Five Treatises of the Philosophers Stone

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Introductory notes

Five treatises of the philosophers stone was published in 1651. It was written by Alphonso V, King of Portugal and several others. It is a collection of different writings on alchemy. Alphonso V was born in 1432. He became king at the age of sixteen. Alphonso would expand the Portugese kingdom’s reach in Africa. He passed away in 1481. Five treatises of the philosophers stone is a notable work on the subject of alchemy. It talks about issues related to medicine and drink. Primary Reading Alphonso V, Five treatises of the philosophers stone, Thomas Harper. Secondary Reading de Torquemada,Antonio, The Spanish Mandeville of Miracles,I.R.

Philosophers Stone.
Two of Alphonso King of Portugall, as
it was written with his own hand, and taken
out of his Closset: Translated out of the Por-
tuguez into English.
One of John Sawtre a Monke, translated into English.
Another written by Florianus Raudorff, a German Phi-
losopher, and translated out of the same Language,
into English.
Also a Treatise of the names of the Philosophers Stone,
by William Gratacolle, translated into English.
To which is added the Smaragdine Table.
By the Paines and Care of H. P.
Printed by Thomas Harper, and are to be sold by John
Collins, in Little Brittain, near the Church door, 1652.

PUBLISHED BY Thomas Harper
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1. A Treatise written by Alphonso King of Portugall, concerning the Philosophers Stone.

Fame brought to my knowledge, that in the Land of Aegypt, there lived a Learned man that foretold things to come: hee judged by the Stars, and the motions of the Heavens; those things which Time was to bring forth which were by him before understood.

A desire of knowledge carried my affection, my pen, my tongue: with great humility I prostrated the height of my Majesty, such power hath passion upon man: With intreaty and my speciall Letters unto him, I sent for him by my Messengers, promising him with a sound affection, great reward both in goods and money.

The wise man answered mee with much curtesie: I know you are a great King, and that neither presents, nor the Law of silver nor gold, nor any thing of great value, but meerly out of affection I will serve you: for I doe not seek that which is too much for mee, and therfore I seeke not after yours, but you.

sent the best of my Ships, which being arrived [Page 2] at the port of Alexandria, the Doctor Astrologer came aboard, and was brought to mee, curteous with love, for having knowne his great worth by understanding the motions of the Sphears, I alwayes held him in that esteeme and love which is due to a Learned man.

The Stone which is called the Philosophers he could make, he taught it mee, and wee made it together: And afterwards I made it alone, by which meanes my Riches increased much; and seeing that I was able to doe such a thing, and that divers wayes, which alwayes produced the same thing, I will propound unto you the most easie, and therefore the most excellent and principall.

I had a Library of Books of the Workes of Men of many Nations, but I in this businesse did esteeme neither the Caldeans, neither the Arabians, (though a diligent people) nor the Aegyptians, Assyrians, but those of the East, which inhabite the Indies, and the Saracens did my worke, and so well, that they have honoured our Westerne parts.

The present time makes mee to know a sound and true judgement: because thou shouldst give credit or beliefe to it, doe not conceive that I have lied in any point. That which I look after, is not to bury in oblivion the great worth that was in him my Master: but I will not give such an Empire to any man but to him that is Learned.

Now to unriddle this mystery and to propose truthes in ciphers, though they are obscure, yet by them you may learne, and shall find they are no vaine things; and if thou commest to understand this great Mystery, have it not in thy ordinary conversation, but leave it in the same cipher of this impression, if thou understandest how to explaine it.

This Matter by wise men is called by divers names: and this matter which to the unwise seemes to bee something, to them is nothing, and its nature being equally moist and dry that it will not give one without another; which is a singular thing to have two such different natures meet together in one. The drie is there in a supreame degree, the moist likewise calls for a supream Authority: the hot and cold fight there together, and are contayned there likewise in a supreame degree; and from that equality, comes the name of each of these severally according to the quality: and though the moist be joyned with the dry, yet each of them retaines its owne name.

Our Hermes tells us that it is Heaven and Earth, but others call it Man and Wife, and out of their mariage they make other Riddles, which serve for a light to the infirme Globe, and from thence are called by some, Water or Earth, others the cold which is inclosed in heat, so much the wise may understand.

