I know not whether these are repetitions, or whether you speak by Parables, for I understand not your schools. Friend (Nature answered thus) how understand you the Mercury which I have heretofore named to you? I tell you that it is shut up, although it happen oftentimes that it goes and comes through many hands. The Mercury which I commend to you, surnamed De Mercurio, that it of, from or out of Mercury.



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It is the Mercury of Mercuries; and many folks make it their care to find it out for their affair. For tis not vulgar Mercury, you cannot find it without me. But when you would work therein, you must be very authentical, (versed in good Authors), to arrive at the practise, whereby you may have a very great knowledge of our works. You must know the metals. or your work will not be worth an oyster. Now, the better to know the way, I'll tell you where the work is placed, likewise where it does begin, if you are a Son of the Science. And he who thither would arrive must know how to obtain this point, or his affair will be worth naught, for all the labour he there employs. Therefore I do call ye Fountain, which is so amiable and wholesome Mercury, the true source or fountain head who is the cause of perfection. Now understand well what I shall say, for indeed I will speak nothing wrong. This Mercury without its equal you may find in the Sun, when he is in his great heat, and that he makes many blossoms appear, for the fruits come after blossoms. I can prove it in this manner, and still a hundred other ways, which to this art are very slight. But this hear is the chief, and I therefore mention it to you. I have not abused you indeed, for it is visibly there to be found. And if you would work in Luna, you may as well there find it out; in Saturn and in Jupiter, and in Mars which I call Iron: in Venus and in Mercury one may find it most securely. But as to me I found it in the Sun and after wrought it. And therefore I made this Book for you, that you may freely understand me. In Luna seek to see or find it: from thence I took my first matter. Moreover I say to ye understanders, that both the works are but one, except the rubifying, which serveth rarely for the Sun. And I know not how to tell you more thereof, unless I should show you the practice. And this could not draw you back from error, if you did not see it done. But keep in your memory well, what I have told for you to hear. Being at dissolution you ought to make imbibition. But do not you begin to act what I have said in this affair, if you have not a perfect proof of the Work, in having well dissolved the imperfect. And if you can get over this step, reincorporate it by the circle, returning to the former work: the other was only a messenger. You may seek it evidently, how it is slightly made: you cannot come to a nearer way, to the highest of your aim. And if you truly understand it, you will not labour in vain. And after this work so performed, you must restore what is undone. Putrefaction is to be seen from whence a noble being should be born: and in this point the masterpiece consists, whereby all our work is put together. And as I have said to you before, all which is fitting does consist in this. The preparation is put into the furnace. You must have like to like: for the sprout must putrefy before it can issue out of the earth. Likewise the seed of man, which I name you for a proof, putrefies in the body of the woman, and becomes blood and after takes a soul, but in the form of a creature. This same secret Nature gives you. From thence there ought a thing to be born which shall know more than its Master, to suckle the four children who already are all grown great, which are called Elements and separated from one another. Now you have five things together, and they do much resemble one another, also it is but one substance, all of the same appearance. The Child should there eat up its Mother and afterwards destroy its Father. Flower and milk



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and fruit with blood, it behoves you to find in one pool. Now mind from whence the milk does come, and it is needful there to make Blood. If this you cannot well consider, you lose your labour as your work. And if you know how to understand me well, be sure to work without more delay, for you have passed the Pass, where many fools and wise men do stop. There you may pause a while, and afterward begin to work, and so pursue till you make issue forth the perfect fruit which we do call Elixir. For by a mighty skillful work the precious stone is made of the Philosophers of renown, who very well do know the reason. And there's no jewel nor possession, which can be the value of this stone. If you would have me tell you its force; it can cure all diseases, likewise by its most noble acts, it perfects all imperfect metals. And there is nothing in the world but this, where mighty virtue does abound. It is disposed to wonderful things, yet we do call it the Medicine. And of all the other Stones, which many Princes hold for dear, none can so much rejoice a man, as that which I do name to you. And therefore I put you in mind, that you may take it for certain. For above all the Stones in the world, virtue does in ours abound. And therefore you must do your endeavour to gain such noble wealth. If you will well follow me, you may arrive at this end. Learn well, so it will make you wise, for I have told you all the Practice. In the Furnace you may see it very well, in which all you have ought to be: making by a certain management the circle of Putrefaction. Moreover I have taught you by these divisions your work remains in two parts: I will tell you no more of this, until I shall have seen in you some service for which I may tell it you; otherwise it would be folly. But when you shall have deserved it, I'll tell it you is short words; therefore ask me no more, I have only told over and above too much. And when I heard Nature, that she cared not to say any more to explain her works, I began to weep most tenderly and said, O dame in bright attire, will you have pity on me, or I shall never despatch that which I have found in a book. Tell me O noble and good Lady beforehand, you will do a charity. Then she answered, you shall know no more until you have deserved it. Alas, said I, then O dear Lady, will you tell me the way how I may deserve it. For I will always serve you loyally without any other thought. I cannot make you recompense, nor increase your riches. I will serve you incessantly, if you will give me so noble a gift, as to receive me for one of yours. The Nature answered. Son, you know what I have said. But is you do believe me, you may beforehand be much more knowing. Lady, said I, by the God of Heaven, I would willingly be one of those, who should serve for such a work his whole lifetime without doing any wrong. Will you then tell me your commands, for I will contradict nothing. Then, said Nature, without mistake, my son in law, you needs must learn to know the seven planets, of which Mercury is the principal, their powers, their infirmities, their changeable qualities. Tis needful afterward to learn whence Sulphur, Salt and Oil do come. Wherefore we put you in mind of what you will still have occasion for. Sulphur is mighty necessary: so will it give you profit or much ado to make it. Without Salt you'll bring to pass nothing useful for your work. From Oil you have a great mystery.



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(alias you have great occasion for Oil). You'll make without it nothing sweet-scented. This you ought to remember well, if you would arrive at our Work. I'll tell you one word, now understand it, with which you will be well contented. One metal in one only vessel, you need to put into one furnace. Tis Mercury which I explain to you, and there is no need of ought else there. But the abridgements of your work, I disclose it to you word for word. Now I will speak to you Gold, which is the treasure of the metals. It is perfect, nothing is more perfect than it, of those which I have named before. Luna is and it is not perfect. This I certify to you for a Truth. There's but one metal in the world in which our Mercury does abound, and so tis found in all the seven. This I have tried very well. Gold by right is hot and dry, Luna in her nature cold. Saturn is heavy and soft; in this it may be likened to Gold. Many clerks fierce in speech, will nominate it leprous Gold. Venus well resembles Luna in weight and also in the forging. Mercury is cold and moist, witness Jupiter which thence is bred. Mars is hard and heavy and cold. This is the dressing [preparation] of all the rest, be their nature hard or tender, you must understand all seven, as I have named them above, and know their virtues well; and by this means afterward you will make what you will of Mercury. Indeed, Lady, it shall be done, tell me the work beforehand, and how I may manage what I have seen within your bounds. For never yet since I was born, have I been so much enamoured of any thing in the world. I think a virtue there abound. I esteem it as the secret of God, which is revealed in this place. Then, said nature, you say true, and this is all the wealth of the World, from from my Fountain there proceed great riches, from which honour comes to many men is diverse ways. I'm like a mine to many people. And because you are come hither without any return or revenue, and that you have the good will to labour as a person desiring to meet good fortune, I will show it you beforehand. I have told you in a remarkable chapter, I know not whether you remember it, that thy work consists of two parts. I Nature, discover it to you. Make thy penetrative Sulphur by fire become attractive. make it then eat up its mother. So our affair will be accomplished. Put the Mother into the belly of the child, which she has brought forth before: then so it will be both father and son quite made perfect by or of two spirits. Indeed it is no other thing, that what I here expose to you. And if you thereunto would add a foreign thing, or apply any other thing than Sulphur, Salt and Oil, in truth your work will be worth nothing. For the Earth will not bring forth other fruit than what you saw therein. A creature makes a creature, and a beast a beast of its own nature. So of all seeds it likewise is. Take this for the design of my Sciences. Say not, my son in law that this is gall. All must arise and fall in a most acceptable way, most pleasant, and most amiable. I have preordained the way, just so as is the dew, it must mount up into the air of heaven, and sweetly afterwards descend by a most amicable path (Alias, Our water pure prepared goeth just as does the dew), which one ought to manage well. In the descension which it makes, it bringeth forth the perfect Sulphur,



