JOHN RUDOLPH GLAUBER.
R. GLAUBER, a celebrated chymist of Amsterdam, accounted the Paracelsus of his time: he had travelled much and by that means attained to a great many secrets. He wrote above thirty tracts, in some of which he acted the physician; in others, the adept; and in others, the metallist. He principally excelled in the last capacity, and alchymy.
He was a person of easy and genteel address, and, beyond dispute, well versed in chymistry: being author of the salt, still used in the shops, called Sal Glauberi; as also of all the salts, by oil of vitriol., &c. He is noted for extolling his arcanæ and preparations, and is reported to have traded unfairly with his secrets: the best of them he would sell, at excessive rates, to chymists and others, and would afterwards re-sell them, or make them public, to increase his fame; whence he was continually at variance with them.
The principal of his writings are De Furnis, and De Metallis, which, though wrote in Dutch, have been translated into Latin and English. It was Glauber who shewed, before the States of Holland, that there is gold contained in sand; and made an experiment thereof to their entire satisfaction: but so
much lead, fire, and labour, being employed in procuring it, that the art would not pay charges 1. However he plainly demonstrated, that there is no earth, sand, sulphur, or salt, or other matter, but what contains gold in a greater or less quantity. In short, he possessed a great many secrets, which are at this time in the hands of some of our modern chymists.
195:1 It has been asserted by several eminent chymists, that it might be performed to advantage, as the process is very simple, and takes up but little time: all that is requisite is silver, sand, and litharge.