The ancient Chaos, according to my judgement, was knit together by the fowre Elements: This composition is the like, when the division comes to bee made, the Heaven and the Earth comes to bee a fift Essence of all, for this matter is of that kinde, that it composeth all things. In this matter are found united the four Elements in equall parts, so that if one walk [Page 4] or move, the others doe the like, for by one the others are conducted, so much are they equall in their duties one to another, and where can you hope to find a better thing amongst all Animals, then that which is so much approved by all wise men?

Take the Learned Philosophers Mercury, and let it bee purged from its malignancy and foule quality, for it cannot be too cleane; and see that the weight be equall with twelve ounces of the sayd composition, and then put it into a glasse bottle, for no mettall else is fit for it. And the forme of the glasse must be of the forme of the Sphere, with a long neck, and no thicker then can bee grasped with a large hand, and the length of the necke not above a span, and no wider then the Aegyptian seale may cover its mouth. This you must put into an earthen pot, surrounded about with hot ashes, and bee sure with a carefull hand to stop up the bottle. And then you must have an artificiall Furnace made of Clay, so broad and round as that you may fadome at the thickest place. You must not put the pot in the bottome of the Furnace, but hang it or set it in the middle, upon two irons, which must lie Diameter wise, or acrosse, and the earthen pot must stand upon the very centre and crosse of the two irons, that the fire may come alike to it in all parts, and then with coales make a soft fire, but let not your patience bee troubled to keepe it alwayes alike. The fire must not come within a foot of the pot, and the surnace luted up close about the pot, that so the soft fire may keepe it alwayes working, and bee not troubled to keepe the fire still alike, for if it bee the same at last as at first, thou hast done the worke of an able man.

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Two changes the Moone must passe by those Animals, which maketh a month, or the Sun that degree which is called Sextile, without raine, for the worke requires drought: and then you shall see a paterne of the worke, of which you must bee very carefull for unmarrying of it from his first matter which is all one. That which time works helped by the Sun and other influences, when taking leave of the Earth, and having drawne out the moistnes that runnes in its veins, it is so pleased with it, that it converts into sulphur that part which was moyst before; so that all is seene as mother Nature placed it.

This is the part of the Earth, Sulphur, Woman, hot and dry; for when it makes its first change or trucke, that part is wanting which encompassed the humidity; as Penelope made warre in the absence of Ulysses in Italy, so this Widow so pale and wan, hopes for the returne of her banished Husband. By equall weights, as first with Art mixt with Mercury, very pure, with this mixture you may worke securely in a glasse made by the hands of a good Workman, for the first and the last must be one or like; but if possibly thou canst, the first venter is the truest.

Doe the following Worke in such maner, that you keepe the same fire that you did before, which will be sufficient, and be sure your fire gives no flame, and be sure also to watch it nights and dayes: and if you take that paine, you shall bee sure to finde an excellent reward. Thou shalt see the worke in its blacknesse, and that being changed, as it was first borne, which is not yet the thing that mother Nature gave in her first degree, but shall turne to bee so liquid and pure that it [Page 6] shall be like to Inke, so distinct shall bee the forme of this creature from its first being.

Hast thou not seen the Prison which the Silkworm makes for it selfe, where it dies? and out of that carcase dead in the Net it selfe made, in which no corruption can come, but riseth againe in a forme distinct from its first being, then is brought forth and paints it selfe, with wings in a more ugly shape: So our work begins to live with a new spirit, and new substance, from whence must bee continued the perseverance of the body, that so bloud may bee gotten in it. Doe not you then think of making a greater fire, for by that meanes the bloud and body will bee destroyed. Then shall you see the most excellent point of this Divine worke: open the bottle and it will seeme to bee ruined, for there will come from it a very stinking smell. In this degree is certainly the greatest labour of this work: for if it bee continued with the same heat, it wil certainly come to the highest degree of perfection. After this colour is past, you shall see many more different in their likenesse and appearance: the Argos, and the Iris in their splendor, that the following of the liquid humour will cause to bee of divers colours, untill it comes at last to a certaine whitenesse, then augment a little the heat.

