Revelation of the True Chemical Wisdom
Published in 1720
Translated by Leone Muller
Produced by RAMS (Restoration of Alchemical Manuscripts Society), 1989
by Hans W. Nintzel
Friederich Gualdi, Gualdo or Gualdus was a resident of Venice in the 1680s or thereabouts. At that time, outer aspects not giving any indications of prosperity, he assisted a nobleman to open some mines and support the operations until they became profitable. The nobleman suggested Gualdus to marry his daughter. However, they came from different levels of society. This difference posed an insurmountable obstacle.
Gualdus presented the Republic with sufficient funds (thought to be in gold) to acquire a title of sufficient importance to allow the marriage to take place. The couple lived in a fine villa and Gualdus had on display, many fine paintings that belonged to him. A visitor examining one of the paintings, a portrait of Gualdus, noted it was painted by the renowned artist, Titian. Gualdus admitted that Titian did indeed paint this. The problem was, Titian died in 1576!
Gualdus shortly disappeared, leaving Venice the next morning. In Compass der Weisen (1782), he is referred to as being alive and over 600 years old! Centuries earlier, in Venice, he seemed a man of middle age, but indicated he was much older and the portrait clearly represented him as he looked more than a century earlier.
Contained therein, are letters between Gualdus and Baron von Reusenstein. The latter refers to Gualdus as an Adept and Dr Sigismund Bacstrom held von Reusenstein in very high regard. We have here, also, Gualdus’ recipe for longevity. A subject, it seems, he knew quite a lot about!
When the Almighty Creator created man immortal, he planted at the same time the Tree of Life in the center of the earthly paradise, as we read in the First Book of Moses, so that its fruit should be an antidote and Universal Medicine for man and serve in all cases of adverse happenings. But as Adam has deprived us of this benefit by his sin, the only thing left to man is the desire to live long, which is also considered the noblest among all transitory goods. Just as the Lord God Himself wanting to prompt the children all the more to obedience to their parents, has attached the promise of a long life to the Fourth Commandment (in the Fourth Book of Moses): So that you may live long and prosper on earth.
Even so, we must not think of achieving immortality through the Universal Medicine as we could have done through the fruits of the Tree of Life. Thus there are among all men only two, Enoch and Elias, who did not die but, as the Scripture relates, were transported into Paradise, although some believe, yes, the Apostles themselves, that the identical privilege of not tasting death had been promised to St John, Christ’s favorite disciple, in the words found in his Gospel, where the Saviour replies to Peter: If I wish that he (St John) should stay here till I return, of what concern is that to you? To say it briefly: There is no one weary of life, but everyone is eager to see how he can add to his years. This is a gift which we can hope to obtain through the Universal medicine, whose power extends over the three natural realms: animal, vegetable, and mineral. Galen has given us a fine example of maintaining one’s life a long time, by doing it himself for 140 years without ever suffering any indisposition, as he reports in his book on the art of living a long life.
Because the desire to live long and healthy is naturally common to all, many a man will undoubtedly remember and ask me what I think of that man of whom the Dutch newspaper wrote and assured us that he Had passed through Venice and had there stated unquestionably the he had really reached 400 years of age. Now one could rightly ask me if this was due to the Universal Medicine which keeps the Humidum Radicale (radical moisture) and the natural warmth in perfect balance, counteracts the debilities of old age, and frequently rejuvenates man. To this I will give my answer in Part 3.
In Part I, I will show that individuals at all times existed who had been living for a few centuries. In the second I will speak about things that are both within and without us human beings and may contribute toward extending our lifespan. In the third part I will give some useful and curious observations concerning the Universal Medicine and its preparation.
Although we are born to die and Tertullian says that God did not make man mortal after the Fall through anger but through great compassion, the Holy Scripture nevertheless shows us that in general man reached 700 years before the Fall. Adam lived for 930 years, Seth for 912, Cain for 910, and thus the lifespan was decreased by and by, till God fixed it at 120 ordinary years after the Fall. Nevertheless, Arphaxad, who was born 200 years after the Flood, lived for 300 years and his son Salem for 430. Heber, a son of Salem’s from whom the Hebrews have their name, lived for 465 years.
But here one might think that these years were not like our years and were not solar buyt lunar years of 29 to 30 days, or that every season constituted a year, as was the case with the Chaldeans and Arcadians, according to the report of Lactantius. Or at most they might not have been more than the time when the sun passes from one tropic to another, so that, calculated against our years, theirs were only half as long. However, they could not have been lunar years, as otherwise the consequence would be that many persons of our present time were living longer than our forefathers, when 100 of our years would make 1200 lunar years. At least, those years consisted of 12 months, because Moses says in Book 7:2, speaking of the Flood, that Noah was 600 years old when the Flood occurred on the 17th day of the second Moon; and in Chapter 8:4, he says that the Ark rested on a mountain in Armenia on the 27th day of the 7th month; and that the peaks of the high mountains began to appear in the water on the first day of the 6th month. In addition he says in the 13th verse that Noh opened the Ark on the first day of the first month in his 600th year. From this it is evident that Moses counted the years in 12 months, and even if there were a difference in the calculation of the months according to our year and months, it would not amount to more than 12 days.
Relating to secular history, Homer informs us that Prince Nestor, son of Neli, was nearly 300 years old when he came to the aid of the Greeks against the Trojans. Anacreon assures us that Arganthemius, king of the Tartessos was 150 years; Cinirus, king of Cyprus, lived to 100 years; and Aeginius, to 200 years. Petrus Maffeus, in his Indian history, testified that in Bengal an ordinary an was found, who had neither science nor erudition, who was 355 years old, and as proof thereof he related everything from memory that had happened in his lifetime, and which was quite in accord with the chronicles.
The great Seneca, a Spaniard by birth, reached 44 years of age and would without doubt have become much older if his cruel and unjust disciple Nero had not cut the thread of his life. Under the Emperor Trajan, Simon Cleophe, Bishop of Jerusalem, was crucified at the age of 120 years old; St Anthony, Bishop of Egypt was 150; and Cronius, his collaborator, 155. Emperor Claudius, after sufficiently examining the age of the Bolognese Titus Fullonius, finally found that he had been 150 years old. The Hun King Attila died in the 124th year of his life. Petrus de Natalibus asserts that St Severinus, Bishop of Tongres, reached 375 years of age and was ordained Bishop in his 197th year. Nicolaus de Comitatibus certifies that among the Bracmanniers there had been one of 300 years.
It is also easy for Nature to give to one man alone so many years as she might otherwise gives to many together, just as she bestows on a giant so much strength and matter as would at other times be required for the formation of many human bodies. Such a one was a man of the lineage of Turgan, not far from Lake Constance, who fought against the Saxons under Charlemagne. He impaled eight of them on his pike, carried them over his shoulder and walked through the Rhine with them to his comrades, saying: Look here the German frogs that I have caught; I cannot understand their croaking.
Guido Bonatus assures us that in 1223 he knew someone by the name of Richard, who was already 400 years old and could undeniably prove that he had seen service under Charlemagne. In addition, there is also much talk about a certain Jean du Temps who served in the war under Charlemagne and died under Louis VII in the year 1146. From this we may conclude that he must have lived close to 360 years, as Charlemagne had already been crowned Emperor in the year 800.
A certain Englishman was 152 years old, And just as I do not report anything without good reason, I also say here that the learned Monsieur Hubin, Royal French Treasurer, had given me that man’s portrait, which he had received from M. Jacques du Perron, nephew of the Cardinal of the same name, Bishop of Angouleme and subsequently Euvreux, where he died as Chief Almoner of the daughter of the King of England, Henry IV.
That Englishman was rather tall and heavy, and his name was Thomas Parck, of Winningthon, parish of Alverburg, County of Shropshire. He was born in 1433 and had already 152 years when he was put before King Charles I in England on 9 October 1635. He had seen nine Kings on the English throne: Edward IV, Richard III, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Elizabeth, James VI, and Charles I, father of the present ruling King. The good man praised God among other things also for the fact that he had always steadfastly adhered to the Roman Catholic religion, although he had seen three changes in religion during his lifetime, under Henry VIII, Queen Mary Tudor, and then again under Elizabeth. He readily confessed that he had been put on trial in his 100th year because he had got a young girl with child. This was also the reason why, after the customs of the country, he had to stand in front of the church door, covered with a white cloth and holding a wax candle in his hand, thus obviously doing penance. Sixteen years before his death he lost his sight. He died in London on 24 November 1635, within half an hour, without having been sich before or noticing the approaching death. After his death, his body was opened and all his inner parts were found to be healthy, except his lung which was full of hardened blood. The physicians attributed this to a change of air, as he had been brought to his place of death from a locality where the air had been much purer and milder than in London.
