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Pages (PDF): 20
Publication Date: 1670
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My honourable Patron and my good Friend, my humble service in the first place presented to you: At you earnest request I cannot but accomplish your desires, seeing you have a great love and affection, by experience to find out the Secrets of Nature, which at this time are known to few, and even wholly hid in darkness.
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Although many of the Ancients have written thereof, and their books dispersed, yet are they written in a Magick stile, and profitable to none but those who from their youth have been trained up in this Magick, or instructed by God in such Secrets. Therefore, these Secrets for which you humble yourself are in a deep pit, strongly locked up, so that no man can open unless he have received the Key from the Spirit of Truth. Of the Magical Antimony or of that Antimony of the Ancients will I speak no thing in this treatise, seeing that men will know nothing of it; but what they read of it they apply only to common Antimony; of the which you only desire a treatise which I will freely communicate to you and will write, (1) What it is, (2) Of what parts it is composed, (3) Into what it may be resolved again.
And you shall in this treatise understand me no otherwise then according to the Letter; for I will use here no Metaphors, Allegories, or Similitudes; only I will describe Antimony with a plain stile, that you may not be deceived, though you prepare it according to the Letter, and ye shall obtain that of which I write; by these, you may also judge whether in common Antimony that secret, or Chymical and Physical Mystery be or not, of the which Paracelsus and the Magicians have written.
Now Antimony as it cometh out of the Mountains, is not pure as it should be; for it is mingled with stones of the mine. I never saw any that came forth pure from the Mountains; therefore ere one use it, it must be purified, which purification is done by digestion; but this digestion is a Sulphureous Fire. The best Sulphur is a Sulphur Metalline, and though Artists do purifie it with vegetable fire, that is with Tartar, yet is this digestion not natural, But that the Tartar divides the Regulus from its Faeces this is the cause that the Sulphur of Antimony, Salt is more Vegetable than Metalline, but you shall purify it with Sulphur that is sprung from Mercury, and not from Salts; for this metalline Sulphur will be reduced in the Argent vive of Antimony into Argent vive, and lastly out of this Argent vive of Antimony will be pure gold be made. Now this Metalline Sulphur that purifieth Antimony is only in Mars and no where else, and this purification is done thus: Rx Mars of Iron 4 parts (I am wont to take pieces of nails which are neither gross nor thick) put them into a strong crucible, and set them in a wind Furnace. Let it stand so long till you see the nails or Iron are soft, then put into the Crucible 8 parts of Antimony, make a strong fire that the Mars may flow well in the Antimony, then cast into the crucible with an Iron Ladle, a good handful of Saltpeter; then let them boil up together in the Crucible (let the Crucible therefore be considerably great, that it boil not out) and let it stand still till all be quiet and flowing, then cast it forth into a casting pot so the Regulus settleth itself so soon as the matter is coagulated in the Puckle-pot. Put t out and let it cool, and strike the Faeces from the Regulus, which appeareth and shineth like a marchasite.
The Faeces you may lay up till you know what to do with it for in it is a mystery of which I will not speak at this time. Put the Regulus into a crucible again and let it flow; when it floweth, then cast therein one and one-half part of Antimony and let them flow well together, then put in as much Niter as you did before, and let it flow as ye did at the first time, cast it into the Puckle, strike the Regulus off from the Faeces. This Regulus is purer and finer than the first. Cast away the Faeces for they are worth nothing. Let the Regulus melt the third time in a Crucible, and when it flows, pour thereon a ladle of Nitre, and when you see that the Nitre floweth on the Metal as an Oyl (which must be done with strong fire otherwise the Nitre coagulateth itself and be hard) then cast it into a puckle, strike the Regulus from the Faeces. This Regulus is yet finer, purer and more Metalline than the former; the Faeces are nothing worth. Fourthly, let this Regulus melt in a clean Crucible, and when it is melted as pure Luna, cast some Nitre thereon, let it penetrate through each other and then cast it into a Puckle, beat the Faeces off from the Regulus, which Faeces will be of a golden color and then it is prepared. The Regulus will be as white as Luna, and have above a fine Star; this Regulus, if it be rightly wrought, will weigh four ounces and the work may well be finished in two hours. Some copies say twelve hours and in this manner is common Antimony prepared, wherein you shall mark this piece, viz., what it is that thus divideth the Faeces from Antimony. You shall not think that Nitre doth it, but know that Antimony draweth out the soul from Mars, that is his best Sulphur, and reduceth the same into Mercury; this Mercury is nothing else but fire, and hath the operation of fire digesteth the crude Mercury into Antimony and divideth the Mine from the metal; you shall also know that this mercury of Mars is hid in this purged Antimony, under the whiteness of the Antimonial Mercury; for this Lunary whiteness which you see in the Regulus is not from his Sulphur but from Argent vive, under which lurketh Mercury of Mars which is nothing else than Sol: this Mercury of Mars is also nothing else in the aforesaid Mercury of Antimony than as a Spirit or an air, and remaineth so long living in the Argent vive of Antimony till out of it be made a body again, this is Sol and then divideth itself from the Mercury of Antimony.