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and if you can obtain this point, you well may say without a lie, that you can have a great quantity of Gold above ground without doing evil; for if all the sea were a metal, such as one would have it, Copper, argent vive, lead or tin, and you should cast one only grain on it when it were heated, there would come out of it a smoke, which would appear in a wonderful dress, and all would afterwards be quiet, and when the smoke should be appeased and all becalmed, the sea would be much finer Gold, than any King has in his Treasure. Now to our purpose we'll return, as before to govern well. When they sulphur shall be eaten up, your Mercury mortified, keep him in prison forty days, and then you'll see that which you love. And God send you to do so well, as to obtain Paradise. Here you see well ordered, the prison which I have named to you; faith I have given it you there in the figure. Now do you remember Nature, who was willing to afford you so noble a gift, as to reveal the most admirable Science, and venerable in this world. There could not otherwise be made the stone of which I treat with you. Do thou then view the writings well of our books: or else by figures this science is demonstrated. A real thing without any fable; most certain and most true, what is beneath is all just like to what is mutable above, for producing in the end, the miracle of one thing alone. As from one thing were all, and by the thought of one all things which have been produced did grow; so are our works made out of one. The glorious Sun its father is, and the Moon the real mother, the wind does close it in its belly: its nurse indeed is the Earth. It is the father of the treasure of the world, and the great secret has its foundation here, Its power then is quite entire, when it returns back into Earth again. Make separation of the earth from Fire, by skill and in the proper place, and sweetly separate the gross from the subtle, which you shall keep apart. then will it mount up from the earth to heaven, and before your eyes descend, receiving sovereign virtue with its terrestrial power. Thus at great glory you'll arrive, obtaining victory over all the world. This is the power of Powers, where many take great pains and struggle. It will conquer things subtle and the hard it will transpierce. They are very agreeable wonders, whereof we have most excellent reasons. My name is John of the Fountain. I have not lost my labour in working, for through the world I multiply [or there multiplies and increases] the work of Gold, which I have finished in my lifetime, by my truth (thanks to the holy Trinity) which is the medicine of all evils, true and effectually the finest, which one can search for any where, be it in the seas, or be it in all the earth. And from a metal foul it drives the filth away, so that it renders it a matter pure, that is a metal very delicate, of the species of Gold or Silver. By this means the work is made, and there's no need of any other craft, according to my little sentiment, I do really find it so. Therefore I'll call my book which tells the matter, and declares so precious an artifice, the Fountain of the Lovers of the most useful science, described in my humble style. It was made by a friendly [Seuvage - an unknown word]. When I was in my youthful days, in the year one thousand four hundred and thirteen, when I was twice sixteen years of age. Twas finished in the month of January in the city of Montpelier.

Some add.

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Here does end John of the Fountain, Who possessed this mighty work, As the most secret gift of God, Which ought to make all men discreet.

This Art which is so precious may Be comprehended in these two verses.

Si fixum solvas faciasque volare solutum, Et volucrem igas faciet te vivere tutum.

If you dissolve the fixed And make what is dissolved fly And fix the volatile It will make you live happily.

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The Parabola of Madathanus

As I once was walking in a beautiful, green, young forest, meditating and deploring the difficulties of this life, considering how, through the grievous Fall of our first Parents we came into such wretchedness and grief, I left the accustomed road and came, I know not how, upon a narrow footpath, very rough, untrodden, difficult and overgrown with so many bushes and brambles that it was easy to see it was very seldom used. At this I became frightened and wished to retrace my steps. But this was not possible, especially since a strong wind blew so mightily behind me that I had to take ten steps forward for every one I could take backward. Therefore I had to press on, despite the roughness of the way. After advancing thus for a good while, I came at last to a lovely meadow, encircled by beautiful fruit-laden trees, and called by the inhabitants, The Field of the Blessed. Here I met a group of old men with snow-white beards, and one among them was young and had a pointed black beard. A still younger man was present also, whose name I knew, but whose face I did not yet see. These men conversed about many things, particularly about a high and great secret in Nature which God kept hidden from the multitude, revealing it only to the few who loved Him. I listened to them for a long time, and their words pleased me much. But some among them appeared to mutter foolishly, indeed not about the objectives or the work, but about Parabolas, Similitudes and other Parergons. In this they followed the Figmenta of Aristotle, of Pliny and of others, each of whom had copied from the other. At this I could no longer remain silent, but put in a word of my own, answering many futile things on the basis of experience, so that many listened to me, examining me in their speciality, putting me to some very hard tests. But my foundation was so good that I came through with all honors, whereat they all were amazed. However they unanimously accepted me into their Brotherhood, whereat I rejoiced heartily. But they said that I could not be a full colleague so long as I did not



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know their Lion and was not fully aware what he could do internally and externally. I was therefore to set about diligently to make him submissive to myself. Confidently I promised them I would do my best, for I enjoyed their company so much that I would not have parted from them for anything in the world. So they led me to the Lion and very carefully described him to me. But what I was to do with him at first, no one would tell me. Indeed some of them did give me certain hints, but so confusedly that not one in a thousand could understand them. However, when I had tied him and made certain that his sharp claws and pointed teeth could not harm me, they no longer kept anything back. The Lion was very old, fierce and huge; his yellow mane hung over his neck, and he really appeared unconquerable. I was nearly terror-stricken, and had it not been for my agreement and for the old men who stood around me to see how I would begin, I would have run away. Confidently I approached the lion in his cave and began to cajole him, but he looked at me so sharply with his glittering eyes that I nearly let my water for fear. At the same time I remembered that as we went to the Lion's cave one of the old men had told me that many people had attempted to conquer the Lion, but very few had succeeded. Since I did not wish to fail, I recalled many grips I had learned through careful application to athletics, and in addition I was well trained in natural magic, so I forgot about the pleasantries and attacked the Lion so artfully and subtly that before he was aware of it, I had pressed the blood out of his body, indeed out of his heart itself. The blood was beautifully red, but very choleric. But I examined his anatomy further and found many things which greatly surprised me; his bones were white as snow, and they were of greater quantity than his blood. When my old men, standing round the cave and watching me, realized what I had done, they began to dispute with each other violently so that I could see their gestures. But what they said I could not understand because I was so far inside the cave. And when they began to shout at each other, I heard one who cried, "He must also bring the Lion to life again; otherwise he cannot be our colleague." I did not wish to make trouble. Therefore I walked out of the cave and crossed a broad space. Then I came, I do not know how, to a very high wall which rose over a hundred ells into the clouds. But above there it did not have the width of a shoe. From the beginning where I started, to the end there ran an iron railing along the top of the wall, well fastened with many supports. I walked along the top of this wall and thought I saw someone going along a little ahead of me on the right side of the railing. After I followed him a while, I saw someone following behind me on the other side of the railing (to this day I don't know whether it was a man or a woman) who called to me and said that it was better to walk on his side than where I was going. I easily believed this, for the railing which stood in the middle of the wall made the passageway very narrow so that it was difficult to walk along it at such a height. Then behind me I saw some people who wanted to go that same way. So I swung myself under the railing, holding it fast with both hands, and continued along the other side until I came to a place on the wall where it was especially dangerous to descend. Now I regretted that I had not remained on the other side; for I could not