At the same time, the Countess of Arundel presented to the Queen of England a midwife who was 123 years old and still performed her duties in her home town two years before.
Olaus Magnus relates in his historical accounts that an English Bishop by name of David reached 170 years. Buchanan asserts that Laurence Hutland was still preaching in his 140th year, even in the severest of winters.
It is therefore evident from the ecclesiastical and temporal history that at all times the life of some persons lasted for a hundred years and that it has not always been so precisely limited to 60 and 80 years as it is said in the Psalms of David. Solomon also says that God did not make death, which signified nothing but a mere name without essence and only the absence of life. The said wise King also says that old age is a crown of honor and that grey hair is worth esteeming, because those who have it are generally useful and necessary to the community on account of their long experience.
Now we will also show which things that are outside of us and how many of them, such as the place of residence, purity of the air and water, etc., contribute to the preservation of health and the prolongation of life. It is rightly said that the dead are the best teachers because they teach us in their works without flattery and self-interest, as the following epitaph informs us in regard to longevity: Continence and Frugality Prolong Our Lifespan,
The great Pythagorean Appolonius of Tyana retained his youth for over 100 years by his continence and frugality, which also caused the ancient anchorites to extend their lifespan and health so far. Due precisely to continence and frugality, the great philosopher Democritus also enjoyed the best health for 109 years. And it is worth remembering what Diogenes Laertius thinks of his death: His sister having indicated that she could not attend the festivities of the goddess Ceres if he died before them, he complied and sustained himself during his last three days of life with the smell of warm bread. The true celibate and chaste state is indeed an excellent means for living long and healthy.
But Artaxerxes, King of Persia, who begot 115 children, ended his life only after 100 years, due solely to the conspiration of fifty of his children. The Roman Emperor Proclus once boasted that a hundred Polish girls had given birth to 100 of his children within two weeks.
In such a way, at the time of St Jerome, a Roman man could have had a legion of legitimate children with a Roman lady, according toe an account of this Church Father who lived at the time of Pope Damasu. In Rome there lived a man who had already become a widower twenty times. He had married a widow who, in turn, had already 20 husbands. When she died, he attended the corpse with a laurel wreath on his head and a palm branch in his hand, under the great cheers of other men, which they uttered because he had survived his otherwise incomparable wife.
Moderation and physical exercise also make us healthy and strong. This is why the Romans were extremely amazed at the strength and giant size of our Gauls, who did not drink wine and for a long time knew nothing about it, until the Swiss Helicon first brought the vine and its juice to Gaul. Likewise, the kind of food we eat contributes a great deal to a long life. People in the Province of Limoges mostly eat nothing but chestnuts and live for a very long time, because they get from them nourishment that is little subject to corruption and thus does not easily dissipate.
A good constitution and the right temperature of the radical moisture and the natural warmth are necessary for a long life. The superfluous moisture tones the warmth down; and frequent warmth in turn tones down the moisture. That is why a long life can be expected of a sanguine constitution, as the blood is then warm and moist. The aggressive and ever active fire of the choleric constitution cannot last long in a dry person. The great moisture of the phlegmatic cannot sufficiently cook the natural warmth; and the melancholic is all too dry and cold. But it may well be that when the choleric and the phlegmatic constitutions are combined, and one tempers the other’s faults, they make for a long life. This also happens with the sanguine and melancholic, when the warmth and moisture of the blood is tempered by the dryness of the melancholic and can likewise give a long life.
In addition, a healthy place of residence contributes not a little to a long life. When Emperor Vespasian and his son Titus had a census made of all of Italy, four men were found in a town of Vellajacum, region of Piacenza, who were each 210 years old, and still six other men each 110 years. At the same time, there lived in Arimini a woman by name of Tertulla who was 137 years old. Likewise another in Faventia in her 132nd year. Pliny relates from the Isigon that in India the Cirneses generally live to 140 years. Pomponius Mela reports that the residents of a town situated at the foot of Mount Atlas live twice as long as other inhabitants of the globe. And Orisicrates asserts that there are Indians in the tropics who are as tall as five elbows and live to 130 without debilitating old age. Ctesias likewise avers that those who lived in Pandoria in the valleys generally reached 200 years, and they had this odd characteristic that they had white and grey hair in their youth but black hair in old age.
Helanicus writes that in the region of Etolia the inhabitants usually became 200 years old. Among them, Pictoreus reached 300 years, according to a report by Damasus. If Ephorus is to be believed, the Arcadian King lived for 300 years. And Alexander Cornelius says that in Illyria a certain Dandon extended his life to 500 years. But in his Periplus Xenophon goes even further, saying that the Maritime King lived for 600 years and his son for 800.
Olaus Magnus writes in the 4th book of his Histories that the people of the coldest midnight countries usually live to 160 years of age; and in his 12th book he says that the inhabitants of Iceland reach more than 100 years.
In his Historia Naturali, Nierembergius asserts that the people living in the Jucantic mountains became quite old. And in the region of Versin in Brazil, as is testified to by Antonius Pipafelta, people very often reach 140 years. According to a report by Ludovic Bartama the age of 100 years is quite common in blessed Arabia.
In the Auvergne it often happens that fathers see the children of their grandchildren, and I have read somewhere that in our Alps a single man was the head and progenitor of a whole village which had more than a hundred households, all stemmed from him. Finally, in the year 1660 traveled from Ternant towards Orange, together with the Marquis of St Andre Montbrun, Captain General of the Royal Army, because of some affairs concerning the Count de Dona, and I went to an inn at Allieres, a few hours from Lyons. It so happened that our host and hostess, both healthy and full of vigor, had each in fact lived for 104 years.
In the previous discourse I have sufficiently shown by examples from the ecclesiastical and temporal history that there have at all times of the world been persons who lived for several hundred years. From this is it very easy to conclude that it is not impossible for us to live just a s long as they did, and that the story of Friedericus Gualdus, who was 400 years old, is no fiction. About this, I will now also bring here a literal extract from the Dutch newspaper of April 3, 1687.
Extract from a Letter from Venice of March 7, 1688: "Three months ago, a man by the name of Frederico Gualdo left here, who is 400 years old. He carried with him his portrait which had been made by Titian, already dead for 130 years! From this we may conclude that this man has had the true Universal Medicine, whereby he was able to keep himself healthy for such a long time. This is no fiction, however, but there are here many credible witnesses who spoke with this man himself, and who left here for no other reason that that it was said of him that he possessed the true secret of the Universal Medicine. The lovers of great curiosities will investigate this matter and inform us of the result, so that we can thereby also be useful to the public."
For my part I say that this Friederico Gualdo could reach such a great age wither without any medicine and solely through a well-regulated life and moderate physical exercise, and perspiration, or also through the Universal Medicine. Among all sayings, this Latin one is one of the truest: Plures gula occidit quam gladius. Reveling and immoderate eating and drinking strangle more people than the sword. Therefore I first begin with prescribing a rule of life for those who wish to live long and stay healthy. But I also want them to have a healthy body, and in the healthy body there should dwell a healthy or rational soul and spirit. They have to be of cheerful disposition and not subject to excessive emotions. Now follows what a person with the above characteristics has to observe.
First, he must guard against eating variously oddly cooked hard dishes and imbibing various drinks. Then he must well chew his food with his teeth, as that is the first digestive preparation which is effected by the moisture from the saliva of the glands of the jaw. When man is at table, he must eat the food and fruit alternately, so that moist and dry, fat and lean, sour after sweet, and cold things after warm ones, and vice versa are mixed together. For in this way the excess of the quality of one kind of food is always corrected by its contrary.
When a man has had a good drink or eaten fruit, he should eat dry bread afterwards. To counteract the too much wine he has taken, he can eat something acid or drink some lemon juice, which immediately gets rid of belching. The latter generally occurs after a meal, either due to all too much eating or even to great emptiness. Should he still be overheated from the wine, he can use cooling things but never additional heating ones, which could easily cause a high temperature. The strongly distilled spirits serve only to strengthen the stomach and promote digestion when one has eaten a bit too much; but if one gets hot from too much drinking, they are very harmful and dangerous. Aside from that, those distilled spirits are an excellent external and topical remedy. However, it should also be noted that after the use o this kind of beverage had been introduced into America, those peoples did and are doing quite a bit toward the shortening of their long life, just like ourselves.
As far as exercising the body is concerned, a man must never do violence to himself, unless necessity requires it, yet always according to the maxi: Ad ruborem, non as sudorem. Until you get warm, but not so much that you sweat, so that only the natural warmth is roused and the pores are opened, enabling Nature to cleanse herself through perspiration.
