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Collectanea Chemica, ed. by A.E. Waite, [1893], at

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Canon of Bridlington:


His Philosophical Accurtations in Making the Philosopher's Mercury and Elixirs.

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The whole work of the composition of the Philosophical Stone of the great elixir and of the first solution of the gross body.

FIRST take thirty pounds weight of sericon, or antimony, which will make twenty-one pounds weight of gum, or near thereabouts, if it be well dissolved and the vinegar is very good; and dissolve each pound thereof in a gallon of twice distilled vinegar. When cold again, and, as it standeth in dissolution in a fit glass vessel, stir it about with a clean stick very often every day, the oftener the better; and when it is well molten to the bottom, then filter over the said liquors three several times, which keep close covered, and cast away the fæces, for that is superfluous filth which

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must be removed and entereth not into the work, but is called Terra damnata.

The making of our Gum, or Green Lion.

Then put all these cold liquors, thus filled, into a fit glass vessel and set it in Balneo Mariæ to evaporate in a temperate heat; which done, our sericon will be coagulated into a green gum called our Green Lion; which gum dry well, yet beware thou burn not his flowers, nor destroy his greenness.

The extraction of our Menstruum or Blood of our Green Lion.

Then take out the said gum and put it into a strong retort of glass, very well luted, and place it in your furnace, and under that, at the first, make sober fire, and anon you sec a white smoke or fume issue. Then put, too, a receiver of glass, which must have a very large belly and the mouth no wider than it may well receive into that the neck of the retort, which

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close well together, that no fume issue forth of the receiver. Then increase your fire by little and little, till the fume which issueth be reddish; then continue the greater fire, until drops like blood come forth, and no more fume will issue forth; and when that leaveth bleeding, let it cool, or assuage the fire by little and little; and when all things are cold then take away the receiver, and close it fast suddenly, that the spirits vanish not away, for this liquor is called our blessed liquor: which liquor keep close stopped in a glass till hereafter. Then look into the neck of the retort, and therein you will find a white hard rime, as it were the congelation of a frosty vapour, or much like sublimate, which gather with diligence and keep it apart, for therein are contained great secrets which shall be showed hereafter, after the great work is ended.

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The Creation of our Basis.

Then take out all the fæces which remain in the retort, and arc blackish like unto soot, which feces are called our Dragon, of which fæces calcine one pound or more at your pleasure in a fervent hot fire, in a potter's or glass-maker's furnace, or in a furnace of vent (or a wind furnace), until it become a white calx, as white as snow; which white calx keep well and clean by itself, for it is called the basis and foundation of the work, and is now called Mars, and our White Fixed Earth, or Ferrum Philosophorum.

The Calcination of the Black Fæces, called our Black Dragon.

Then take all the rest of the aforesaid black fæces, or Black Dragon, and spread them somewhat thin upon a clean marble, or other fit stone, and put into the one side thereof a burning coal, and the fire will glide through the fæces within half-an-hour,

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and calcine them into a citrine colour very glorious to behold.

The Solution of the said Fæces.

Then dissolve those citrine fæces in such distilled vinegar as you did before, and then filter it likewise three times as before, and after make or evaporate it into a gum again, and then draw out of it more of our menstruum, called now Dragon's Blood, and iterate this work in all points as afore until you have either brought all or the most part of the fæces into our natural and blessed liquor: all which liquor put to the first liquor or menstrue called the Green Lion's blood, and set that liquor altogether in one vessel of glass fourteen days in putrefication; and after proceed to the separation of elements, for now have you all the fire of the stone in this our blessed liquor, which before lay hidden in the fæces; which secret all the philosophers do marvellously hide.

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The Separation of the Elements whereof the first is the Air, and is also counted our Ardent Water and our Water Attractive.

Then put all the said putrefied menstruum into a still of fine Venice glass, fit for the quantity thereof; put on the limbeck, and close it to the still with a fine linen cloth dipped in the white of an egg, and then set it in Balneo Mariæ, put to the receiver, which must be of great length, that the spirit respire not out again; and with a very temperate heat separate the elements one from another, and then the element of air will issue forth first, which is an oil.

Our Ardent Water or Water Attractive is thus made.

When all the first element is distilled, then in another still, fit for it, rectify it: that is to say, distil it over seven several times, and until it will burn a linen cloth clean up that is dipped into it, when it is put to the flame, which is then called our

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[paragraph continues] Ardent Water rectified and is also called our Water Attractive; which keep very close stopped, for otherwise the spirit thereof, which is very subtle, will vanish away. By often rectifying the ardent water, there will come air in a white oil swimming above the water, and there will remain behind a yellow oil, which with a stronger fire will also come over. Put sublimate, beaten small, upon a plate of iron, and in the cold it will dissolve into water, and will draw to itself all the mercury in the form of a green oil swimming aloft; which separate and put into a retort, and distil first a water, and afterward will come a green thick oil, which is the oil of mercury.