Friend, bee not weary of your worke, and let it not trouble your patience, for this is the first point of getting your inheritance. When the Stone is come to the whitenesse, it is then fixt, and can never be disunited, though it should burne 100. yeares, for the union is perfect. Keepe, as I have told you, the fire in one degree, that it may come to such a whitenesse, as to bee [Page 7] like the purest snow, which is called the silver Elixir. But in regard that Gold is more pretious in esteeme, let it alone in the bottle with the same fire, untill the Stone is come from its white into a Citron colour: then increase the fire another degree, and thou shalt attaine to a pure red. All being raysed up will shew your worke to be secure: the body of this being taken up, will be hard and light, and in it you may take notice of the body of Diaphano, and the colour of a Rubie, as in my owne hands my selfe hath seene it; for which the great God is by me praysed. Then put this into an earthen vessell, covered with a cover of the same, like a dish, and this so well joined or luted together, of the bignesse to hold three begadas, according to the bignesse of the Stone, and put it on a hot fire of flaming wood there to boile. Heere the Stone will calcine in 10. dayes of the Sun, or Sundayes, &c. and being taken out of that pot, it will be an impalpable and Divine powder. The first substance which doth good to all, from whence it hath no quality in his Quintessence, but is applied to all, and hath power to do all, and very being of the thing that is applied to. Ente, from the beginning of Naturall causes: it is neither Gold, nor Silver, nor other Minerall, nor subject to the forme of any Vegetable, but hath a disposition to doe good to all. If it be applied to Gold, from it, it takes firmnesse, as to convert other things into that Mettall. For if to man, by famous workes, it gives him health, what can bee esteemed more pretious? Under this impalpable Gold, it happens that there is found a bright Earth, but very blacke and glistering, which is not the best however, for that which is very [Page 8] red, is fixt and stable, though it be mixt with all compositions, and so makes no ingression, but his vertues are very admirable. But with equall weight thou must unite it with its first principall matter, very pure, and joyne or mixe them together very carefully, if you would have it be brought to live: and then, as I told you before, let it come to the moderate heat as at the first, and in the like glasse as I prescribed before, very close shut: and as thou didst with the fire at the first, so must thou doe it now, and in very short time thou shalt see it become blacke, and of the other colours spoken of before, untill it comes to bee red, and will presently turne into a stone. This have I seene done in a short time: and hee that knowes it not, let him know that he walks blindfold.

I have told you the work in plaine words, and how I did it, and saw it wrought, so I did it, and had the reward: and it is no fallacy, seeing that I am a witnesse to it, for which I prayse and blesse God, which gave me sufficient of knowledge, science, riches, honour, and state, which let me never forget.

If thou wouldst have a division of this into 100. parts, and so ad infinitum, it must bee done before it hath firmentation or hardnesse, and then your worke will be certaine. Take an earthen vessell covered, and in it put your quicksilver, and when it begins to runne over, drop in your Elixir, otherwise you cannot keep it for running over. Of Gold one part being purged by Aquafortis with foure of quicksilver washt, and foure of what is spoken of before, joyned with great Art, with one of your Elixir, and put it apart in a crooked glasse or retort, and let it feele a fire of coals [Page 9] ten dayes together, untill they be all mixed together. And if you will make a further progression, put into an earthen pot 100. graines of quicksilver, and put it over a flaming fire, and when the quicksilver begins to smoake and flie away in fume, cast in one part of your Elixir, and then cover it. Then let it coole, and it shall prove a very soveraigne medicine: 100. parts of quicksilver, according to the finenesse of it, this shall convert into Gold. But if you desire to make experience and see the operation upon lead, you shall there find it as well: neither doth it stay there, for its ingression retains that faculty to turne all mettals into Gold: to every thing it is to be applied, and it converts every thing into a well complectioned nature, halfe a graine of this taken into the mouth makes the party strong; the weak and feeble, it makes so lusty, that no man was ever more healthy, and time which is pretious to all, brings those that take it, sound to their Graves.

The best of Bests invites from his supreame dwelling place, the most unfortunate of all, joyning together two extreames, after which we shall see him in his greatest dignity and Majesty, which now is most distant from it: say nothing till thou seest the water produce that which is afterward turned into fire; but if thou seest that play, then hide not what else thou knowest, for it is worth full eight hundred yeeres; for being come to that passe, then thou shalt know the worth of it. Then shall be accomplisht the fatall time to see my treasure and my selfe, and myselfe inclosed or containe my selfe: I shall not be obscured, and thou shalt remaine with my gift that in this darknes thou shalt see such a light where a World shall bee represented.