When a man has become quite hot and is tormented by thirst, he must not go to any cold place. He must stay put without making any movements, must bare his stomach or throw off his wig, but have a drink. He should drink wine rather than water, which could cause pleuralgia due to its coldness. But if he happens to be I the fields where he cannot have any wine, and he can no longer bear his thirst, he must drink by drops and not swallow in big gulps.
When getting out of bed, one must not immediately stand at or under the window, or go out into the cold air, because every quick change is dangerous: Juxta Hippocrates: Omnis repentina mutatio est periculosa.
When in a cold winter the nose, hands and feet are like frozen, one must be very careful not to put them quickly near the fire or stove, or dip them into warm water, because the members cannot without danger tolerate a change from one extremity of quality to another. It would be better to go into a heated room or a stable and thus get gradually warm by good movements, while simultaneously calling the escaped natural warmth back by means of the external tempered one. During my travels I used to moisten my socks of common linen in brandy every morning and took care to keep my boots wide enough to allow the blood in my feet to circulate freely right into my toes, which I always frequently moved. Aside from this, it is also customary to rub completely numb member with snow or ice-cold water and to move them well. Thus they will gradually recover without any danger.
When the time of the new fruit arrives, you must first eat but little of it, to allow the stomach to get used to t by and by and you do not have to worry that the intake of too much new fruit will cause fermentation of the gastric juice, resulting in many kinds of fevers. However, I do not wish to deny that there are some kinds of fruit which can be eaten without hesitation, as they do not produce much juice that hinders nutrition, and pass through easily.
Likewise, it is often said that a dangerous illness generally follows a quick change in the manner of living, to which travelers are especially subject.
Whoever does not share the views of Pythagoras regarding drinking, should resort to wine for a healthy and long life. Among different kinds of water the best is that which is light and totally without smell or taste. It is Emperor Nero whom we have to thank for this discovery. Drinking water that has been purified by distillation and then made fresh again with ice immediately kills any nests of worms produced in the stomach. And with such water the learned Perreault, a member of the Royal Academy, cured a nun as if by a miracle.
Insomuch as sleep is a necessary part of life and a model of death, it should be sweet and calm. You must not only slumber but also relax your thoughts, as Apollonius of Tyana said to Phraotes, King in India. That, however, is impossible for those who drink a lot of wine, as its’ rising vapors always move and change the species of the imagination. That is why those sleepers are completely tired on awakening. Instead, those who drink much water (I speak from personal experience) sleep much better and sweeter, and their thoughts are so calm that they also comprehend all things in their true nature and form during sleep. Their sleep is neither light nor heavy, nor disturbed by bad dreams.
Therefore Apollonius says in Chapter 2 of his life by Philostratus that the idolatrous priests of the Amphiaraus ordered those who came to their temple in Athens tormented by dreams, to abstain from wine for three days, whereby their dreams became much purer and clearer toward morning, so that they imagined having received them through divine inspiration and demanded an interpretation of them.
Irrespective of this, it is certain that if a man takes a glass of wine before resting and puts his head down, the wine may well move the species of his imagination by its vapors, while his mind is ever diverted from strong concentration on one thing, and in that way sleep is induced. This is well proven by the example of the famous Minister of State Tellier, Chancellor of France. In 1660, when he was overheated from the spiced Lenten fare and exhausted from much business, he used this means to get some sleep during his frequent travels to and from Avignon on business.
The physicians, in their Ars Longa, their Long Art --- which often makes for a short life --- stress three points in particular, which they call Diagnostic, Prognostic, and Cure. By means of the first they try to recognize the origin, cause and seat of the illness. Through the Prognostic and Cure they often prescribe remedies which produce a totally contrary effect to their intention. However, we cannot do otherwise, we must use physicians and their remedies, as the Scripture says: Honor the medical doctor because he helps you in need. But here we must use the shorter way of retaining our life for a long time, against the Long Art of Hippocrates, for whoever controls the beginning has won everything, as the poet says:
Principiis obsta, sero Medicina paratur,
Dum mala per longes invaluere moras.
Regarding the Diagnostic, we have to pay careful attention to anything new or unusual we feel, but it in the midst of our rest, or when we are about to rest, or when we are going about our business.
In addition, we must also carefully observe if any change occurs in the evening after work or when getting up in the morning. In the latter case there is more cause for worry as there is generally more strength and health after sleep and rest, through which our physical forces are renewed. In do doing, we must note is there is heaviness and tiredness of the members and if the appetite has been completely lost.
When now we feel weak and exhausted after ordinary work, I say that the numbness and heaviness of the members is due to all too much gastric juice, which is found in the viscera of all members and cannot be eliminated better than through perspiration and sweat. It can be produced by assisting the inner natural warmth with the external, and it is certain that, done in time, it prevents many an illness.
The art of sweating, however, consists in lying on your back, well tucked in between two white linen sheets and two eiderdowns, filly covered up, with only your face showing uncovered outside. You must not come out of this warmth until you have profusely perspired. After sweating, you must not get out of bed immediately but only half an hour afterwards. If you continue doing this for several consecutive days, your appetite and strength will return gradually, causing you to feel fine, fit and light in all members. For through this sweating the viscera are cleansed of all superfluousness, without pain or detriment to Nature. This cannot be done by any medicine unless it be the Universal medicine, which we will soon teach.
Therefore, for our health we can undertake this sweating three times a year, in the spring, fall and winter. When there is a lack of appetite in the spring or fall, we must eat little when sitting at table and do more vigorous physical exercise. But if the appetite has been completely lost, so that the mere sight of food causes aversion, we must not eat anything for 24 hours, take a long walk, and help the natural warmth in this way.
We must eat only small amounts of food that contains much gastric juice or which is very nutritious, as an excess of gastric juice generally causes fevers and in children, the falling sickness, epilepsy. Only those are cured who get rid of the excess of this gastric juice with frequent vomiting.
Fever causes strong fermentation coupled with an increase of the blood in both young and old, even if they are accustomed to leading a dietetic and regulated life. For as soon as they eat a bit too much, their head becomes heavy, which is often a sign and forerunner of a stroke. The reason is that the fast and strong increase of the gastric juice causes the blood to be frequently and forcefully pushed to the brain where it tears the small and subtle veins, thereafter spreads within the brain and presses the nerves together. This hinders the circulation of the vital spirits where, as Ferrelius says, the natural warmth dwells. Interference with their circulation can cause death if help does not come in due time through the opening of a vein or through sweating. Consequently, through the former the cause ir removed but through the latter the cerebral veins are softened, to enable them to gradually expand and stretch again without danger of tearing.
As soon as we notice an indisposition, we must not lose any time and immediately use the remedies, thus preventing a long illness which might otherwise ensue. At the same time, we must think of the air we breath and the food we eat, and according to their quality and in consideration of our natural warmth decide which air and which food are most suitable to us, and in what way we can best help the natural warmth and drive the cause of the illness out of the inmost parts of our body.
For the sake of this cause, calm and warm air is to be chosen, that does not carry any repulsive smell. Places that are all too much subject to the winds are often not healthy, although all too warm places and those where the air is full of bad vapors require the wind to cleanse and refresh them, As is usually said about the city of Avignon: When in Avignon is not constantly windy, Morbona (illness) reigns there with its servants.
I have shown in my treatise entitle L’Homme Artificiel ou le Prophete Physique (The Artificial Man or the Natural Prophet), how very necessary it is for our health to understand the condition of the wind and the air, as in the view of Vitruyi, in Chapter 6 of his first book on architecture, the noon winds can cause incurable diseases, such as coughs, tuberculosis, diseases of the nerves and members, must as the residents of the town of Meteline, on the island of the same name, are best refreshed by the midnight winds.
In those who are wounded it is easy to observe that the pain of the wounds flares up and they become more sensitive with strong winds, because the external air causes the inner wounds between the skin and the flesh to be felt and hurt, due to its penetrating circulation.
When the illness is of long duration, the patient must be carried from his room into another. Then the windows of the previous room must be opened, fresh water must be sprayed about, after which the patient can be brought there. For the same reason careful Nature also frequently gives the patient the desire to change the air and location, which he should not be denied.
As the patient gradually recovers, he generally has a desire for eating something acid, which is then very healthy for him, provided it is done sparingly and carefully, because Nature arouses an appetite for that which is right for her. This is so true that very often patients find their recovery through a moderate use of that which the medical doctor forbade so earnestly.
To say it briefly, diet and sweating are a part of the Universal Medicine, for Nature should in everything be our teacher from whom we must learn the right and true means for living healthy and long.
Because in childhood there is much heat, it throws off, by means of the smallpox and the so-called red needle-rash, whatever corrupted gastric juice and other impure matter there is in the body. When then that natural warmth has been decreased, we must stimulate it again, so that it may accomplish its effect just as it does in older persons.