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pass under the railing again; also it was impossible to turn back and take the other way again. Therefore I summoned my courage, trusted in my sure-footedness, held on tightly, and descended without harm. When I went on for a while, I had indeed forgotten about all dangers and also did not know where the wall and railing had vanished. After I had descended I saw standing a lovely rosebush on which beautiful red and white roses were growing; but there were more of the red than of the white. I broke off some of them and put them on my hat. I soon saw a wall encircling a great garden, in which were young fellows. Their maidens also would have liked to be in the garden, but they did not wish to make the great effort of walking the long distance around the wall to the gate. I was sorry for them and returned the whole distance I had come, then followed a smoother path, and I went so fast that I soon came to several houses, where I hoped to find the cottage of the gardener. There I found many people; each had his own room; often two were working together slowly and diligently; but each had his own work. And it appeared to me that all this they were doing, I had done before them, and that I knew it all very well. Then I thought, "Look, if so many other people do such dirty and slovenly work only for appearance's sake, and each according to his own ideas, but not established in Nature, then you yourself are forgiven." Therefore I would not stay there any longer for I knew that such art would disappear in smoke, so I continued on my destined way. As I now went toward the garden gate some looked at me sourly, and I feared that they would hinder me in the fulfillment of my intentions. Others, however, said, "See, he wishes to go into the garden; but we who worked for so long in its service have never entered it. We shall laugh at him if he blunders." But I paid no attention to them, for I knew the plan of the garden better than they, although I had never been in it, and I went straight up to the gate. This was locked fast, and one could not discover even a key-hole from the outside. But in the gate I saw a tiny round hole which one could not distinguish with ordinary eyes, and I thought it was necessary to open the gate there. I took out my skeleton-key, especially prepared for this purpose, unlocked the gate and walked in. After I was inside the gate I found more locked gates, but I unlocked them without more difficulty. But I found that this was a hallway as if it were in a well-built house, about six shoes wide and twenty long, covered with a ceiling. And although the other gates were still locked, I could see through them sufficiently into the garden as soon as the first gate was opened. And so in God's Name I wandered further into the garden. There in the midst of it I found a little flower-bed, square, each of its four sides six measuring-rods long, and covered with rosebushes, on which the roses were blossoming beautifully. Since it had rained a little and the sun was shining, a very lovely rainbow appeared. After I left the flower-bed and had come to the place where I was to help the maidens, behold! instead of the walls there stood a low wattled fence. And the most beautiful maiden, dressed all in white satin, with the most handsome youth, clad in scarlet, went past the rose-garden, one leading the other by the arm and carrying many fragrant roses in their hands. I spoke to them, asking how they had



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come over the fence. "My dearest bridegroom here helped me over," she said, "and now we are leaving this lovely garden to go to our room to be together." "I am happy," I replied, "that without further effort of mine you can satisfy your wish. Nevertheless you can see how I ran so long a way in so short a time, only to serve you." After this I came into a great mill, built within stone walls; inside were no flour-bins nor any other things necessary for milling; moreover, through the wall one saw no waterwheels turning in the stream. I asked myself how this state of affairs came about, and one old miller answered me that the milling-machinery was locked up on the other side. Then I saw the miller's helper go into it by a covered passage-way, and I followed close after him. But as I was going along the passage, with the waterwheels on my left, I paused, amazed at what I saw there. For now the waterwheels were above the level of the passage, the water was coal-black, although the drops from it were white, and the covered passage-way itself was not more than three fingers wide. Nevertheless I risked turning back, holding fast to the beams over the passage-way; thus I crossed over the water safely. Then I asked the old miller how many waterwheels he had. He answered, Ten. This adventure I long remembered and dearly wished I could know what it meant. But when I saw that the miller would not reveal anything, I went on my way. In front of the mill there arose a high, paved hill; on its summit some of the old men I have mentioned were walking in the warm sunshine. They had a letter from the Brotherhood and were discussing it among themselves. I soon guessed its contents, and that it might concern me, so I went to them and asked, "Sirs, does what you read there concern me?" "Yes," they replied, "Your wife whom you recently married, you must keep in wedlock or we shall have to report it to the Prince." I said, "That will be no trouble, for I was born together with her, as it were, was raised with her as a child, and because I have married her I shall keep her always, and death itself shall not part us. For I love her with all my heart." "What have we to complain of, then?" they asked; "the bride is also happy, and we know her wish is that you must be joined together." "I am very happy," I replied. "Well then," said one of them, "the Lion will come back to life, mightier and more powerful than before." Then I recalled my previous struggle and effort, and for some curious reason I felt this did not concern me but another whom I knew well. At that moment I saw our bridegroom walking with his bride, dressed as before, ready and prepared for the wedding, whereat I was very happy; for I had greatly feared that these things might concern me. When, as has been said, our scarlet-clad bridegroom came to the old men with his dear bride, her white garments gleaming brightly, they were soon united and I greatly wondered that the maiden who might be the bridegroom's mother was nevertheless so young that she seemed newly born, as it were. Now I do not know how the two had sinned; perhaps as brother and sister, united in love in such a way that they could not be separated, they had been accused of incest. Instead of a bridal bed and brilliant wedding they were condemned to a strong and everlasting prison. However, because of



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their noble birth and station, in order that they could do nothing together in secret, and so all their doings would always be visible to their guard, their prison was transparent-clear like crystal and round like a heavenly dome. But before they were placed inside, all the clothing and jewels they wore were taken from them so they had to live together stripped naked in their prison. No one was assigned to serve them, but all their necessities of food and drink -- the latter drawn from the stream mentioned above -- were placed inside before the door of the room was securely closed, locked, sealed with the seal of the Brotherhood, and I was placed on guard outside. And since winter was near I was to heat the room properly so they would neither freeze nor burn, but under no conditions could they come out of the room and escape. But if any harm resulted from my neglect of these instructions, I would undoubtedly receive great and severe punishment. I did not feel well about this, my fear and worry made me faint-hearted, and I thought to myself, It is no small task which has been assigned to me. I also knew that the Brotherhood did not lie, always did what it said, and certainly performed its work with diligence. However, I could change nothing, and besides, the locked room was situated in the midst of a strong tower, encircled by strong bulwarks and high walls, and since one could warm the room by a moderate but constant fire, I took up my task in God's Name, beginning to heat the room in order to protect the imprisoned married couple from the cold. But what happened? As soon as they felt the faintest breath of warmth, they embraced each other so lovingly that the like of it will not be seen again. And they remained together in such ardor that the heart of the young bridegroom disappeared in burning love, and his entire body melted and sank down in the arms of his beloved. When the latter, who had loved him no less than he had loved her, saw this, she began to lament, weeping bitterly over him and, so to say, buried him in such a flood of tears that one could no longer see what had happened to him. But her lamenting and weeping lasted only for a short time, for because of her great heart-sorrow she did not wish to live longer, and died of her own free will. Ah, woe is me! In what anxiety, grief and distress was I when I saw those two I was to have helped, dissolved entirely to water and lying before me dead. Certain failure was there before my eyes, and moreover, what to me was the bitterest, and what I feared most were the coming taunts and sneers, as well as the punishment I would have to undergo. I passed a few days in careful thought, considering what I could do, when I recalled how Medea had restored the corpse of Jason to life, and so I asked myself, "If Medea could do it, why cannot you do it also?" Whereat I began to think how to proceed with it, but I did not find any better method than to maintain a steady warmth until the water would recede and I could see the dead bodies of the lovers once again. Then I hoped that I would escape all danger to my great gain and praise. Therefore for forty days I continued with the warmth I had begun, and I saw that the longer I did this, the more the water disappeared, and the dead bodies, black as coal, came to view. And indeed this would have happened sooner had not the room been locked and sealed so tightly. But under no conditions dared I open it. Then I noticed quite clearly that the water rose high toward the clouds, collected on the ceiling of the room, and descended again like rain; nothing could escape, so our bridegroom lay with his beloved bride before