The Flood or Water of the Stone.

Then draw out the flood or water of the stone by itself in another receptory, which liquor will be somewhat white, and draw it with a very gentle fire of Balneum, until there remain in the bottom of the still a thick oily substance, like unto liquid pitch;

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keep this water by itself in a fit glass, very close stopped.

NOTE.—When the liquor cometh white you must put on another receiver, for then all that element is come over; two or three drops of this black liquid oil given in spirit of wine cureth all poison taken inwardly.

Our Man's Blood is thus taken and rectified.

Then put our ardent water upon that matter black and liquid; stir them well together, and let it so stand well covered for three hours; then decant and filter it; put on fresh ardent water, and repeat this operation three times, and then distil it again with a moist lent fire of Balneum; and so do three times, and then it is called Man's Blood rectified, which the workers in the secrets of Nature do seek, and so thou hast the elements exalted in the virtue of their quintessence, namely, the flood that is water and the air. Let this blood be kept for a season.

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The Oil or Fire, as the Earth of the Stone.

Then put up the flood, or water, upon the black and soft matter or earth of the stone; let them be well mingled together, and then distil the whole till there remain in the bottom an earth most dry and black, which is the earth of the stone; save the oil with the water for a season, close stopped in any wise.

The Fiery Water.

Then beat this black earth into powder, and mingle it with man's blood, and so let it stand three hours; after that distil it on ashes with a good fire, and reiterate this work three times; and then it shall be water of the fire rectified, and so hast thou three of the elements exalted into the virtue of the quintessence, namely water, air, and fire.

The Earth.

Then calcine the earth black and dry in

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a furnace of reverberation, until it become a very fine white calx.

The Water of Life, which is our Mercury and our Lunary.

Then mingle with this white calx the fiery water, and distil it with a strong fire all off as before, and calcine the earth again that remaineth in the bottom of the still, and then distil it again with a strong fire as before, and again calcine it, and thus distil and calcine it seven times, until all the substance of the calx be lifted up by the limbec: and then thou hast the water of life rectified and made indeed spiritual; and so hast thou the four elements exalted in the virtue of their quintessence. This water will dissolve all bodies, and putrefy them, and purge them: and this is our Mercury and our Lunary; and whosoever thinketh there is any other water than this is an ignorant and a fool, and shall never be able to come to the effect.

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Ripley's .Secret Accurtation for the help of those who have the Philosopher's Mercury, and are unable to proceed to either the Red or White Elixir.

Take the cerus, or cream, of the finest and purest Cornish tin molten, reduce it into fine white calx, put it into a fit glass still, and there upon pour a convenient quantity of our, when it is our Lunary perfect; then distil that mercury from the calx again; imbibe it again therewith, and again distil; reiterate this work until the calx is become subtle and oily, yea, so subtle indeed that it will flow upon a plate of copper, fiery hot as wax, and not evaporate, which then will convert copper into fine silver, for the softness and neshness of the tin is taken away by the benefit of our ☿, confixed unto it, by the virtue of which it is made indurate and clean, that it may agree with hard bodies in fusion and in malleation, even as pure silver. This work is very gainful and easy to be dealt withal; use it therefore until thou be rich, and then, I pray thee, for Our

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[paragraph continues] Lord's sake, go to the great work, which is here truly set forth unto thee, according as by practice I have wrought and proved the same. For the which thank God.

The Oil which is the Element of Fire and our Red Mercury.

The flood, with the oil afore reserved, shall be distilled with a most lent fire in Balneo, and the red oil which remaineth in the bottom shall be diligently kept by itself, for it is the Element of Fire; the water shall be rectified again, and the same work iterated, until no more of our said red Lunary will remain in it.

The Work of Putrefication.

When all your Elements be thus separated, then take the white calcined Fæces first of all reserved, called Mars, and put so much thereof into a chymia as will scarcely fill half the glass, and thereupon pour so much of our Ardent Water rectified as may but well cover the calx; which

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done, incontinent stop close the glass with a blind head, and set it into a cold place, until the calx have drunk up all the liquor, which it will do in eight days. Then imbibe it again with the like quantity of the same water, and let it stand eight days more, and so reiterate the work, from eight days to eight days, until the same calx will drink no more, but stand liquid still; then seal up the glass with Hermes' seal and set it in Balneo Mariæ in a temperate heat to putrefaction.