Dancing, ball games, hunting, military, and other exercises arouse the natural warmth to do it share and drive out everything superfluous from the body through perspiration.
That is also the reason why farmers keep their health and live long is because they are continually working. As they do not make any debaucheries As they do not make any debaucheries, they do not know anything of podagra; which causes Seneca to say in Chapter 1, of his Hyppolitus: Only in rich Houses does podagra like to dwell.
For podagra in general avoids women and poor people and instead makes itself at home in palaces and rich houses where many good morsels are enjoyed. Therefore it has always been true that no hard working individual has ever had occasion to complain like Herod, who says: When I should eat, have no hands. When I should walk, I have no feet, but when I am supposed to have pain, I have hands and feet.
Just as every quick change is dangerous, lean persons who are putting on fat have serious grounds for preventing podagra through sweating.
Consumption, colic, and dropsy are cured with sweating. Whoever contracts the plague, and Nature has already pushed out some plague glands, can infallibly be freed from it through sweating. I can say precisely the same of leprosy, for if the natural warmth is sufficiently helped, it will completely throw out all superfluous and impure matters. Therefore those who have smallpox or the red-needle rash are rightly kept warm, and the natural warmth is aided with a confection of hyacinth, alkermes, or theriac (treacle). Gout itself, even if one no longer speaks about it, is cured by frequent sweating. Likewise the stroke, provided one starts early with bloodletting.
Just the same must be done for the trembling and shaking of the cerebral veins have ruptured. The blood has run out of them and it presses on the beginning of the nerves, thus granting the vital spirits their influence only intermittently. The only remedy is a good diet and sweating, as the serious blood that has run out thereby consumes itself. I have seen how some members suffering from a painful discharge were cured by putting them for a few hours in the hottest summer sun.
The best food for a sick person is good meat that can easily be digested. In fact, when it is cut into small pieces and the soft bones are minced quite finely together with the marrow, then pounded in a marble mortar, you must add to it something that has been found advisable, that keeps the patient’s body open and is pleasant to his taste, sour, sweet, or the like, according to his appetite, then cook it over a moderate fire. After that, everything is strained through a cloth and you will have, as it may be called, the quintessence of what a patient is allowed to eat, also his beverage, according to whether he wanted it thick or liquid.
I am referring to those who wish to keep the volatile salt of the meat in the broth to the book De la Machine de Monsieur Papi pour Amolin les Os. There they will find my report, which I added in order to achieve the thing more easily. It has been printed in Paris by Michaler. Now I will also speak of the easy and sure way of preparing the Universal Medicine.
As we learn from the preacher Solomon that all recovery comes from God and that He causes the medicine to grow out of the earth (Altissimus creavit de terra Medicina), it is not necessary to ask here from whom this medicine has come down to us. Little do we care whether it has derived from the Hebrew Cabala or from the famous Dr Apollonius, or from his son Aesclepius, or from Hermes Trismegistus, from Raymond Lully, Arnbold de Villanova, from Bacon, from the Cosmopolitan, or from a Brother of the Rosicrucians. Suffice it to say that its composition is easy and of small cost, and that its effect is certain and assured, so that we could believe that it has the power to rejuvenate. This would appear to be irrational, if we had no certain an absolutely true evidence of rejuvenation both in the Holy Scripture and in secular history. The Royal Prophet, in Psalm 1-2: 5, attests to the certainty of the matter in two sentences. First, that the eagle becomes young again, and secondly, that just as the eagle’s our youth can be renewed and brought back: Renovabitur ut aquila juventus tue.
All Church Fathers believe that the eagle becomes young again, but they are not of the same opinion concerning the way in which it is done. In his interpretation of this Psalm, St Augustine says that when the eagle becomes old, the upper part of its beak becomes so crooked that it can eat with no food with it, or very little. Therefore it would crooked that it can eat no food with it, or very little. Therefore it would lose its strength and become weak due to dieting all too long. But if it were to whet off its said crooked beak on a stone and shed it, it could again eat sufficiently, getting new strength as if it had been completely rejuvenated. The Prophet Isaiah speaks of this rejuvenation of the eagle in Chapter 40:31, and Hiob in Chapter 39:25. mention of it is also made by Aldrovandus in his Ornithologia, Book I, and Gesnetus in his 5th Book on Birds.
Likewise, it is also known that snakes slough off their old skins, which are sometimes found in the bushes. I will here not speak much of the big grasshoppers and their sloughing. I myself have encountered it in Dauphine when I traveled there to have a look at the most beautiful and highest bridge in the world. It has only one arch and reaches from one mountain to another, from where the wind appears at certain hours from an unfathomable hole in the rock, blowing along the river as far as Orange. Thus we also read in Philostratus, Book 3, Chap. 1 of his life of Apollonius of Tyana that there exist on the highest cliffs of Mount Caucasus, which no man can climb, a special kind of monkey which gather the pepper for the inhabitants. The meat of these monkeys is an absolutely good remedy for old and sick lions, for if they devour one of these animals, they recover and become young again.
If then birds and animals can become young again, we can reasonably infer that it can also be possible for man. When we are born, our constitution is quite warm and moist, while in old age it is cold and dry. It is therefore only necessary to replace the radical moisture and the all too great dryness of old people with the moist constitution of youth.
Now I must really show that individuals have indeed lived who became young again. Medea, well skilled in medicine, rejuvenated the old Jason. That is why Ovid said in Book 7 of his Metamorphoses, that Medea had Jason chopped and boiled, which is to be understood as referring to baths prepared by her with minerals and other ingredients. And this is not contrary to truth, because Petrus Martyr Augerius, a ma from Milan, asserts in his Decadibus that there is a well on the island of Bonique which causes old people drinking it to become young and strong again, although their hair stays grey and the wrinkles in their faces do not disappear. There is supposed to be a similar well in Lucayam according to a report by Petrus Chieza (Chapter 14, Part 2, Historie de Peru). We can also look up what Herodotus writes in Book 4 about the power and virtue of such waters, which have therefore been called fountains of youth.
In the first discourse of his Horti Floridi, Torquemada reports that in Italy, in the year 1531, an old man of 100 years who, as they say, already had one foot in the grave, was once rejuvenated in every respect and lived another 50 years thereafter. He says the name of another old man, which the town councilor of the place himself attested to. Valescus Tarentasius writes that he saw in Monvedro, also called Sagonza, in the Spanish kingdom of Valencia, an abbess who creaked with old age, had no tooth in her mouth, and was walking around deeply bent. Then, he writes, her teeth were growing again, her hair was becoming black, the wrinkles in her face disappeared, and she got a beautiful smooth forehead like a girl of 15. Yes, in a word, she had become young again.
Two more recent and credible historians, Ferdinand Castana in his 8th and Petrus Maffeus in his 11th Book, testify that a noble red Indian had rejuvenated himself three times within 340 years, the time he had been living. This report is sufficiently authentic, as Mendoza assures us in his Viridario, 4th Book, 17th Problem, that various Jesuits had known and spoken with this three times rejuvenated Indian, and also confirmed it in their letters.
Now we will speak of the Universal Medicine and its composition, after first declaring that it does not consist in any alkali or acid, which are two principles only recently talked about.
If we are to believe Takenius and after him his new Hippocratic-Chymical sect, it is possible to become a great medical doctor all at once and without much studying and pondering, acquiring very fast a great reputation. For nothing is required except a man have a good knowledge of acids, alkalis, and opiates. When the patient is hot as if he were lying in fire, he must be given an alkali to stop the fire. On the contrary, an acid must be given to someone down with frost and cold in order t arouse the natural warmth. Opium, however, is to be given to the patient to provide him with sleep and rest when, for instance, the pain is great. In fact, many attain to glory and a great name through the quick help and relief they are giving the patients. This I have seen that one of them cured a catarrh with a great Universal Sweat, by grinding in a marble mortar a certain kind of turnip, called tenderette in Paris, and applying the stuff on the soles of the patient’s feet.
However, the Universal medicine cannot consist of an alkali, or opiate. They only do away with the patient’s symptoms but cannot remove the cause of the illness which is due to a humore peccante in the inmost of the members and must necessarily and above all be eliminated.
When the humores peccantes or malignancies, or other poisonous substances are volatile and subtle, they are to be driven out through the pores of the body by perspiration. But when they are mostly moist, through sweating. When they are moist but not subtle, they are eliminated through the urine; when they are less moist and on the contrary more material, the elimination can be done through purging or vomiting. The patient must not be weakened through purging, however, but his nature is to be strengthened.