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my eyes dead and rotten, stinking beyond all measure. Meanwhile, I saw in the room a rainbow of the most beautiful colors, caused by the sunshine in the moist weather, which heartened me no little in the midst of my sorrows. And soon I became rather happy that I could see my two lovers lying before me. However, no joy is so great that sorrow is not mixed with it; therefore in my joy I was sorrowful because I saw the ones I was to have guarded lying lifeless before me. But since their room was made from such pure and solid material and was shut so tightly, I knew that their soul and their spirit could not escape, but were still enclosed in it, so I continued with my steady warmth day and night, carrying out my duty as prescribed, for I believed that the two would not return to their bodies so long as the moisture was present. This I indeed found to be true. For in many careful observations I observed that many vapors arose from the earth about evening, through the power of the sun, and ascended on high as if the sun itself were drawing up the water. But during the night they gathered into a lovely and fertile dew, descending very early in the morning, enriching the earth and washing the corpses of our dead, so that from day to day, the longer such bathing and washing continued, they became even whiter and more beautiful. But the more beautiful and whiter they became, the more they lost their moisture, until at last when the air became light and clear and all the foggy, damp weather had passed, the spirit and soul of the bride could no longer remain in the pure air, and returned into the transfigured, glorified body of the Queen, and as soon as the body felt their presence, it instantly became living once again. This brought me no little joy, as one can easily imagine, especially as I saw her arise, dressed in a very rich garment, the like of which very few on this earth have seen, wearing a costly crown, adorned with perfect diamonds, and heard her say; "Harken, you children of men, and learn, all of you who are of women born, that the All-Highest has power to enthrone kings and to dethrone them. He makes rich and poor, according to his will. He kills and makes to live again. And all this behold in me as a living example! I was great and I became small. But now after I became humble, I have been made queen over many realms. I was killed and am resurrected again. To me, the poor one, have the great treasures of the wise and mighty been entrusted and given. Therefore have I been given power to make the poor rich, to extend mercy to the humble, and to bring health to the sick. But not yet am I like my dearest brother, the great, mighty king, who will also be awakened from the dead. When he comes he will prove that my words are true." And as she said this, the sun shone brightly, the days became warmer, and the dog-days were near at hand. But long before the sumptuous and great wedding of our new queen many costly robes were prepared from black velvet, ash-grey coloured damask, grey silk, silver-coloured taffeta, snow-white satin; indeed, a silver piece of extraordinary beauty, embroidered with costly pearls and worked with marvellous, clear-sparkling diamonds was also made ready. And robes for the young king were also made ready, namely of pink, with yellow aureolin colours, costly fabrics, and finally a red velvet garment adorned with costly rubies and carbuncles in very great numbers. But the tailors who made these garments were invisible, and I marvelled when I saw one coat after another, and one garment after another



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being finished, for I knew that no one except the bridegroom and his bride had entered into the chamber. But what astonished me the most was that as soon as a new coat or garment was finished, the former ones disappeared from before my eyes, and I did not know where they had gone or who had locked them away. And after this costly coat was made ready, the great and mighty king appeared in all his power and glory, and there was nothing like him. And when he discovered he was locked in, he asked me in a friendly manner and with gracious words to open the door for him so he would be able to come out; he said it would result in great blessing for me. Although I was strictly forbidden to open the room, I was so overwhelmed by the great appearance and the gentle persuasive powers of the king that I opened the door willingly. And as he walked out, he was so friendly, gracious, even humble, that one could indeed see that nothing graces noble persons so much as do these virtues. And since he had passed the dog-days in the great heat, he was very thirsty, weak and tired; and he asked me to bring him some of the fast-flowing water from beneath the waterwheels of the mill, which I did, and he drank it with great eagerness. Then he returned to his chamber and told me to lock the door fast behind him, lest someone should disturb him or waken him from his sleep. There he rested for a few days, and then he called me to open the door. But I saw that he had become much more handsome, full-blooded and splendid, and he also noticed it; and he thought that the water was marvellous and healthy. Therefore he asked for more, and drank a larger quantity than he had the first time, and I resolved to enlarge the chamber. After the king had drunk his fill of this wonderful beverage which the ignorant do not value at all, he became so handsome and glorious that in all my life I never saw a more splendid appearance, or anyone more noble in manner and character. Then he led me into his kingdom and showed me all the treasures and riches of the world, so that I must say that not only did the queen speak the truth, but he also gave the greatest part of it to those who know the treasure and can describe it. There were gold and precious carbuncle stones without end, and the rejuvenation and restoration of the natural powers, as well as the recovery of health and the removal of all illnesses were daily occurrences there. But most delightful of all in this kingdom was that the people knew, reverenced and praised their Creator, receiving from Him wisdom and knowledge, and at last, after this happiness in the world of time, they attained an eternal blessedness. To this may God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit help all of us.

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The Fountain allegory of Bernard of Treviso

When I perceived that I had proceeded a considerable length in this Art, I began most earnestly to court and to frequent the company of those who were learned in it also: for it becomes good men to join themselves to their equals and not to others. Therefore, when I passed through Apulea, a city in India, I heard that a



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man resided there who was so very learned in every branch of Science, that he had not his equal in this world. He instituted as a Prize of disputation for all skilled in Art, a book fabricated, both leaves and cover, of pure gold. Therefore, desirous of honour, I did not doubt that my mind would assist me thereto and dispose me to the prescribed disputations, a very learned man adding spurs to my undertaking this province, and it also coming into my mind that the daring and bold were carried to sublime things, while the timid were thrown down and lived in perpetual dejection, I passed manfully into the field of contest and happily obtained the palm of disputation before the audience, and the book of premium was so honourably delivered to me by the faculty of Philosophy, that I was looked upon by all men. Then for the sake of recreating my mind, fatigued with study, and enquiring for pleasant plains and meadows, I met with a most limpid little fountain, surrounded and fortified with a most beautiful stone in an oaken trunk, and enclosed within a wall, that brutes might not enter nor birds make a bath for themselves there. Sitting above this fountain, I contemplated its beauty and I saw the upper part was shut. A very venerable old man was coming there. As reverent as a priest, I honourably saluted him and I asked him wherefore that fountain was shut and fortified in that manner, above, below, and on every side. Having deigned to give me a friendly answer, he said, "What you would know, my friend, is a fountain very terrible and wonderful in virtue before every other fountain in the world. It belongs to the King alone of this country, whom the fount knows very well, and he himself the fountain. It always draws the King, when passing this way, to itself, but is never drawn by the King. In that Bath he remains 282 days, at the end of which so much youthful strength is added to him, that he can afterwards be conquered by nobody however strong. He therefore took care to shut up his little fountain with a round white stone, as you see, in which a clear fountain shines like silver and of celestial colour. That it may also be stronger and lest it should be destroyed by horses or others, he introduced an old oak cleft in the middle, which protects it from the rays of the Sun, forming a shade. "Then, as you see, he surrounds it with a wall very thick. He shuts it up first with the hard and clear stone, then finally in the cavities of the oak, chiefly because it is so terrible in its nature that once inflamed and irritated, it would make its way through every thing, and also should it escape the fences, there would be an end of us." I afterwards asked him if he himself saw the King in the said fount, he answered that he indeed saw him enter, but from that time at which he is shut up in it by the Keeper, he does not appear more until the 130th day, at length he emerges bright and splendid. The Keeper Porter assiduously warms the bath, that he may keep up the heat which is occult in the water of the fount, and he warms it night and day without intermission. I again interrogated what colour was the King? He answered that the first of his vestures was from the beginning Cloth of Gold, then with a black velvet doublet, a shirt truly white above the snow, his flesh however, or blood is of the richest reds. I then asked whether the King on coming there brought with him a great



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concourse of extraneous people low and vulgar along with him? He answered me friendly but laughing at the question, saying, "When the King purposes to come hither, he dismisses all his counsellors and every stranger and enters alone, nobody approaching the fount except himself and its Keeper alone, the care of which a very simple man has. Verily the simplest man can best supply his place, since he does nothing else than warm the fount." I again enquired whether the King was a friend to the fount, or the fount a friend to him? He answered, "They love one another reciprocally in a wonderful manner, the fount attracts the King and not the King the fount, for it is as it were the Mother to the King." I next interrogated of what kind the King was? He answered, "He comes from the fount which makes him such as he is without any other thing whatever." I enquired whether he had many counsellors. He said he has six forsooth who expect the succession, if by any chance or any means the King should die, they will also rule the Kingdom like him; hence it is that they serve him because they hope from him Dominion and possessions. Then I asked whether he was an old man. He answered, that he was older than the forest and more mature than any of his own subjects. How happens it therefore, I asked, that these do not kill the King who expect so much inheritance from his death, since he is so old? He answered, "Although he is so much advanced in years, nevertheless no one of his subjects is so patient of cold and sweats rains winds and labours as himself. Also no one of them by himself, nor any of them together could kill him." How then will they possess the Kingdom if he cannot die not be killed by any one? He answered, "His six subjects are from the fount, from which they possess everything they have, as well as he, wherefore they are chiefly drawn by the fount. The King is killed by that very fount as well as they are resuscitated by it afterwards, from the substance of his Kingdom, which substance is divided into the minutest particles, each of his subjects receives his portion and however minute the particle which any one of them has, he equals the King in power and strength and opulence, and they are made equal among themselves." I again enquired, how long they might have to wait in this expectation? Laughing at me again he answered, "Know that the King enters alone without any of his subjects, for although the fount also loves them, yet they do not enter, because they have not yet described this dignity. But the King upon entering throws off his vesture of fine beaten gold, which he delivers to his first Chamber Man called Saturn, who when he has once obtained possession of it keeps it for forty days, sometimes forty two days at most. Then the King throws off the Black Velvet waistcoat, which he delivers to his second Chamber Man, called Jupiter, who keeps it 22 days. Then the King ordering him, Jupiter gives it to Luna, which third person is beautiful and resplendent. She keeps it 20 days. Then the King is in a shift, pure white as snow, or like fine pearls or a white lily, which also he puts off and