The Digestion of the White Stone.

Then in that temperate Balneum let your glass stand unremoved by the space of fully 150 days, and until the stone within the glass become first russet and after whitish green, and after that very white, like unto the eyes of fishes, which then is Sulphur of Nature flowing, and not evaporating in fire, and our white stone ready to be fermented.

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Another Secret Accurtation of Sir George Ripley.

Take the above said Sulphur of Nature, and project a quantity upon a plate of glass fiery hot, and the glass shall be converted into a silver colour, and that colour shall not be removed by any art.

The Digestion of the Red Stone.

Then take out the white stone and divide it into two, and know the true weight of each half: the one half reserve to the white work, the other half put into the glass, and seal it up again with Hermes’ seal, and then remove the glass into a cinerition, which is somewhat a hotter fire, and let it stand there likewise unremoved in that digestion, until it become red, and of a purple colour, so have you the red stone also ready to be fermented.

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The Preparation of the Ferment to the White Stone.

Then take silver, well purged from all metals and other filth that may be joined with it, and dissolve it in as much of our Lunary, which is our ☿, as the quantity of your silver is (and in no greater quantity, as near as you may), and set it upon warm ashes close covered, and when it is throughly dissolved, the whole liquor will be green; then rectify our ☿, clean from it again twice or thrice, so that no drop of our ☿ be left with it, then seal up the oil of Luna in a Chemia, and set it in Balneo to putrefy until it show all colours, and at the last come to be crystalline white, which then is the white Ferment of Ferments.

The Fermentation of the White Stone.

Then put that half of the white stone, before reserved, for the white work into a fit glass, and know his weight, and put so much of the foresaid Lune ferment into

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the glass with the stone as may contain the fourth part of the said stone; and in the said glass, well kited, fix them together, in a fixatory vessel under the fire, which will be well done in two or three days.

The Inceration of the White Stone.

When they are thus fixed together, and become one very fine powder, incerate, that is to say, imbibe it with the white oil of our stone, which is our Lunary, by pouring on, as it were, drop after drop, until the stone be oilish; then congeal it, and again imbibe it, and in this manner iterate this work, until this stone will flow in fire like wax, when it is put upon a plate of copper fiery hot, and not evaporate, and congeal it up until it be hard, white, and transparent clear as crystal; then it is the Medicine of the Third Degree, and the Perfect White Stone, transmuting all metalline bodies, and chiefly copper and iron, into pure and perfect silver.

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The Preparation of the Red Ferment.

Then likewise take gold, very purely first purged from all other metals that may be joined with it, with ten parts of antimony, and then dissolve it in our, or liquor solutive, as before you did the Lune; and when it is perfectly dissolved the liquor will be citrine; then, in like manner rectify from it again our ☿, or liquor solutive, and then seal up the oil of Gold Ferment in a Chemia fit for it, and set it in Balneo to putrefy, which likewise will become black, and must stand still unremoved in digestion, until it become white, which then remove into a stronger fire, without opening the glass, and then keep it until it change colours and become citrine, which then is also Ferment of Ferments for the Red Work.

The Fermentation of the Red Stone.

Then to the other half of the stone before rubefied, digested, and reserved for the Red

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[paragraph continues] Work, put so much of the foresaid Gold Ferment as may contain the fourth part of the said stone; and then fix them as you did the white stone, under fire in a fixatory vessel, which will be then very well done in two or three days.

The Work of Inceration for the Red.

When they are thus fixed together, and thereby become one very fine powder, incerate, that is imbibe it, with the Red Oil of our stone; then congeal it again, and again imbibe and congeal, and iterate this work so often until it will flow in fire as wax, but not evaporate when it is put upon a plate of copper fiery hot; which then congeal up until it be clear, transparent, hard, red in colour, like a ruby or jacinth, which then is the Medicine of the Third Degree, and the Perfect Red Stone, transmuting all bodies, and especially ☿, ♄, and ☽ into as pure ☉ as any of the natural mine.

Thus have you the making of the Philosopher's

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[paragraph continues] Stones, both white and red, which is the Great Secret of Philosophers. These stones must be kept by themselves, in several glasses, or fair boxes, in a warm place, or dry at the least, as you would keep sugar, because they are of so tender and oily substance, as they are apt to dissolve in every moist place, which therefore preserve as is here showed.

The Multiplication or Increase of the Virtue and Goodness of the aforesaid White and Red Stone.