Now I Have Come To Speak About The Required Qualities Of The Universal Medicine:
A Universal Remedy must have a kinship and likeness to our natural heat and radical moisture, partly to maintain them but partly also to replace them. Thus our exhausted forces are increased in such a way that Nature will without urging and of herself drive out of the inmost of the body all the things that are bad and contrary to her, be they acid or alkali, or coagulated, which causes stitches in the side (pleuralgia), catarrhs, podagra, etc. It generally happens that a man gets much overheated by strenuous exercise, resulting in cold through breathing air that is too cold and drinking liquid that is too cold. Afterwards, in cooling, the nitrous parts intermix with the fermenting blood in the lungs, and when there occurs a slight concentration of the blood, some of it is expelled at the end of the arteries.
Now and then the matter expelled attached itself to some part of body and causes pain in the nerves, due to the sharpness it had acquired. This continues till the natural warmth of the body dissipated or expels the sharp part. If this cold inhalation takes place at the time of the digestion, it can also cause an extravasatum through the lung, which mixes with the chyle and is conducted to a spot where it is not only so easy to dissipate it and is the cause of arthritic matter.
Accordingly, the Universal Medicine has to evacuate everything alien to Nature, everything in the inmost of the members, through perspiration, sweating, or urinating, but seldom through defecating, and still more rarely through vomiting. Ordinary medicines have no such effect. They attack with overheating and with poisonous sameness do violence to the sick matter of Nature, forcing her to get rid of her enemies, almost against her powers. Furthermore, the Universal Medicine must be composed in such a way that it can be administered at all times, to every constitution and every age, to both children and old people, without its more or less strong dose being harmful. It is supposed to cure the most desperate illness after taking it a few times. It is also supposed to be a general remedy for all external damages. There now follows the preparation of this Universal Medicine.
Composition of the Universal Medicine
Take some purified Air-Salt, put it into an iron vessel and let it gradually melt. When it is melted, pour on it some finely ground lindenwood charcoal which will immediately burn and be consumed. That is why one has to let it burn gradually till the salt is almost fixed after the detonation, and it gets a somewhat bluish-green color. This happens when the charcoal no longer puffs up as it did before. There after, pour the melted salt into a marble mortar while it still quite warm. When it has cooled, it is as white as alabaster and brittle as glass.
Now pound it small and sprinkle the powder on a glass slab or table but cover it to prevent any dust from falling on it. Hand it in the air, at a place where neither the sun nor the rain nor the white frost can touch it. Put a glass vessel underneath it, into which the oil that will drip fro it can fall, because the humidity in the air resolves this alkali within 14 days.
You will find that the oil is twice as heavy as the salt previously was, provided this process is undertaken at the right time, that is, when the weather is neither too cold nor too warm but moderately humid. Then the salt attracts the air invisibly, just as we draw the breath into us. If this oil is well rectified according to the art, it is an excellent and powerful menstruum for extracting the essence from various mixtures.
Now take 4 or 5 parts of this rectified oil and one part of the best antimony. It can be recognized by a certain redness which it has from the gold, to whose ore it is close. Pound the antimony on a marble to a very fine powder, put it into a cucurbit and pour your rectified oil on it, in such a way that two-thirds of the glass stay empty. Quickly close the glass so that no air gets into it, let it digest in gentle heat or at an oil hanging-lamp, until the oil floating on the antimony gets a golden or ruby color. Then pour the oil gently off, filter it through paper, put it into a phial, and pour on it an equal weight of the rectified spirit of wine. At least two thirds of the glass must be empty. Stopper it tightly, let it digest in small heat for several days, till the spirit of wine has attracted all the tincture of the oil.
Thus the oil will stay quite clear and white at the bottom, but above will float the spirit of wine with the golden tincture of the impregnated antimony. Separate from it the menstruum, by decanting, which can always serve for several processes and operations in order to extract the essence of antimony as often as desired.
Put your tinctured spirit of wine into a glass alembic, abstract and distill it gradually, till only about one-fifth that contains the tincture of antimony is left at the bottom. Or distill all the spirits of wine, so that nothing stays at the bottom except the essence or tincture of antimony. Thus you will have the Universal Medicine either as a powder or a liquid, with which you can cure all illnesses or preserve yourself from them.
When it is used as a liquid, 5 or 6 drops of it are taken with wine or bouillon, or in any other liquid suitable for the illness.
When it is used as a powder, 3, 4, or 5 grains more or less are taken. For even if the dose is a little stronger or weaker, it is not harmful like the medicines which all have poisonous qualities. The sick become healthy after taking it 2 or 3 times. But is the illness does not yield, the dose must each time be increased, and this has to be done three times a week.
This medicine cures all, even the oldest and most severe illnesses, such as the 4-day fever, dropsy, and the falling sickness (epilepsy). Yes, it not only cures all internal but also the external illnesses, such as wounds, ulcers, and cancer, when it is spread over them like a balm. It serves no less for deafness and eye troubles.
Finally, this medicine drives all headaches away and helps digestion. It is a true Aurum Potabile (potable gold). It generally works quite invisibly through the perspiration; more frequently through vomiting. Consequently, its effect is quite natural and without force so that the patient does not become weak, exhausted, or debilitated, as usually happens with other medicines. It can therefore be used at any age, at any time, and irrespective of the constitution. Use it and make it known, but especially let the poor benefit from it, and praise God Almighty Who has created the medicine.
The Revelation of the True Chymical Wisdom
J. J. Chymiphilo
That is the Accurate and Sincere Disclosure of the Materia that has to be Taken if One Intends to Make the True Philosophers’ Stone, Lapis Philosophorum, the Universal Tincture.
From many Theophrastic manuscripts, preciously never printed, shown in the plainest and clearest words, so that it could not be clearer, Also for the sake of those who are not yet much experienced in the Chymical Manipulations, provided with special instruction and the shortest possible directives for the necessary preparations.
Everything openly published for the pleasure of the Lovers of Chymical Wisdom.
By J.J. Chymiphilo,
Those who know the Art of making gold keep it as secret as possible, though they reveal it sometimes in a strange way, as is shown by the following story.
A special booklet has been published, dealing with the infallible knowledge of Friedericus Gualdus to make gold. The gist and an extract of that booklet are here presented. The author writes as follows:
I was still a young boy, when I met Herr Friederich Gualdus for the first time. However, my young age did not allow me to recognize his enlightened intelligence as well as his profound erudition. Neither do I know if he had then already been a long or a short time in our town, but I only remember his face and whole being represented a man of about 40 years. He kept that figure all the time, without change, till the year 1680, at what time I was obliged to leave for Naples on account of my business.
At first, he behaved like any traveler and was either completely alone or had a small boy in his service. He was living in two average rooms which were not fully furnished and hardly comfortable enough for a good student to live in. Nevertheless, he made friends, I do not know how, with some noble gentlemen of this State, who, although they owned various mines, could not continuing exploiting them due to the losses they had suffered. He began to help with such a considerable advance of money that they soon disposed of 60,000 ducats.
In the meantime, he fell in love with a young girl of this noble house, although she was still a child. Her mother, who was very grateful to him because of the benefits they had received, through which her mine and at the same time her family were again on the road to prosperity, also felt that she could not prove her gratitude better than if she became related by blood to such a great benefactor. Although the child was not yet fit for matrimony, she nevertheless set a later date for the marriage, thus getting enough time to draw up the marriage contract in proper documents, and she promised a dowry of 16,000 ducats. To show his consent, Gualdus in turn agreed to return the same amount (if the marriage did not take place). He also meant to bestow on his fiancée still much greater riches than he had already granted her parents.
Just as it is only too true that noble gentlemen often change their minds, so the said aristocrats, after attaining a higher status, to which the benefits of Gualdus had especially helped them, considered themselves far too good to make friends with an unknown man, and immediately tried to undo the deal. Such an unfair procedure hurt Gualdus very much. He withdrew from their friendship and demanded that the money he had laid out should be returned to him. As many difficulties were put in his way, he tried to make legal steps to recover his property. However, to cut off every further annoyance and quarrel, he consented to relinquish half of his claim in a settlement giving him instead a beautiful and honest testimony.
So that those noblemen should learn that they had lost a great deal with his friendship, he took very uncommon steps to be raised into the Venetian nobility. With this in mind, he proposed to the most high Republic to undertake a great, useful, and profitable work at his expense, if he were in return raised into nobility, which many acquired at that time by paying the sum of 100,000 ducats. But there existed quite irremovable obstacle to this proposal, insofar as it was not in accord with the sovereignty of the Republic to give a reward to anyone before he had earned it. Therefore Gualdus decided to pay those 100,000 ducats, but in the name of a depositor and on condition that they be restituted to him after he had carried out his abovementioned proposal. Otherwise the money would be left to the Republic.