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2. The second Treatise of Alphonso King of Portugal, concerning the Philosophers Stone.

THe past worke of the most pure stone, is so infinite in multiplying, that it is never weary to give, and to give more, such a likenesse hath it to its workmanship. But if you would know another way to seperate the foure Elements, know that this following Treatise understood, will teach you to do it with more brevity and security.

Two ounces of gold well refined with one of silver, very fine and pure, melted in clay, and this mixture being filed very small, and with purged Mercury ground untill it be well incorporated one into another. Then put such a quantity of common salt so well mixed, as that the body may be well conglutinated.

Take a glasse bottle, subtilly to mix these, so that no unclean thing may come to it (though never so little) and then upon a small fire so worke it, as that the Mercury may consume or vanish in its own fume. Then you may presume the Gold will remaine being a body that will endure the fervency of the fire.

Wash the matter of this mixture in pure fountaine water, so that after many washings, the water may remaine many times clean, and retaine its sweetnesse

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of taste: then weigh the matter that remains, and if you find it heavier than it was at first, grind it againe with Salt enough, and put it to the fire againe as before.

Thus I tell you, you must doe your worke, and in a very soft fire: and when it comes to bee of its first weight, that which then remaines, will bee a matter spungeous and subtle, and so well disposed and prepared, that you may use it in any Physicke.

And now you must make a preparation with sublimed Mercury, Copperas, and Salt well washt: for our Physick and reall conjunction gives it afterwards his life, grinding it with Salt very small. Then in a glasse Bottle which hath his receiver, put it to make his distillation.

But know that within the receiving glasse you must put water, and place the bottle in a strong furnace, and make a fire of coales under it, and letting it seeth or boyle softly, and it will turn quick, or living, and be much subject to corruption, and with this, worke securely and be not weary,

Nine of these with three of the first composition, joyned and well mixed, and ground together: and all these and the other put into a round glasse, that hath a neck of a span or palme long, and then stop the mouth very close, for which purpose the mouth must not be made wide but narrow.

Thus I tell you the glasse must be, and of a bignesse to hold the quantity of three begadas, and according to the roundnesse of it, so have a place fitted to put it in the fire, that there the matter may be well joyned or masht together, then will the tincture be made.

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Forty begadas, then shalt thou see the East adorned with the beames of the sunne, when this worke shall be accomplished according to desire, to change the present glasse into another, which serves for the receiver of a Still, which being close luted with lutum sapientiae, on hot water, which it must not touch.

The Fire must not bee of any great heat but moderate, that it may worke its effect, distilling its water in a perfect manner, and then doe the same worke over againe; joine the matter with great wisedome, with this his distilled Water, joine Mercury, of an equall weight with the first matter.

Note my words which I will tell thee, that now thou shalt come to putrifie it, and after forty dayes put it into the Still, keeping the same order as before, for the glasse and the fire, take this distilled water, and in the place where it falls, put in an equall weight of the first matter as aforesayd.

Doe this worke as at the first, for it must be thrice reiterated from time to time, receiving the water that the fire will give to the very last. Think not the time light, and though you passe the forty dayes and more, yet still keepe the water in a glasse bottle.

Change it from the receiving glasse into another, and put it upon hot ashes, and then thou shalt have, or draw out a lighter element in weight, called Ayre, which you must subtily put into a bottle, and stop the mouth of it very close with Hermes his seale, and its necke also; be carefull that you let not forth the aire.

Put in or to the glasse another receiver after, (having strongly luted it) and make such a fire as that by his great heat the pot may distill; this Element keep [Page 13] with carefulnesse, for it is the Element of Fire, and then, thankes be to God, in this worke thou hast separated the foure Elements.

After the division of this Chaos, thou must now thinke of joyning them together againe: for if thou meanest to joyne and make that world which was disunited, the only matter which is in the bottome of the glasse must bee retayned or kept and softned by grinding, and then the composition put into a glasse.