If you list to exalt your medicine, or stone, in quantity or goodness, then put your aforesaid white or red stone, or part of each, into a several vial of glass fit for the quantity; close well the vial, then hang your glass or glasses in Balneo Mariæ vaporoso, so that it touch not the water; in this warm fume or breath, the stone, which was congealed before in the glass, will now be dissolved, which then congeal again upon warm ashes, and again thus

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dissolve and congeal, and so iterate this work of dissolution and congelation until at last the stone within the glass dissolved will be congealed, as soon as he cometh out of the pot or Balneum, and feeleth the cold air, without any other manner of congelation to be used: and note that how often in this work you dissolve and congeal your said medicine or stone, so many times doth he increase his virtue ten times in projection; so that if at the first one ounce will convert one hundred ounces, after the second solution the same one shall convert one thousand, after the third ten thousand, after the fourth one hundred thousand, and after the fifth one million parts of any imperfect metal into pure and true gold and silver, in all examinations, as any of the natural mine.

The Way of Projection.

Because it is very cumbersome to melt a thousand thousand parts of any body, when you will make projection thus do:

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Take one hundred ounces of ☿, first washed with salt and vinegar, and put it into a crucible, and set it over the fire; and when that cloth begin to wax hot, put in one ounce of your elixir, or medicine, thus prepared as afore taught you, upon those one hundred parts of the cleansed ☿; and all the said ☿ shall become medicine; project one ounce of that medicine upon another hundred ounces, of other washed ☿ and it shall all also be converted into medicine. Again the third time project one ounce of this congealed ☿, upon another hundred ounces of washed ☿, and all shall be converted into medicine; then project, the fourth time, one ounce of this, last congealed ☿, upon another hundred ounces of other washed ☿, and all that shall be converted into gold or silver, according as your stone was prepared, to the white or red. Praised be God.

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Accurtation of the Great Work which saveth half the Work and Labour in the Work revealed by Sir George Ripley

The white frosty rime, or powder, whereof I told you in the beginning, being found in the neck of the retort, after the drawing of the menstruum, is like sublimate, and is perfect Sulphur of Nature, and therefore needeth neither putrefaction nor digestion into white. Of this sulphur take either the half, or the whole if you list, and also take so much of Lune Ferment, when it is Ferment of Ferments, as may contain the fourth part of the said Sulphur. Seal them up both together in a chemia, and fix them together under the fire in a fixatory vessel, which will be well done in three days; and when they are become one very fine white powder, then incerate, that is to say, imbibe it, with the White Oil of our Stone, which is our ☿, congealed; and imbibe and iterate this work, and in all points do as

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you did in the white work, in the great Elixir before; for this sulphur is of the sane nature, and thus shall you have the white work perfectly made, and the Stone, in half the time, and with half the labour, which is not only a precious jewel, but a great secret also.

The like Accurtation of the Red Work done by the aforesaid Sulphur.

Take either the one half or the whole of this above said Sulphur of Nature, and dissolve it once with our red Mercury. Congeal it again, and then seal it up in a Chemia and set it in cinerition (or ashes) till it be throughly digested, and until it hath put on the Purple Colour or Fiery Chariot. Then put thereunto so much of the Ferment of Sol, when it is Ferment of Ferments, as may contain the fourth part of the said sulphur; then fix them together under a fire in a fixatory vessel, which will be well done in three days, and when they become one very fine Red Powder, then incerate

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that is, imbibe it with the red oil of our stone, which is our Red and Red Lunary, and Fire of the Stone, and continue in doing in all points as in the great work aforesaid until the stone be hard, transparent, in colour like a ruby or jacinth flowing in fire, and not evaporating; then have you, with less labour and expense of time, the perfect Red Stone, for which thank God.

This is the pleasant and dainty Garden of the Philosophers, which beareth the sweet smelling roses white and red, abbreviated out of all the Work of the Philosophers, containing in it nothing superfluous or diminished, teaching to make infinitely gold and silver according as the medicine was prepared, having virtue to heal all griefs and sicknesses, as well proceeding of cold as of hot causes, through the subtlety of its nature, above all other medicines of physicians: for it comforteth the healthy, strengtheneth the weak, and maketh the aged seem young, and driveth

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away all grief, and putteth venom from the heart; it moisteneth the arteries and joints; it dissolveth all things in the lungs; it cleanseth the blood; it purgeth the pipes, and keepeth them clean; and if the sickness be of one month's continuance, it healeth it in one day, if of one year's continuance, it healeth it in twelve days, and if the grief be very old, it healeth it in one month. To conclude, whosoever hath this medicine, he hath an incomparable medicine above all treasures of the world. Praise God.


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