In the meantime, however, he was raised into the Venetian nobility under the pretext of some merits, and declared a Patrician, and not like the others who had paid a great amount of money.
But the Council, which kept very strictly to its wise rules, did not wish to introduce an innovation with that admission and again cancelled the treaty it had made with Gualdus, although his name had never appeared in it, and in such cases only the words "an unknown person proposes" are used, and the man is only named when the proposals are accepted and the conditions fulfilled. It was nevertheless learned subsequently that Gualdus had proposed such a work and had also accomplished it.
After he had dedicated his mind to wisdom and withdrawn his thought from vanity and love, he sought his peace wholly and solely in the true wisdom, and abandoned himself totally to it.
Only after this, his deep knowledge and high intelligence were recognized in the societies of learned men where he was present several times. For when they were discussing philosophical matters, he always knew how to dissolve the syllogism effortlessly and to put the disputing parties to shame. When they spoke of political and world affairs, there was no one with a better knowledge of the most secret government intrigues, or better acquainted with the cabinets and secret council chambers of high potentates. Was theology at stake or common law, he proved that he thoroughly knew the most hidden canons and most famous verdicts. Aside from all this, he was no less an accomplished astronomer and also uncommonly experienced mathematician. In short, no science could be discussed that he did not thoroughly understand. Yes, the stories of the oldest times were as fresh in his memory as if they had only happened today. Thus he also spoke various languages perfectly, that is, Greek, Hebrew, Latin, French, Italian, and others aside from German which was (he said) his mother tongue.
Such extraordinary qualities could not stay hidden but come to the attention of many learned men and persons of rank in Italy. Among them, some had already heard a great deal about him when they arrived in Venice. Aside from trying to see rare things, their special purpose was to see Mr Gualdus and to do their utmost to obtain his friendship, which they subsequently kept up with letters. Yes, some only went to Venice so as to continually associate with him and have the honor of being called his scholars. This all the more after the rumor was circulated that he possessed the Hermetic Treasure, owing to the fact that his portrait had been seen by many painting experts who asserted that it had been done by Titian’s famous hand. Already a long time ago he had markedly decorated his residence with fine paintings, putting the most recent in the best rooms. Behind the door, however, he had hung the said portrait. One day some people, among whom there was an experienced painter, came into his house to look at his pictures. When the painter saw this painting behind the door, which had just been closed accidentally, he was amazed and called out loud, "This is the hand of Titian!". Gualdus laughed and said that if it were true, he would be over 200 years old, while he was only 86. This happened in the year 1677. The painter, however, would not stop but continued asserting that it was the hand of Titian, although Gualdus pretended to be 86 years old and although he only looked like a man of 40 and was also able to do all those things which a man can do in the prime of life.
This rumor was the cause why people became firmly convinced that Gualdus possessed the great secret. Indeed, at this time Mr Margues Santinelli applied for the first time for his intimate friendship, seeking it in all possible ways, and finally he obtained it. Petrus Andreas Andreiny, a Florentine nobleman, did no less. In Naples he was famous both for his wealth and for chiefly collecting old medals, coins and other curiosities. Therefore, when shortly thereafter Mr Marquese had a small book printed at his cost under the title of Androgenes Hermeticus, etc., it was said that it contained Gualdus’ teachings, since few books had been written so well and emphatically about this science as just the said small work. However, Mr Marguese must in this not be denied his share of fame, as his incomparable sonnets printed in the same booklet are no mean ornament and can easily make us believe that Androgenes itself was his learned offspring.
Aside from those, there were various other very learned clergymen who resorted to this Oracle with their questions. Because I knew one of them, who was both of noble extraction and belonged to a famous Order, and his letters and ensuing answers passed through my hands I do not consider it wrong to add these here, especially as I am sure that this will please all learned and intellectually curious persons.
Letter of D.C. von R. to Mr Fredericus Gualdus in Venice
It is the custom of high minds that they are not displeased by the desire of those who are anxious to learn something and therefore wish to become their servants and students. This is also the reason why I am not ashamed to appear before you with these bad lines, although I am not quite so constituted that I would be worthy to acquire something of your immense erudition. The fame of your special virtues has come to my attention through someone who traveled through Venice last year. I questioned him most carefully about every word one hears about you and concluded that you must possess the true science, although the said man did not understand the least of it. Therefore I cannot but inform you of that which Divine Grace has been pleased to grant me after 7 years of effort and work.
I have been wandering through the world for 7 years, trying to find the Damascene Field, to obtain from it the Virgin Earth, which is the sole material of our magistery or masterpiece, just as Diogenes showed with his light where it is to be found. Regarding this, Michael Sendivogius has opened my understanding, Morienus has confirmed me in my opinion, and Moses Hermes has given me the explanation of everything.
Thank God that He hears who call in Him incessantly and learn how happy the man is who is assisted by His Grace. Therefore I do not omit to give you thereby a comprehensive account, so that, if perhaps a trace of the true science were to appear in me, you might help promote that heavenly favor in one who by Nature does not appreciate anything more than the Secret of the Wise.
Thus, our living gold is well known to me. I know the water by which the gold is dissolved as well as the sympathy that develops between both, because both descend from one Father. And I have also well noticed that the Sun is the father, the Moon the mother, and the Wind (Air) the carrier. But, as God does not give everything to one alone, although I have read almost all philosophers some difficulties to be cleared still appear among themselves about it, that I do not understand this part correctly. Therefore I come, not as the Queen of Sheba to Solomon but as an ignoramus to the Oracle, and I demand a clear answer, understandable to my stupid mind, not a veiled or obscure one, with the assurance that if Good should bestow His Grace upon me, I would immediately express my due thanks at your feet and subject my will to you in everything.
As I have now learned, the whole difficulty of our Art consists in the preparation of our water. I have seen the Sun and the Moon in the first philosophical sublimation of our water and have drawn it off 7 times from the moon. I would like to know whether our Mercury, after being purified 7 times, is then perfect and capable of penetrating through the pores and airholes of the Egg, and of dissolving the Sun. Or is another manipulation still required to turn it into powder, such as the relocation? My doubts are caused by the fact that it is not snow-white and there is still some of its smell about it. As it is not fixed when it ceases to smoke, how then can it make things fixed? Therefore I pray you for God’s sake to tell me if the thus 7 times purified Mercury is perfect. If it is not, what else is required? The other difficulty that I encounter lies in the feces of our sea, from which in my opinion I have extracted the saltpeter which, however, is so sharp that the nose cannot withstand its smell, I do not know therefore, for what I should use it, seeing that the Mercury is purified.
Our cinnabar does not require any ferment, as Nature has already made it perfect, though it becomes much purer when purified through the Art. Of what use then is salt? I believe that it must serve to ferment the water. Would you therefore please inform me if all the water is to be fermented, or only that part where the snake penetrates. Also, what weights and measures are to be used to do it? For meanwhile I am thinking that one part of salt and ten parts of Mercury must be taken, although I am in this case not aware of the proportion of the weight. Aside from this, I would also like to know how much of the Mercury must be prepared, so that the imprisoned child does not lack milk.
I have come across another difficulty on account of the form and shape of the vessel. But I am speaking of the last fixation, when I believe that the form must be like a chicken’s egg, fully filled and sunk in so much that the snake’s head does not rise above it. But while the philosophers say that it must have a long neck, I would like to hear about this from your mouth and be informed whether part of the snake must show out of the menstruum and the neck stay inside. For this causes me some thinking, as I am afraid that the air of the neck would hinder the generation or birth.
As I usually take into account all contingencies, I would also like to know if it is better to take the gold and silver direct from the mountain, to enable the sympathy to manifest itself all the more strongly, or to take the gold only from the mountain, and the Moon from the hill.
Furthermore, it is stated for certain in the books that the Phoenix, when it just comes out of its nest, must be captured thus pure and that not the least little thing must be added to it or taken from it. But if there should be a mistake in this, do deem me worthy of being reminded of it, and if you feel that God is pouring His grace over me, kindly help me and also reply to my above-indicated doubting questions without naming the authors. But neither despise my stupidity which causes me to write this with so little purity, but which is nevertheless a gift of God who is well aware that neither profit nor another worldly intention but a mere desire to know something and subsequently to apply all the knowledge to the honor of the Giver thereof, has impelled me to this study. Do therefore with me as God will inspire you, as I am assured that He who has inspired me to write to you has also given you the kindness to satisfy me. Finally, I remain with my whole heart, etc., Sir, Your most humble and obliged servant, D.C. von R.
Please inform me also how the vessel can be cared for so as to last for 9 months.
Naples, 28 July 1678.