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delivers to Mars, who keeps it 40 days and sometimes two more. Afterwards Mars by the will of God, delivers it to yellow Sol, not clear Sol, who keeps it 40 days. Then comes the most beautiful and blooded Sol who immediately snatches up the shirt." I then asked him what is the meaning of all this, and he answered, "The fount is then opened, and as he had given them his shift, his waistcoat and his vestment, at this moment he delivers to them his blood red flesh to eat and now at length they have their desire." Again I asked whether they always waited so long a time, and whether they had remuneration for their services, to induce them to persevere to the end? He answered, "Four of these Counsellors, the moment they have obtained the white shirt may rejoice if they please, and also enjoy the greatest riches, but this only gives them the half part of the Kingdom. Wherefore, they rather wish to wait a little longer for the end, and wait that they also may be crowned with the Royal Diadem of their Monarch." I asked whether any Physician attended or anything else whatsoever at that time. He answered, "No, nor any thing whatever except the Keeper alone, who excits below a continual surrounding and vaporous heat, except this there is nothing else." I asked whether this Keeper underwent much labour? He answered, "He suffers more at the beginning than towards the end, because the fount is then heated." I asked whether many people saw the work. He answered, "It is done out of the sight of all the world, not one in the world even knows. The whole world have it before their eyes and do not know it." I asked once more what do they next? He said, "If these six wish again to purge the King they could do it in the fount in three days, by surrounding the place so as to satisfy the contents, by giving him back on the first day - the waistcoat, on the second - the shirt, and on the third day - his blood red flesh." I asked to what purpose is all this? He said, "I am wearied with what I have already told you." Which when I perceived this, I was unwilling to be troublesome. I bid him farewell giving him many great thanks, and seeing him home to his residence. The old man was so reverend and so very wise, that the heavens obeyed him and all things trembled before him. I was sleepy and returning to the fountain, I sat down to rest a little, when I could not abstain when sitting upon it from opening all the fastenings in a secret manner. In the meantime when I looked upon the book which was the reward of my disputation, and by its splendour and beauty increased my sleepiness and in a slumber it fell out of my sleepy hands into the fount, which happened very unluckily, for I wished to preserve the memorial of my having the honour of being an adept. And when I looked it had disappeared from my eyes, thinking therefore that it had fallen to the bottom, I began to draw out the water with such great care, however, that nothing more might remain in it than a tenth part of it, with scarcely ten parts, and when I attempted to draw out the whole, they obstinately adhered



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together. In the meantime while I was labouring with the work, some people came upon me so that they hindered me from drawing out any more. Before I went away however, I shut all things again lest any body might perceive that I had exhausted or seen the fountain, or lest perhaps they might forcibly steal the Book from me. Then the heat began to be excited round about in the bath for the purpose of bathing the King. But I was taken to prison and detained 40 days for having perpetrated the crime. After I was relieved, I returned to the fount that I might see it, obscure clouds appeared which lasted a long time. To conclude, I saw every thing at the end that my prize derived without much labour. It will not torment you very much if you enter upon the right path and not leave it for erroneous ones, but imitate nature in every thing. In concluding I say unto you that whosoever upon reading of this book does not understand the Stone by himself, will never understand the work, however much he may operate. For in this very parable, the whole work is contained, in practice, days, colours, regimens, ways, dispositions and continuations, which I have narrated, moved by piety, charity, and compassion alone towards desolate operators in this most precious secret. Therefore, in making of my book I beseech the Lord God, whose grace is absolute, that he may open the minds of men of good will, to whom if ingenious there will be little difficulty, only they must abstain from the dreaming phantasies and the subtleties of Sophists and always remain in this way of nature which is demonstrated by my speculations. Farewell in Jesus Christ always and be mindful of the poor, when you obtain this inexhaustible treasure. Pray to God, who will teach you more.

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The Fountain of the Lovers of the Science, composed by John Fountain of Valencienn in the County of Hainault. Lyons 1590. The third edition.

[This English translation of this important early alchemical allegory (thought to have been composed in the 15th century) is found in MS. Sloane 3637 in the British Library (a 17th century manuscript). This work was published in French in various editions, the earliest of which I have seen being issued at Paris in 1561, though the Sloane manuscript refers to the edition published at Lyon in 1590. A. McLean.]

It was in the time of the month of May, when one should bury sorrow and care, that I entered into an orchard, whereof Zephyrus was the gardener. When I passed before the Garden, I was not clothed in silk, but arrayed in sorry garments, that I might not in public appear naked; and diverting myself with a desire to chase away unpleasant thoughts, I heard an harmonious song of many grateful birds. Then I beheld the entrance of the garden which was shut, but as I judged by my sight, Zephyrus soon opened



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it. He afterwards retired, seeming thereby as if he had not done it. And when I saw the manner of it, I retired a little back, and afterwards I entered in. My teeth not having eaten for a day I was very dry and hungry. But I carried bread with me, which I had saved for a week. Then I perceived a fountain of very clear, pure and fine water, which was under a hawthorn tree. I joyfully sat down by it, and made me pottage of my bread. Then after eating I fell asleep within this pleasant orchard. And according to my apprehension, I slept long enough for the pleasure which I took, being in the dream which I dreamed. You now may know it from my dream, and I after found it a fiction. It is true that methought two comely Ladies with beautiful looks, seeming like the daughters of a King, in respect of their noble atire, came softly towards me, and I humbly saluted them, saying to them, Glorious Ladies, God save you both bodies and souls, May it please you to tell me your names, do not ye deny me this. One answered very courteously. Friend my name is Knowledge. Behold here Reason which accompanied me, whether it be in the mountains, or in the valleys, or in the fields, she can make you very wise. Then understanding this language and believing myself to be awake, I much wondered at what happened. For I saw issue from the fountain, which is so agreeable and wholesome, seven streams which I had never seen before. Having lain me down in this way, which wetteth me so much, that I was all be-dirtied, the water there gushed out abundantly. Then I desired the Lady Reason who was with Knowledge, to tell me the signification of the fountain, and the streams which are so plentiful and comely, and whose the enclosure was, on all sides well beset with trees and with sweet flowers, moistened with running waters, so that I thought I never saw its equal. But she most gently said to me. You, my friend, shall know how this affair does stand, which you so much desire to know; hearken attentitively to me. In it the fountain has a thing, which is most nobly contained. He who shall know it well, will love it above all other things. He who would seek and search it out, and being found put it afterwards into the earth and dry it to a most subtile powder, then again dissolve it in its water, but which has before been separated, then gather the parts together, which the earth shall set to rot in the water which should nourish it. Thence there will a maiden breed, bearing fruit at both her breasts. But that we should remove the rottenness, which neither she nor her fruit does care for, the maid I speak of in many things bestirs herself, and fervently desires it. For she mounts into the air flying on high; afterwards descending down gliding in the valley, and in descending down she fawns the fawn which Nature gives to her. It is a Dragon which has three throats, hungry and never satiated: all around him everyone assaults or kicks at him, surrounding him just as it were in a street and chasing him with a violent pursuit, so that a sweat do cover his face, (alias But beforehand by heat one drives away the sweat which covers the face) which blackens and beglews it, as with bird lime then impregnates it and [le mengue - an unknown word]. In the same manner she brings forth again (This amorously done) much more powerful than before, then drinks it as the juice of the apple. So the infant according to its manner often drinks, and afterward brings forth again, so that it clearer is than crystal, in truth the work is just so [Ytall - another