Let this glasse bee round bodied, and long neckt; which glasse or bottle you must fortifie by luting, and set it upon the coales, that it may have the force of the fire, in such a maner that it may rise ten degrees Titans Wife of the beloved Bed; and in this maner it wilbe converted into a hard substance.

In another like glasse put this with a quarter of its weight of the reserved water, and then stop the mouth of it well, and put it in a brasse furnace or vessell, and put it upon hot ashes, and keepe such a fire to it, as the matter may become dry as it was before.

This being done, and the congealing and drying being past, as I have said, do the like again, with its fourth or quarter part of that Royall water. The infusion must be reitterated, and the fourth time ended of doing the same work, know that thou hast satisfied the drougth, or drouth, or thirst that this substance had after that water.

Hast thou not seen the earth when it wants raine, how barren it shews? no fruit to be seen, but all looks like a fallow ground, and every thing like to perish. But if the rain falls to refresh it, it makes it fruitfull for generation, or increase, and every seed that is sown [Page 14] in its proper time brings forth its fruit.

And continuing disperseth its watery power into all plants and trees, and makes the fruit appeare on every bough: even so goes this matter preparing; the Ayre which you kept in the bottle, you must give drink to five severall times, the tenth part of its quantity at a time, so that in all it must have halfe its own weight, and alwayes at every time be dryed up.

Then on a Copper plate in a flaming fire try this matter, if it will consume in smoake; for you must presume it to be of the nature of the Ganimedes to flie up to Heaven, but if it flies not upwards, then it is not yet well done, but you must give it more water, and trye again whether or no it hath his true spirit.

Cause it to drink a quarter part of its weight that first it was of, which will be the tenth part of the Aire, and as you did it before, so do it again: then prove it upon the Copper Plate, to trye if it will evaporate and smoake: then turne againe to what you did before.

Then put the matter in sublimation, and when you shall see it all rise up: that which riseth not, but remaineth in the bottome, give it drink again according as is aforesayd: prove it again upon the plate, and so continually trye it till it riseth; and then you shall be sure that in the bottome will remain a black earth like a dead body in the glasse.

As the Ganimedes went up to Heaven, so thou shalt see this matter exalted. It shall be demanded from the God of the earth, by Jove, from whom it was stolen, it having been left with Demogorgon, and shall be restored, and if thou sublimate it, oftentimes [Page 15] grinding it untill it come at last to be firme, it will all remain in the bottome of the glasse.

To this matter there wants ingression, because there wants the fourth Element, therefore make this operation in a fire neither great nor little, but when thou puttest it in its inflammation take the pot, and be sure that not one drop or tittle of any foule thing comes to it before thou seest infusion.

If then thou seest it become like wax that it will rope, then thou hast a vast great Treasure, that thy estate shall be advanced to more than the riches of Midas. 100. parts of Mercury put on the fire, and when it begins to fume away, then temper it with one of this matter, and presume thou hast brought it to the perfect medicine.

And if another time thou dost the same worke, one part of this applyed to 100 will turn likewise to the second medicine, and one part of this is a great reward, being applied to 100 parts of Mercury hot, or any other mettal being melted, making it becom Gold most high and sublime: For which the Lord be praised.

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3. The first manner of Multiplication of our Medicine.

ELixir is multiplyed by two manner of wayes; that is to say, by solution of heat, and by solution of drying: by solution of heat is thus. Take the medicine and put it into the vessell of glasse, and bury it in our moyst fire seven dayes or more, untill that the Medicine be dissolved into water without any troublousnesse appearing in it. But the solution of drying is that that shall take the vessell of glasse with the medicine, and hang it in a brass pot (having a straight mouth) in boyling, and let the mouth be close, that by the vapour of the boyling vapour ascending, the medicine may be dissolved. And note, that the same boyling water must not touch the vessell of glasse with the medicine, by the space of three fingers: and this solution is made strongly in one day, or two, or three. After that the medicine is made and dissolved, take it from the fire to coole, to fix, to congeale, to harden or dry, and so let it bee very often dissolved, for the [Page 40] oftner it be resolved, so much the more perfect it is; whereupon Bonellus saith, when that our brasse is turned, and very oftentimes reitterate, it is made better then it was before, and such a solution is a subtiliation of the medicine, and his vertuous sublimation; whereupon the oftner it is sublimate or subtiliated, so much oftner it getteth a greater Virtue, and a greater tincture, and coloureth more abundantly, and the more it shall make perfect and convert, and turne the more; whereupon in the fourth solution it shall get so much virtue and tincture, that one part shall be able upon 1000. of Mercury cleansed, that it shall convert it into Gold or Silver, better then that which is taken out of the Mines of the Earth: Whereupon Rasis saith, the multiplication of this goodnesse dependeth wholely on the often reitteration of the sublimations and fixation of the perfect medicine, for the oftner that the order of this compliment be reitterated, so much more doth increase the nourishment thereof, and the vertue and strength thereof is augmented: for the oftner then was wont that thou shalt sublimate and dissolve the perfect medicine, so much the more oftner thou shalt win and gaine at every time to cast one upon 1000. as if at first it fall upon 1000. the second time it will convert 10000. the third time it will be cast upon, and convert 100000. and the fourth time upon 1000000. the fift time upon an infinite: For Merodus saith, know ye for certainty, that how much the more and oftner our Stone is dissolved, so much the more is the spirit and body conjoyned together, and of this for every time the tincture is multiplyed.