Reply of Mr Friederich Gualdus to the Preceding Letter
Your letter has been handed to me, and although you are not known to me, I have sufficiently recognized your great intelligence from your lines. Meanwhile I much regret that I am not qualified, much less able, to answer your serious questions. In this I am the more excused as I am well acquainted with the Italian language. But to satisfy you nevertheless somewhat according to my little understanding I first say that you are speaking all too obscurely in your letter, like the true philosophers, and you therefore mix everything up so covertly that one does not know how to reply. There is a good deal to be said for the fact that on the Damascene Field that Virgin Earth is found which is the material of our magistery and work of art. And I will add that the said Virgin Earth has never seen either the sun or the moon, although it contains the Sun and the Moon. However, you do not say how this Damascene Field, let alone this Virgin Earth, as the material of our work of art, is constituted. And how and in what manner it can be obtained.
Furthermore, you write: Thus, our living gold is well known to me, by what it is dissolved, as well as the sympathy that develops between both, because both descend from one father. All this may very well be so, but you do not report of what kind this living gold is and this water that dissolves it, s I cannot give you a considered opinion on it. In the same way you are also confused about I do not know what difficulties, which is due to the fact that you do not work with the right material. In addition, you mention that the whole secret consists in the preparation of our water, and that the Sun and the Moon are contained in it, which is all pure truth.
Regarding the difficulty which you encounter with the sevenfold sublimation of our water, that is, whether or not it is then perfect, I reply as follows: The philosophers want us to distill the water 7 times, but they say septies, aut pluries (seven times of more). And Sendivogius indicates when it is perfect, namely, when it leaves white feces at the bottom, so that is the unmistakable sign of its perfection.
You find the second difficulty in the feces of our sea, from which you have extracted the salt. From this I feel that you are so much mistaken in the material as in your manner of working, thus creating many difficulties. Therefore, if you had worked with the right materia is at hand, the right vessel follows afterwards of its own.
But as far as your other questions are concerned, namely, whether it is better to take the gold and silver from the mountain or solely the sun from the mountain and the Moon from the hill, I do not know what peculiar talk this is. I believe that you are confused in everything, and I cannot understand whether your words are puzzles, figurative speech, or fiction. Therefore I do not know how to reply to them. Pardon me if I speak frankly and without hypocrisy. In the meantime, if I can help you with something else, I am ready to do so upon a hint from you. I remain, etc., Sir, your most devoted friend, Friederich Gualdus.
Venice, 1 September 1678.
Second Letter of D.C. von R to Mr Gualdus
I thank you very much that you found me worthy and replied to my ignorance, which is really an effect of your generosity and not of my merits. And I consider your letter no less than an answer given by the Oracle, although you have not replied anything essential to my questions concerning the Work, and I can see from your polite lines that you have not clearly indicated how the substance of the materia may be well known to me. But after obtaining the knowledge of that materia from the Lord of Truth, I only wished to get some information on how it has to be treated and approached, which someone who does not ask for anything else can easily obtain.
Therefore, in order to obtain it, I said that I had found the Virgin Earth in the Damascene Field. Although you are saying exactly the same you then add that I had not named it. And although I am not allowed to name it (especially in a letter) because it has never been named by any philosopher, it is still sufficient that I said that I had found it with the help of the lamp of Diogenes. But if you nevertheless demand that I name it, I say that its real name is: Our water, our gold. It is that water which the philosopher rectifies seven times and the menstruum of our gold, that is, of that gold which is the Virgin Earth of the Damascene. As it has been formed by Nature, it is also put into the rectified water without any deduction or addition, to dissolve, sublimate, and calcine. This is the whole magistery or work of art, to fathom which God’s Mercy bestowed His Grace on me after great expense and damage, for my incessant prayer and efforts.
Our material has various names, just as the place from which it it is names in my previous letter, after reporting that the water and the gold are always of the same kind. As I had spoken in a veiled manner, I wanted especially to know if I had to take both the gold and the water from a mountain, or the water only from a mountain. That difficulty or doubt arose from the fact that Morienus writes: That which contains all things in itself does not need any other aid, which is contrary to the opinion of other philosophers who take the water from the small mountain.
Sir, I have sufficiently disclosed my thoughts, Just then as our magistery can be compared to human generation, and yet, children are not always born, although I took refuge with you, as the Oracle, so that I might be instructed by you in the manipulations and would consequently not be mistaken if I wished to take up the Work. Seeing that I cannot find anything in the books that would satisfy me.
In particular, however, I would like to know what I am to do with the feces. While all pretend that the water must not be rectified more than seven times and the feces were left at the bottom. What then am Ito do with them? If I pour fresh water on them and distill them till they become white, I go against the rules of the most experienced philosophers and nevertheless doubt that they become white thereby. Yes, I also worry that the water might lose its power. But supposing that they become white, what am I to do with them, because they are highly esteemed by Hermes? Am I perhaps to put them back into the water, now quite white, while it ripens the warm gold? According to the saying of Brother Basil. As I am at it, must its earth be fertilized or not?
I pray you to come to the aid of my ignorance and to show me clearly, and not in riddles, where I may go wrong, and also give me your instruction in the greatest difficulty but especially concerning the vessel of the last fixation, as I do not know into what the gold must be put, if it has to have a long neck or be shaped like an egg; likewise, is it to be completely full or empty in the neck; also, if all the material has to be immersed or one-third allowed to [protrude; and then if if the vessel can last for 9 months.
I pray you, remember what Solomon said in his Book of Wisdom, which he imparted without begrudging, and be assured that this time you will gratify a man who is not altogether unworthy of such a favor. I am therefore expecting complete instructions from your kindness, how I have to operate, as also the removal of my other doubts. Under God’s favorable protection commendation. I remain with all respect, Sir, Your obedient servant and student. D.C. von R.
Naples, 8 October 1678
Reply of Mr Friederich Gualdus to the Above Letter
I am in receipt of your letter and have understood from it, no less than from your first communication, that you do not possess the right material, but have a vain and erroneous opinion of it, so that everything you undertake with it will be a useful and fruitless effort, Pardon me if I speak freely, I cannot be hypocritical but am telling the truth. If you were well acquainted with the right knowledge of the real philosophy, in which both the material and the operation are kept strictly secret, it would not be so difficult for you. True, it is not without reason that the philosophers are keeping every thing very secret, both the material and also the operation. But one depends entirely on the other, so that, if the material is known, it is also easy to know the operation can also easily be familiar with the material. There exists in the world only one material for which all operations taught by the right philosophers are suitable. Therefore they have not only kept the materia secret but necessarily also the operation. But, as mentioned, one depends on the other, which is the reason why it cannot be clearly said in words, far less described in letters.
This divine and sacred science is acquired in only two ways, although through divine revelation or through the instruction of a faithful friend. For to attain it by studying books is almost an impossibility. Therefore also, whoever wants to achieve it with many operations and various tests, will never reach his goal. For this science is just like other sciences and can quite certainly be learned without tests and manipulations, by understanding it with the mind. This is so true that it cannot be otherwise but must necessarily be so. Thus one also knows before undertaking the operation what kind of a thing it must be, and it is also possible to recognize by certain signs if one operates well or badly. Yes, one does not commit any error or mistake, but everything will completely agree with the rules of the best authors, so that, whoever receives in this the divine revelation and masters this science, cannot go wrong.
As I do not see from your letter that you know the true materia, I cannot explain more about it or speak about the operation. I only say that the material is so wonderful and that whoever possesses it simultaneously has in his possession the vessel, the furnace, the fire, the menstruum, the gold, the silver, the Philosophical Mercury, and everything that belongs to the Philosophical Work. From this it follows that your questions rest on vain sophistic questions, and I will answer them in all liberty. For today, nothing more except that I remain at all times, Sir, Your most devoted servant, Friederich Gualdus.
Venice, 2 November 1678
Another Letter of D.C. von R. to Mr Gualdus
Oh! That I might travel to Venice and discuss with you! I would show you that my knowledge is not vain or imagined but true and based on the right philosophy. I would explain what great things the mineral kingdom contains, and also, palpably demonstrate how the radical moisture of the metals is constituted. I would discuss about the great and little world, and relate all the special features found at the creation of Adam, nor omit the least bit of the quality of the Damascene Field. I would indicate what is the Philosophical mercury, what are gold and silver. Yes, I would not leave untouched any of the most famous philosophical riddles but examine each most meticulously and show how clearly the scholars have spoken of it. But as I do not have the privilege of doing so, I must necessarily be quiet, especially also as I do not dare to deal with great things in letters. I am only telling myself that where the ray of knowledge has once begun to shine, it can impossibly be obscured by the clouds of contradiction. Of this we have an all too cleat example in Trevisan, who, having once recognized truth could never be turned away from it by others who tried to confuse him out of envy.