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obscure word]. And when it is so shining in a most strong and powerful water, it thinketh to devour its mother, who has eaten up its brother and father. So as it gives suck and broods, the dragon strikes it with his tail. Into two parts divide its Mother, which does assist it after this division: deliver it then to the three throats, which they have sooner taken it than a gargle. Tis then the strongest in the World, there's nothing ever does confound it. Tis marvellous and powerful, one ounce is worth a hundred weight of Gold. it is a fire of such a nature, that it overcomes corruption, and transmutes into another substance, since it brings it to its own likeness and cureth every distemper, The imposhume leprosy and gout; and gives youth to ancient bodies, and to the young ones wit and mirth. Tis as a miracle from God. Without this the Treacle cannot be made, nor any thing which is found underneath the heavens, which is experienced by the ancient prophets and doctors who teach us Nature. But one dare not make more enquiry, for fear of the Governors of the Earth; may such a mischief never happen, for without Sin one may do this. Many Wise loved it much, accursed be he who has defamed it. One ought never to reveal it, but to those who will love God, and those who will have the Victory, to serve God, love or believe. For he to whom God giveth time to live so long that he is some place have wrought this work, has from God obtained for himself grace or favour, know this for certain. Wherefore he should devoutly pray for those holy men who have put it into writing according to their way of discourse. Philosophers and Saints discreet men whose numbers I cannot reckon up. But may God shower all mercy on them who thus far have opened it. And for those who love the Science may God give them estate and patience. You ought to know that this same serpent, which I at first did mention to you, is governed by the seven streams, which are so amiable and fair. So I was minded to describe it, but I will name otherwise. It is a noble worthy Stone made by a Science divine, in which more virtue does abound, than in any thing which is in the World. Tis found out by Astronomy, and by the true Philosophy. It is produced in the Mountains, where there grows no other strange or foreign thing (alias, they find it grow aloft with all it ought to have). Know it for an approved truth, that many wise men have found it there, and it may there be still found out, with taking pains to labour well. It is the cabinet (or the quarry) of the precious stones of the philosophers which is so amiable and dear. One may have it easily and so tis better that all that can be had. But you will have undergone a deal of toil, before you have found it out. Having it you shall fail of nothing, which we can find upon this earthen world. Now let us return unto the fountain, there to know a certain thing. This valuable fountain does belong to a Lady of honour who is called Nature. Who ought to be much honoured; for each thing is made by her, and if she fails there all is undone. This Lady I assure you has been a long time established. For as soon as God had made the Elements which are perfect, Water, Air, Earth and Fire, Nature was perfect in them all. Without nature there could not grow a little oyster in the Sea. Natures the Mother of all things in the World. The noblest thing which is in Nature, does very well appear in the figure of a Man which Nature has made, wherein



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she has erred in nothing. So it does in many things which are produced by Nature. Birds, trees, beasts little flowers, they are all made by Nature. And so likewise it is of metals, which are not alike nor equal. For by herself they are made, very deep within the earth. Of which you will have a fuller account, when Nature shall show it you: whom I desire that you would see, to the end that you may the better follow her way and her path in your work, for she must make the discovery to you. As she was making this discourse, I saw Nature approaching, and presently without delay I went straight on to meet her, and humbly to salute her. But truly she first bowed to me, giving me the salutation. Then Reason said, see Nature here, let it be all your care to love her, for it is she will make you the prudent Master of her Work. I hearkened diligently, and she undertook to ask me whence I was and what I sought for in that place, because it was very wild and full of darkness for those who were not clerks. Lady, said I, by the God of the Heavens I came hither as those who know not whether to go to find out some good adventure. But I will tell you without delay and propound my adventure in short. I have heretofore seen a very great prelate, skillful, a clerk, prudent and cunning, who discoursed in common speech so that he made many a man wise, to know the medicine which he made, very high and very precious: demonstrating its excellence by very great experiment, he spoke with very great reverence of the Philosophers and their Science. He had been at a very good school; then I was put to a school, which was desirous to learn and know a better things than all possessions. And it happened to me to ask him whence this science came at first. If one met with it in writing, and who it was who showed it. He answered me without delay, in this discourse which I will tell you. The Science is the gift of God, which comes by inspiration, so is knowledge given by God, and is inspired into Man. But with this that one do well improve at school, by his understanding. But before a letter was seen, this surely was a Science known, by people not learned but inspired, who ought highly to be honoured, for many have found out this Science by the divine Wisdom. And further God is omnipotent, to give to his true servant such a knowledge as he pleases. Wherefore is displeases many clerks, saying that no one is sufficient, if he have not been a student. He who is not a Master of Arts or Doctor, gets no honour among the clerks. And can you blame them for this when they no nought but praising one another. But he who well would punish them must take the books away from them. Then their knowledge will be failing in many clerks, doubt it not. And it will not be in their lays, who make up round rhymes and songs, and who know not how to versify. And many things which many men do freely make a trade of, which they find not in their books. The carpenter and the mason study but very little. No. And they also surely make as good use, as those who study Physick, or Law, or Divinity; for the employment of their Life. From henceforth I was much incited wholly to apply my mind, so as by true experience to be able to obtain the knowledge of which many men desire, by the favour of the sovereign Lord. Reason and Nature I assure you hearkened well unto my story. Then said I to Nature, Madame, Alas I am Body and Soul always in care desiring to learn



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the science, where I cannot fail of having honour in my life, without any envying me. For all my riches I will get as the labourers of the ground, to dig and hough the land, and afterwards to sow their seed, as the true workman do; who make their riches and their praise. And for that reason I would pray you, that you would be pleased to tell me, how they do call this Fountain, which is so amiable and wholesome. She answered; Friends behold, since you desire to know it; It most properly is called, the Fountain of the Lovers. How it must be known to you, that ever since our Mother Eve, that I have governed all the world, as great as tis in all the Circle, nothing without me can rule, unless God would inspire it. I who am called Nature O environed the Earth, without, within and in the middle. In everything I have taken my place, by the command of God the Father, I of all things am the Mother. To all things I give virtue. Therefore nothing is or ever was without me, a thing which might beneath the Heavens be found, which is not governed by me. But since you reason understand, I will give you a goodly gift, by which if you will use it well, you may purchase Paradise, and great riches in this World. From whence nobility might rise, honour and great Lordships, and all pleasure in thy Life. For you shall use it with delight, and many noble feats behold by this fountain and the Cave, which governs all the seven metals. They rose from thence, that is certain. But I the Fountains Mother am, which is a sweet as honey. And to the seven planets of heaven it is compared, that is to Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and the Moon, the Sun, Mercury and Venus. Observe it well; you are obliged to this. The seven planets which I mentioned, are without all doubt compared to the seven metals coming out of the Earth, which are made of one matter. Now by the Sun we mean Gold, a metal without compare; and by the Moon we mean silver, a noble handsome metal; by Venus, Copper we do mean, this also is a very fitting name. By Mars we mean Iron; and Tin by wholesome Jupiter. And by Saturn good Lead, which we call leprous Gold. Mercury is argent vive, which has all the government of the seven metals, for it is the mother (just so as here they appear) which can make the imperfect perfect. After it I would withdraw [draw] you. Now understand well what I shall say, and how I shall manifest the Fountain of Dame Nature, which you see here hard by in the Figure. If you know well how to seek Mercury to work as the letter shows, you will make the Medicine of it, whereby you may purchase Paradise, with the honour of this world, where great plenty of riches does abound. You ought to know by Astronomy and by Philosophy, that Mercury is the matter of the seven metals, and the principal. For by its lead-like heaviness, it keeps in a mass beneath the Earth, notwithstanding it is volatile, and very convertible into the others. And it is found underground, just so as is the dew, and after mounts into the Air of heaven. I Nature tell you so; and thus it may afterwards conceive. He who would have the Mercurial Medicine, must put it into its vessel in a furnace to make Sublimation, which is a noble gift of God, which I will show and represent to you, according to my Power; for if you make not pure Body and Soul, you never will make a good amalgam, nor also a good conclusion. Therefore apply your mind to it. Now understand, if you would know; (tis better than anything to have good Judgment) take your Body and make a trial of it, as others have done, know