The second way of multiplication is another way; [Page 41] the medicine is multiplyed by fermentation, for the ferment to white is pure Silver, and the firment to red is pure Gold: therefore cast one part of the medicine upon ten parts, or twenty of the firment, and all such shall be medicine; and put it upon the fire in a Vessell of Glasse, and shut it well, so that no ayre may enter nor passe forth, and let it be dissolved or sublimated so often as thou wilt; and as thou doest the first medicine, and one part of the second medicine shall receive as much as one part of the first medicine. Whereupon Rasis saith, now have we fully made our medicine, hot and cold, dry and moist, equally temperate, whereof whatsoever we doe put to it shall be of the same complexion that it is put to; therefore conjoyne or marry him that he may bring forth fruit like unto himselfe: But yet doe not conjoyne or marry it with any other thing to convert it, but with it that it was in the beginning; whereupon it is written in Speculum, this spirituall earth which is the Elixir, must be first in his owne body, from whence it was taken at the beginning of his solution, that is to marry his earth, and it being so rectified and purified by his soule to conjoyne it by conjunction of his body, from whence it had its beginning; also it is sayd in the Booke called Gemma salutaris, the white Worke hath need of a white firmentation; whereby when he is white with his white firmentation, and when he is made red in his red firment, for then that white earth is firment of firment, for when it is joyned to Luna, all is firment to cast upon Mercury, and upon every body being unperfect mettle to make it Luna: And with the red thereof must be joyned Sol; and [Page 42] that is medicine upon Mercury, and Luna to make it Sol. Also Rasis saith, it behooveth that he be mingled with wite and red quicksilver of his kinde, and that it be contained and kept that it fly not away; wherefore we bid that quicksilver be mingled with quicksilver, untill that one cleare water be made of two quicksilvers, and not to make three mixtures untill every one of them be dissolved into water; but in their conjunction put a little of the Worke upon much of the body, as upon foure, and in a certaine time it will be made in the nature of powder, which is of red or white colour, and this powder is Elixir compleate. And truely the Elixir must be of a simple powder; also Egidius saith to 25 Stones of solution, put solution, and to solution desiccation, and put all to the fire, and keepe the fume, and take heed that nothing flye from it, tarry and dwell nigh the Vessell, and behold and observe the marvellous working, how it shall be removed from colour to colour in lesse then an houre of a day, untill that it commeth to the marke or prick, or butt of whitenesse or rednesse, for it will soone melt in the fire, and come all into the Ayre; for when the fume doth fill the fire, it will enter into the body, and the spirit will then be pulled together, and the body will then be fixed, cleare white or red: Then divide the fire, suffering it to coole, and be cold: For and if one of these doe fall upon 1000. or Mercury, or any other body, it turneth it into the best Gold or Silver, according as his firment is prepared; wherefore it doth appeare, that he who doth not congeale quicksilver that will suffer the fire, and joyne it to pure Silver, he desireth no right way to the white worke; and [Page 43] he who doth not make a red quicksilver that can sustaine all fire, and joyn it to meer gold, he taketh not the right way to the Red worke, for by solution and fermentation the worke or medicine may be multiplyed into an infinite: and note that the Elixir giveth a very light fusion or melting even like wax: whereupon Rosarius saith, our medicine necessarily ought to be of a most subtile substance and pure adherence, cleaving to Mercury of his nature, and of a most thin, and easie liquefaction as water; also in the booke which is named Omne datum optimum, when the Elixir is well prepared, it ought to be melted upon a burning plate, or upon a burning cole, even as wax melteth, for that thou dost in the white, doe it in the red, for the same is the operation of both, as well in the multiplication, as in the projection. Geber the Philosopher doth beare witnesse in his fift Booke, and tenth Chapter, that there be three Orders of Medicines; of the first Order is that which is cast upon imperfect bodies, and doth not take away the corruption, but imperfection, for it doth give tincture, but that tincture doth go away in examination.

