Collectanea Chemica, ed. by A.E. Waite, , at sacred-texts.com
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His Way and Method. How he made and prepared that most Excellent Medicine for the Body of Man.
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Showing the way to make his most excellent medicine called "Aurum Potabile."
Take block tin, and burn it in an iron pan (making the pan red hot before you put it in), keeping a continual fire under it, and stirring it always till it be like unto ashes. Some will look red; it will be burning a day, or half-a-day at the least; it must be stirred with an iron coal rake, a little one, the handle two feet long.
G. H. M. made an iron pan a foot and a-half long and a foot broad, the brims two inches deep, and made an oven in a chimney with bars of iron in the bottom, whereon he placed the pan, and a place under to make fire; and it will after this manner sooner be burned (viz., half-a-day). The smoke will not hurt it.
These ashes keep in a glass close covered.
Take of these ashes four ounces and of the strongest red wine vinegar three pints, and put them in a glass like an urinal, the ashes being put in first; lute the vessel, and let it stand in a hot Balneum ten days, which ended, take it forth, and set it to cool, and let it stand two or three whole days that the feces may sink unto the bottom. The glass must be shaken six or seven times every day.
That which is clear let it run forth unfiltered by two or three woollen threads into a glass basin, and distil it in a glassen still till the liquor be stilled all forth. This distilled water put upon four ounces of fresh ashes, upon the ashes from which the first liquor was filtered; put also a quart of strong red wine vinegar; lute the glass as before, and put him into the Balneum, and there let him stand to digest ten days: filter this, and distil it as aforesaid. Thirdly, pour on those ashes one pint of the like vinegar, and put it in Balneum ten days: filter it, and distil it, as aforesaid. After
the third infusion throw away the ashes.
Distil all the infusions apart, till the liquor be clean distilled forth.
Take this distilled water, as often as it is distilled, and pour it upon new ashes, keeping the weight and order; their infusions, filterings, and distillations reiterate seven times.
And you shall have of this water the menstruum sought for.
You must take heed that the vinegar be of red wine, and very strong, otherwise your menstruum will not perform your expectation.
The Bishop gave Dr. Antonie 30s. for a quart of menstruum.
Take an ounce of pure refined gold (which costs £3 13s. 4d.); cast it into a wedge and file it into small dust with a fine file. Put this ounce of filed gold into a calcined pot, and put to it so much white salt as will near fill the pot, and set it among charcoals where it may stand
continually hot four hours (if it stand too hot the salt will melt). Which four hours ended, take it forth, and let it stand to cool; then put it on a painter's stone, and grind it very small with a muller. Then put it into the pot and calcine it, and grind it again till you have done it four or five times: if it look red and blue when you take it forth, it is perfect good.
After this calcining and grinding, put it into a glass basin, and put to it the basinful of scalding hot water, and stir it a good while, till the thick part is fully settled to the bottom. Then pour away that water, and put the like; stir it, and let it settle as before; and so do again, till the water, when it is settled, have no taste of salt. This will be doing two or three days.
Of this ounce of gold there will be hardly above sixteen or seventeen grains brought into fine white calx, but to separate it from the gold leave a little of the last fresh water in the basin, and stir it well together. The
calx will swim to the top, which softly pour from the gold into another basin. If all the white calx go not forth, put a little more water and stir it again, and pour it into the basin to the other calx; then let it settle, and pour away almost all the water, and evaporate away all the rest over a heat till it be throughly dry. And so put it up into a. glass.
Then put the gold which is not yet calx to salt as aforesaid, and calcine it, and grind it four times again; and then wash it; and then take the calx from it as before; and the gold that remains calcine and wash as before, till it be all calx.
Take an ounce of this calx, and put it into an urinal-like glass, containing about a pint, and put to it half-a-pint of the menstruum. Set this glass in a hot Balneum six days (being close luted), and shake it often every day. When the six days are ended, let it stand two or three days; then pour away that which is clear very gently, for fear of troubling the feces. To these
feces put fresh menstruum, but not fully so much as at the first; and so the third time, but not fully so much as at the second. Then take the dry feces, which are the calx, and keep them lest some tincture remain therein.
These coloured liquors put into a glass still, and distil them in a Balneum, at the first with a very gentle fire, till all that which is clear be run forth, and that which remain be as thick as honey. Then take it forth and set it to cool. Then put the glass into an earthen pot, and put ashes about the glass into the pot, and fix the pot into a little furnace fast, and make a fire under, so that the glass may stand very warm till the feces be black and very dry. You may look with a candle through the glass still, and see when it is risen with bunches and dry. Then take away your fire, and let the glass be very cold; then take out the black earth. This black earth being taken forth, put it into a glass basin, and grind it with the bottom of another
round glass to powder. Then put it into an urinal-like glass, containing about a pint, and to that put a little above half-a-pint of the spirit of wine. Set this glass in a cold place till it be red, which will be about ten days. Shake it often every day, till within three days you pour it forth. Then pour away the clear liquor gently, and that clear put into a glass still or other glass, till you have more. Then put more spirit of wine to those feces, and order it as before; and if that be much coloured, put Spiritus Vini, to it the third time, as at the first. Put all these coloured liquors together and distil them till the feces (called the tincture) be as thick as a syrup.
Take an ounce of this tincture, and put it into a pint of Canary sack, and so when it is clear you may drink of it, which will be about a day and a-half.
The Preparation of the Vinegar to make the Menstruum.
Glasses necessary: Get three or four
glassen stills which will hold a gallon or two apiece, and a Balneum two feet and a-half square to hold many glasses. Get about six gallons of the strongest red wine vinegar (vinegar of claret or white wine is too weak), made of red wine, sack, or Muscadine, and set as many stills going at a time as your Balneum will hold. Take a pint of that which runneth first, and put it away, as weak and not fit for this use. Then still out all the rest, till the still be dry. Wash the still with a little of the (phlegm) the first running, and then wipe it dry. Then put in that which was distilled, and do as before, putting away the first pint; and so do five times. So of a gallon you shall have three pints of the spirit of vinegar, and of your six gallons only two gallons and two pints. And if your spirit be yet too weak distil it oftener.
This keep in a glass close stopped to make your menstruum with; you may stop it with cork, and leather over it.
You must provide three strong green
glasses to make menstruum, with little mats round the bottoms, containing four pints apiece.
To lute them, fit a wooden stoppel of dry wood, first boiled, and then dried in an oven, to the mouth; then melt hard wax to fill the chinks; then paste a brown paper next over that; then prepare luting of clay, horsedung, and ashes, and stop over all that.
Glass Stills: Two or three to distil the first infusions on the earth; cover three or four pints apiece of green glass.
The rule of all stillings: You must paste brown paper to the closing of the head of the still, and also paste the receiver and nose of the still together so that no strength go forth.
Calcining Pots: Provide about a dozen, for many when they are put into a strong fire will break; then must you let your fire slack.