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it well. You must make your spirits very clean, so that it may incorporate. There will be a handsome battle. Twenty against seven are requisite without doubt. And if twenty cannot destroy they body in this case it must [muire - an unintelligible word]. So the battle is of Mercury most strong and fierce. it is afterwards requisite to make him restore, so that one can draw out nothing [more]. When your undertaking succeeds according to your desire, then he being taken, if you would have justice from him, you shall shut him up in the prison, from whence he cannot stir. But you must comfort him with one gift, or else for you he will do nothing, so that he will do the contrary. And if you would do him a kindness, it behoves you to set him at large, and set him again in his first estate, and for this you shall be his master. Otherwise you cannot well know that which you seek and which you would have. But by this means you shall know it, and all shall go according to your desire. But what you make of the Body, remember to make it here. First then you must without contradiction, of thy Body make a Spirit, and the Spirit reincorporate into its Body without any separation. And if you know not how to do all this, be sure do not begin the work. After this conjunction there begins Operation, out of which if you proceed, you'll have the glory of the heavens. But by this book you ought to know, which I Nature deliver to you, that the Mercury of the Sun is not like to that of the Moon, for it should always remain white to make a thing to its own likeness. But that which serveth for the Sum, must openly resemble it, for one must rubify it, and this is the first Work. And then one may conjoin them as in my argument I have said, which you herein have heard before, and which you ought to hearken to. And if you cannot understand it , in your work you may mistake, and perhaps shall lose a deal of time and waste it in vain. And if you know how to work what I have said, you may assuredly proceed therein. Now you have one point of this Work, which I Nature discover to you. You surely must with a good Judgment make afterwards a congelation of Body and Spirit together, so that one be like the other. And then you must with a right understanding separate the four elements, which you shall make all new, and then shall set them to work. First you must extract the Fire and also the Air for this affair; and afterwards reconcile them. I tell you this here in express words. Earth and water on the other part do serve very well in this Art. As also does the quintessence, for that is the Knowledge of our work. When you shall have found out the four and separated the one from the other, so as I have said before, thy work shall be half done. Now you may proceed by this means to make what I before have told you in this chapter. You shall put it into a little furnace: this is called a Marriage, when it is made by a wise man: and this is also very properly its name. Now understand the reason well: for the male may well be tied or coupled with the amiable female. And when they are found pure and clean and the one joined with the other, they produce a certain generation. So that this is a glorious work, and which is of great substance. Just so it is in another similitude of many a man and many a woman, who have good reputation and fame, by their children which they breed, which thing each one ought to esteem. From birds, from beasts and from fruits I could prove it otherwise. Put the seed of a tree skillfully into the earth; after the Putrefaction



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from thence will come a generation. You may know it by the cork [core]: which is more worth that all things else. By sowing one grain, you'll thence have a thousand. You need not there be very cunning. Nor ever was there any creature who could say to me Nature, I obtained a Birth without seeking after you. You in nothing can reproach me. And so it is of metals, whereof Mercury is the most subtle. Tis put into the furnace where his body is, which I have told you in my relations. And it is very necessary to do this, according as you shall see herein afterward. There tis requisite for him to be in love with his like, and then to work. But first that they may come together they must be parted asunder. But after this separation I assure you they reunite. The first time is the betrothing, the second the marriage, and the third time skillfully united into one nature. This is the perfect marriage in which our total work consists. Now understand well what I've said, for I indeed have falsified in nothing. When you shall have separated them, and by little and little well mended them, you shall afterward reunite them, and join the one to the other. But remember in your lesson, the proverb which Cato spoke: The man who reads and noting understands, is like a hunter who catches nought. Learn then well to understand, that you may not calumniate the books, nor the good workmen, who are perfect understanders. For all those who blame our work, neither know nor understand it. He who well shall understand us, shall very soon come to our Work. It has been opened oftentimes, and by Philosophers approved; But many men esteemed for wise blame it, for which they are fools. And all should lay the blame thereof on them, who have in themselves understanding without gall. But one may well and truly praise all those who such a jewel have, and those who think to find it out by the means of working well. And one should say it is well done: their good work deserveth praise. Now we have told a thing which briefly ought to be disclosed: which is that, if you would well proceed, you make a union of two, so that they may be betrothed in the vessel, which well knows the being or existence, and then separate it for your work. It behoves you to order it well. And to let you know the Way, tis nothing else but dissolution, of which you will have great need. If you would pursue the Work, you out to destroy the Composition, so as you have occasion for it, so that each one be by itself apart. And then having the Earth thirsty, with the water of Heaven in due manner (for they are of one nature all) tis reason it should be moistened, and it shall be governed by me. Now I have told without any error, how the body shall get a soul, and how you must separate them, and divide them from one another: but the division without doubt, is the key of all our work. It is performed by the fire: without it art would be imperfect. Some say that Fire produces nothing of or by its nature, except ashes. But saving their respect Nature's engrafted in the Fire, for if Nature were not there, the fire neer have any heat. And I will prove it thus. I will take Salt (alias Sol or the Sun) to bear me witness. But now we will leave this discourse and we will speak of other noble subjects. And when I heard this conference, I writ the word down in my heart: and said thou Lady in a bright array, will you hearken to me a while, and let us return to ye (alias the seven) metals, of which Mercury is the principal, and let you and reason make me some interpretation, or I am mistaken in your work, because of what you have said above. For you



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would have me to destroy that which I made at first: and that you do expressly say. I know not whether these are repetitions, or whether you speak by Parables, for I understand not your schools. Friend (Nature answered thus) how understand you the Mercury which I have heretofore named to you? I tell you that it is shut up, although it happen oftentimes that it goes and comes through many hands. The Mercury which I commend to you, surnamed De Mercurio, that it of, from or out of Mercury. It is the Mercury of Mercuries; and many folks make it their care to find it out for their affair. For tis not vulgar Mercury, you cannot find it without me. But when you would work therein, you must be very authentical, (versed in good Authors), to arrive at the practise, whereby you may have a very great knowledge of our works. You must know the metals. or your work will not be worth an oyster. Now, the better to know the way, I'll tell you where the work is placed, likewise where it does begin, if you are a Son of the Science. And he who thither would arrive must know how to obtain this point, or his affair will be worth naught, for all the labour he there employs. Therefore I do call ye Fountain, which is so amiable and wholesome Mercury, the true source or fountain head who is the cause of perfection. Now understand well what I shall say, for indeed I will speak nothing wrong. This Mercury without its equal you may find in the Sun, when he is in his great heat, and that he makes many blossoms appear, for the fruits come after blossoms. I can prove it in this manner, and still a hundred other ways, which to this art are very slight. But this hear is the chief, and I therefore mention it to you. I have not abused you indeed, for it is visibly there to be found. And if you would work in Luna, you may as well there find it out; in Saturn and in Jupiter, and in Mars which I call Iron: in Venus and in Mercury one may find it most securely. But as to me I found it in the Sun and after wrought it. And therefore I made this Book for you, that you may freely understand me. In Luna seek to see or find it: from thence I took my first matter. Moreover I say to ye understanders, that both the works are but one, except the rubifying, which serveth rarely for the Sun. And I know not how to tell you more thereof, unless I should show you the practice. And this could not draw you back from error, if you did not see it done. But keep in your memory well, what I have told for you to hear. Being at dissolution you ought to make imbibition. But do not you begin to act what I have said in this affair, if you have not a perfect proof of the Work, in having well dissolved the imperfect. And if you can get over this step, reincorporate it by the circle, returning to the former work: the other was only a messenger. You may seek it evidently, how it is slightly made: you cannot come to a nearer way, to the highest of your aim. And if you truly understand it, you will not labour in vain. And after this work so performed, you must restore what is undone. Putrefaction is to be seen from whence a noble being should be born: and in this point the masterpiece consists, whereby all our work is put together. And as I have said to you before, all which is fitting does consist in this. The preparation is put into the furnace. You must have like to like: for the sprout must putrefy before it can issue out of the earth. Likewise the seed of man, which I name you for a proof, putrefies in the body of the woman, and becomes blood and after takes a soul, but in the form of a creature. This same secret