The medicine of the second Order, is that which is cast upon imperfect bodies, and doth give tincture to them in examination; for after the examination the tincture doth remaine, but all the corruption of the bodies is not cleare taken away for ever by that medicine.

In the third Order, the medicine is that which is cast upon imperfect bodies, and taketh away all their imperfection and corruption, and from corrupt Mineralls it bringeth them into incorruptible. But the [Page 44] two first of these medicines being left off, we will speake something of the projection of this medicine of the third degree.

The perfect medicine truly is cast 1000. or upon more, according as the medicine is prepared or advanced by dissolution, sublimation, and subtilliation; but because so little, that is, so little is cast upon so little, by reason of the littlenes thereof, it should not be lift up before his virtue be fulfilled. Therefore the Philosophers made their projection diversly, wherefore this is the best way.

Let one part be cast upon a hundred of Mercury, and all is medicine, and it is called the second medicine; and let every one part of this second medicine be cast upon a hundred of Mercury, and all is medicine, and is called the third medicine, and is made 1000. yet againe, let every part of this third medicine be cast upon 1000. of mercury, and it shall be medicine, and all shall be the best Luna or Sol. And note that the third and the second may be so much dissolved, and subtilliate, that it shall receive a greater vertue, and that it may be multiplyed in an infinite: after receive and make projection; first multiply 10. into 10. and it will make 100. and 100. by 10. multiplyed will be 1000. &c.

But how the projection ought to be made, shall be now taught. Put the body upon the fire in a Crucible, also if it be a spirit tepescat, let it do like luke-warme water, and cast the Elixir into it, as is aforesaid, moving it well, and very soone when the Elixir is liquefied, and hath mingled it selfe with the body, or with the spirit, remove it from the fire, and thou shalt have [Page 45] by the grace of God, gold, and silver, according as the Elixir is prepared.

In short therefore, it appeareth by the premisses, that our worke doth consist in the body of Magnesia finished; that is, of Sulphur, the which is called Sulphur of Sulphur, and Mercury, which is called Mercury of Mercury: Therefore as it is aforesayd, with one thing, that is our Stone, with one part, that is to say seething, and one disposition, that is to say, first, making of it blacke; secondly, with making of it white; thirdly, with making of it red; and fourthly, with making of projection, all the whole mastery is finished.

Of the other part of the false Alchymists, and they who doe beleeve them by their distillations, sublimations, calcinations, conjunctions, seperations, congelations, preparations, dissolutions, manuall contritions, and other deceptions, saying, that it is by a similitude onely called an Egge, and teaching another sulphur from ours, and another Mercury from ours, and that it may be drawne from some other thing, or effected by some other then our light fire.

This is a selection from the original text


animals, drink, firmament, gold, medicine, salt, virtue, wax

Source text

Title: Five Treatises of the Philosophers Stone

Author: Alphonso V, King of Portugal, 1432-1481

Publisher: Thomas Harper

Publication date: 1651

Edition: 1st Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online at Bibliographic name / number: Wing (2nd ed.) / A2900 Bibliographic name / number: Thomason / E.654[5] Physical description: [8], 72 Copy from: British Library Reel position: Thomason / 100:E.654[5]

Digital edition

Original author(s): Alphonso V King of Portugal, 1432-1481

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) pages 1-2
  • 2 ) pages 4-15
  • 3 ) pages 39-45


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: India > nonfiction prose > science

For more information about the project, contact Dr Ayesha Mukherjee at the University of Exeter.