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Nature gives you. From thence there ought a thing to be born which shall know more than its Master, to suckle the four children who already are all grown great, which are called Elements and separated from one another. Now you have five things together, and they do much resemble one another, also it is but one substance, all of the same appearance. The Child should there eat up its Mother and afterwards destroy its Father. Flower and milk and fruit with blood, it behoves you to find in one pool. Now mind from whence the milk does come, and it is needful there to make Blood. If this you cannot well consider, you lose your labour as your work. And if you know how to understand me well, be sure to work without more delay, for you have passed the Pass, where many fools and wise men do stop. There you may pause a while, and afterward begin to work, and so pursue till you make issue forth the perfect fruit which we do call Elixir. For by a mighty skillful work the precious stone is made of the Philosophers of renown, who very well do know the reason. And there's no jewel nor possession, which can be the value of this stone. If you would have me tell you its force; it can cure all diseases, likewise by its most noble acts, it perfects all imperfect metals. And there is nothing in the world but this, where mighty virtue does abound. It is disposed to wonderful things, yet we do call it the Medicine. And of all the other Stones, which many Princes hold for dear, none can so much rejoice a man, as that which I do name to you. And therefore I put you in mind, that you may take it for certain. For above all the Stones in the world, virtue does in ours abound. And therefore you must do your endeavour to gain such noble wealth. If you will well follow me, you may arrive at this end. Learn well, so it will make you wise, for I have told you all the Practice. In the Furnace you may see it very well, in which all you have ought to be: making by a certain management the circle of Putrefaction. Moreover I have taught you by these divisions your work remains in two parts: I will tell you no more of this, until I shall have seen in you some service for which I may tell it you; otherwise it would be folly. But when you shall have deserved it, I'll tell it you is short words; therefore ask me no more, I have only told over and above too much. And when I heard Nature, that she cared not to say any more to explain her works, I began to weep most tenderly and said, O dame in bright attire, will you have pity on me, or I shall never despatch that which I have found in a book. Tell me O noble and good Lady beforehand, you will do a charity. Then she answered, you shall know no more until you have deserved it. Alas, said I, then O dear Lady, will you tell me the way how I may deserve it. For I will always serve you loyally without any other thought. I cannot make you recompense, nor increase your riches. I will serve you incessantly, if you will give me so noble a gift, as to receive me for one of yours. The Nature answered. Son, you know what I have said. But is you do believe me, you may beforehand be much more knowing. Lady, said I, by the God of Heaven, I would willingly be one of those, who should serve for such a work his whole lifetime without doing any wrong. Will you then tell me your commands, for I will contradict nothing. Then, said Nature, without mistake, my son in law, you needs must learn to know the seven planets, of which Mercury is the principal, their powers, their infirmities, their changeable qualities. Tis needful afterward to learn whence Sulphur, Salt and Oil do come. Wherefore we put you in mind of what you will still have occasion for. Sulphur is mighty necessary: so will it give you profit or much ado to make it. Without Salt you'll bring to pass nothing useful for your work. From Oil you have a great mystery. (alias you have great occasion for Oil). You'll make without it nothing sweet-scented. This you ought to remember well, if you would arrive at our Work. I'll tell you one word, now understand it, with which you will be well contented. One metal in one only vessel, you need to put into one furnace. Tis Mercury which I explain to you, and there is no need of ought else there. But the abridgements of your work, I disclose it to you word for word. Now I will speak to you Gold, which is the treasure of the metals. It is perfect, nothing is more perfect than it, of those which I have named before. Luna is and it is not perfect. This I certify to you for a Truth. There's but one metal in the world in which our Mercury does abound, and so tis found in all the seven. This I have tried very well. Gold by right is hot and dry, Luna in her nature cold. Saturn is heavy and soft; in this it may be likened to Gold. Many clerks fierce in speech, will nominate it leprous Gold. Venus well resembles Luna in weight and also in the forging. Mercury is cold and moist, witness Jupiter which thence is bred. Mars is hard and heavy and cold. This is the dressing [preparation] of all the rest, be their nature hard or tender, you must understand all seven, as I have named them above, and know their virtues well; and by this means afterward you will make what you will of Mercury. Indeed, Lady, it shall be done, tell me the work beforehand, and how I may manage what I have seen within your bounds. For never yet since I was born, have I been so much enamoured of any thing in the world. I think a virtue there abound. I esteem it as the secret of God, which is revealed in this place. Then, said nature, you say true, and this is all the wealth of the World, from from my Fountain there proceed great riches, from which honour comes to many men is diverse ways. I'm like a mine to many people. And because you are come hither without any return or revenue, and that you have the good will to labour as a person desiring to meet good fortune, I will show it you beforehand. I have told you in a remarkable chapter, I know not whether you remember it, that thy work consists of two parts. I Nature, discover it to you. Make thy penetrative Sulphur by fire become attractive. make it then eat up its mother. So our affair will be accomplished. Put the Mother into the belly of the child, which she has brought forth before: then so it will be both father and son quite made perfect by or of two spirits. Indeed it is no other thing, that what I here expose to you. And if you thereunto would add a foreign thing, or apply any other thing than Sulphur, Salt and Oil, in truth your work will be worth nothing. For the Earth will not bring forth other fruit than what you saw therein. A creature makes a creature, and a beast a beast of its own nature. So of all seeds it likewise is. Take this for the design of my Sciences. Say not, my son in law that this is gall. All must arise and fall in a most acceptable way, most pleasant, and most amiable. I have preordained the way, just so as is the dew, it must mount up into the air of heaven, and sweetly afterwards descend by a most amicable path (Alias, Our water pure prepared goeth just as does the dew), which one ought to manage well. In the descension which it makes, it bringeth forth the perfect Sulphur, and if you can obtain this point, you well may say without a lie, that you can have a great quantity of Gold above ground without doing evil; for if all the sea were a metal, such as one would have it, Copper, argent vive, lead or tin, and you should cast one only grain on it when it were heated, there would come out of it a smoke, which would appear in a wonderful dress, and all would afterwards be quiet, and when the smoke should be appeased and all becalmed, the sea would be much finer Gold, than any King has in his Treasure. Now to our purpose we'll return, as before to govern well. When they sulphur shall be eaten up, your Mercury mortified, keep him in prison forty days, and then you'll see that which you love. And God send you to do so well, as to obtain Paradise. Here you see well ordered, the prison which I have named to you; faith I have given it you there in the figure. Now do you remember Nature, who was willing to afford you so noble a gift, as to reveal the most admirable Science, and venerable in this world. There could not otherwise be made the stone of which I treat with you. Do thou then view the writings well of our books: or else by figures this science is demonstrated. A real thing without any fable; most certain and most true, what is beneath is all just like to what is mutable above, for producing in the end, the miracle of one thing alone. As from one thing were all, and by the thought of one all things which have been produced did grow; so are our works made out of one. The glorious Sun its father is, and the Moon the real mother, the wind does close it in its belly: its nurse indeed is the Earth. It is the father of the treasure of the world, and the great secret has its foundation here, Its power then is quite entire, when it returns back into Earth again. Make separation of the earth from Fire, by skill and in the proper place, and sweetly separate the gross from the subtle, which you shall keep apart. then will it mount up from the earth to heaven, and before your eyes descend, receiving sovereign virtue with its terrestrial power. Thus at great glory you'll arrive, obtaining victory over all the world. This is the power of Powers, where many take great pains and struggle. It will conquer things subtle and the hard it will transpierce. They are very agreeable wonders, whereof we have most excellent reasons. My name is John of the Fountain. I have not lost my labour in working, for through the world I multiply [or there multiplies and increases] the work of Gold, which I have finished in my lifetime, by my truth (thanks to the holy Trinity) which is the medicine of all evils, true and effectually the finest, which one can search for any where, be it in the seas, or be it in all the earth. And from a metal foul it drives the filth away, so that it renders it a matter pure, that is a metal very delicate, of the species of Gold or Silver. By this means the work is made, and there's no need of any other craft, according to my little sentiment, I do really find it so. Therefore I'll call my book which tells the matter, and declares so



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precious an artifice, the Fountain of the Lovers of the most useful science, described in my humble style. It was made by a friendly [Seuvage - an unknown word]. When I was in my youthful days, in the year one thousand four hundred and thirteen, when I was twice sixteen years of age. Twas finished in the month of January in the city of Montpelier.

Some add.

Here does end John of the Fountain, Who possessed this mighty work, As the most secret gift of God, Which ought to make all men discreet.

This Art which is so precious may Be comprehended in these two verses.

Si fixum solvas faciasque volare solutum, Et volucrem igas faciet te vivere tutum.

If you dissolve the fixed And make what is dissolved fly And fix the volatile It will make you live happily.



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Published on: 2005-09-14 (1852 reads)

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