I know for sure that you would indeed understand that I am not wrong if you possessed such a great treasure. Do not believe that this is mere speculation, but it is the true realization ex visceribus cause (from my guts). Even if I have so far not attained perfection, it is not due to an error but solely to the fact that I have not yet undertaken the Work, although two years have already passed since I was illumined by God. Consequently, I do not know by what secret power I have been held, causing me to be satisfied only with science, not bothering much about the rest, and only preparing our water with the greatest pleasure and content. Therefore I have nothing to complain about and rather hope that God, qui dat esse et perficere, after letting me come to the cognition of truth through His Mercy, will also grant me His help in achieving the perfection of it. The reason why I enjoyed the acquaintance of such a great man as I esteemed you to be, was that I had kept back and deliberated upon the random questions I had presented to you but subsequently was bold enough to trouble you with them in my letters, knowing well that it pleased the most famous philosophers to find capable individuals as their students to impart to them that knowledge which is of no use to anyone in the other world.
For in just that way Morienus and others had been accepted and instructed by their teachers, However, it would have been stupid of me to try and obtain the knowledge of the true material, which had never been my intention. Instead, I tried to get an explanation about the vessel, the last fixation, and the feces of our sun. Do indeed not tell me that whoever knows one, must also know the other, as such a great difference between generation and science has occurred that many who have worked very much with the true materia, spoil and destroy it because they are treating it wrongly.
Although I have learned from the generation of metals how to imitate Nature in the sublimation of our water, I still require a yet better light if I am to reach perfection. I well know that our living gold is not always dissolved in its water, the reason being that the water is perhaps not always good. Therefore I only beg you to inform me how the vessel must be formed (I am speaking here of the last fixation), whether, that is, it should have a long neck or be in the shape of a chicken egg.
Nonetheless, I thin it should have a long neck, although I do not like this because, if it were formed like a chicken egg, not the least bit of air would touch our gold which would be closed like a hen’s egg. Also, like the latter, it contains the Mercury, Sulphur, and everything required for our magistery or Work of Art, and performs of its own all the operations described by the philosophers in so many ways. In its operation, we need do nothing except keep the heated water in its natural heat and pour some more on it when the child, or the Dragon within, begins to feed on it. In so doing, the same proportion must always be used.
Therefore, you can probably very well give a truthful answer to these questions without revealing our water, in which resides the whole difficulty; likewise, how the purified feces are again united with the water, which is quite different from the knowledge of the materia, so much so that one can very well be known without the other. And because I rely on your courtesy to receive at least one single recipe, I have not given credence to one or another babbler. I hope, therefore, not to oppose truth. And even if the Supreme in His just judgment should not deign to favor me with the accomplishment of the Work and in so doing use my services, I shall nevertheless die quite cheerfully after cognizing and seeing the truth, like the philosophers who are only badly screamed at by unwise fools for heaving spoken the truth.
Forgive my boldness of inconveniencing you with my ignorance, But I know for sure that you have understood what I have written to you, so that you do consider me quite such a great fool. No more for today, except that I remain, aside from commending you to God’s protection, etc. Sir, Your most devoted servant, C.D. von R., etc.
Naples, 3 December 1787
From the aforesaid I now believe that everybody will understand that there was something uncommon and extraordinary about Gualdus. Here was a man who had lived like a poor student upon his arrival in Venice; who had never carried on any trade, thereby acquiring great riches; who had possessed neither goods nor revenues, and yet had loaned 60,000 ducats to some families, in addition to being able to advance 100,000 ducats for being raised into the Venetian aristocracy. He had sought the latter in quite a special way, as otherwise he would have had to register his arrival and age. Of the latter, however, his portrait, said most assuredly to have been made by Titian, is an undeniable testimony. After additionally spending many thousand ducats for the accomplishment of the work he had proposed, he finally also decorated his residence magnificently, while at the same timer performing other generous deeds. We are therefore not unjustified in believing that he must have possessed an inexhaustible treasure. As he knew simultaneously to keep himself in continual perfect health and at an invariably manly age, we must necessarily conclude that this treasure was that great medicine which extends its power over all three realms, the animal, vegetable, and mineral.
But the above-mentioned cleric did not possess this treasure, as his life ended a few months after his above-quoted letter, in which he shows such great intelligence and boasts as if he had obtained the right and true materia. However, if such had indeed been the case, he himself would still be here to speak in protection of life, and would have brought to perfection that great magistery or Work of Art for which he had so zealously striven.
In contradistinction, our Gualdus (or better, our hero) must without doubt be such a one. He gave the clearest signs of it when he finally departed from this town on 22 May 1682, perhaps for no other reason than that he had heard that his virtue had been revealed and made known everywhere. Before leaving, he had given full powers to his servant and instructed him in what he had to do wit his assets. That same day, unexpectedly, he had some underwear and clothes packed into a small box, as if he intended to go for a trip to his country estate near Treviso, saying that he would be back in a few days. The servant to whom he had commended the whole house with the most precious furniture, had to stay behind, however, and he thus went away all alone, without company, or rather, he disappeared when he was 90 years old, as he had said of himself, or perhaps several hundred years.
The servants waited many days for the return of their master, but they did not see more of him, let alone receive letters, Finally they assumed that his journey had not been made to his country estate, as they also learned that he had not even arrived there. Therefore they disposed of part of his personal property according to the order he had left them, but they kept the rest for themselves. In so doing, they provided so well for their poverty that they were relieved of service ever after.
This then, is the whole report that can be communicated to the world about such an unusual event. Nevertheless, I wish to add here a few other letters which this great man wrote and of which I transmitted the original. By them we can recognize even better how certainly ad undoubtedly he was in command of the Hermetic Art. To others, however, who might have the good fortune of surviving him, I will leave the honor of describing his course of life more precisely, etc.
Letter of F. Gualdus to Mr N. N.
You understand extremely well how water is to be reduced to or made into earth, of which one is dissolved and the other hardened into a shiny marble, while out of the latter the foliated Earth is sublimated. But the said reduction is done forward and above its own earth and with its own water, which has been drawn from it, however not with the lunar calx and the Mercury, which never combine together in such a way that they cannot again be separated from each other.
By body-calx we mean our bodies, which are alive, while the bodies of the mob are dead. They no longer eat and drink; the tyrant of the world has killed them: Out of man grows man, and out of gold, gold; yet not out of dead but out of living gold.
Our destroyed earth, forsaken by all spirits, is silver, and is our living gold is again united with its spirits, the shining earth will grow from it.
You have made the luteballs (limeballs, glueballs) very well, and I hope that they will turn white. Everything is also quite airtight with the other earthenware vessels which become pale-yellow, because the pale will always cause the yellow to diminish, and they will always tend more toward whiteness. It is easy to give the Stone but exceedingly difficult to make it. It has to be obtained with pains and toil. Then it will be considered as that which it is.
I remain with all my heart, Sir, Your very devoted most willing friend, Friederich Gualdus
Venice,11 September 1677
Another Letter of F. Gualdus to Mr N. N.
From your letter I see that things also go well with the boiled Mercury, which is so and not otherwise, nor can it be. I will tell you the reason why.
Mercury cannot be hardened or turned into earth except by a certain degree of the fire especially required for it, which is called the fire of Mercury. But what kind of a thing is this fire? It is not, and cannot be, a mild fire, for even if Mercury were to stand for a thousand years in a mild fire, for even if Mercury were to stand for a thousand years in a mild fire, it would not harden. Neither is it, nor can it be, a strong fire, for if one were to put Mercury turned into earth into a strong fire, it would become wet and liquid, as it had been before. Since, them, it cannot be hardened by either a strong or a mild fire, its fire must necessarily be of a degree set between mild and strong. Because the whole Art consists in the right regulation of the fire, with this fire, which must have a carefully regulated strength, Mercury is hardened and turned into earth, accomplishing everything we desire. The reason why it must be turned into earth is that when it is wet or liquid, it is then so firm and dense that the flame cannot work in its form but the latter instead protects and covers it.
But when it has become earth, it is open and the fire controls it, penetrating through all its pores, altering its form, rendering it heterogeneous and separable, while it had previously been quite dense, covered, closed, homogeneous with the essential substance of Mercury, and of the same nature, also impossible to be separated from it.
The reason, however, why it was at first boiling and now no longer boils is that during such boiling part of its wateriness, which is the cause of its boiling, has been removed and consumed. If all the watery moisture were removed and consumed, it would no longer boil and get a beautiful azure-blue color.
And with this all the doubts that you have presented in your registered letter are dissolved and explained. The rules are right, provided the degree of the fire is thereby observed; but if a mistake in the degree of fire occurs, everything is spoiled and done wrongly.
Put up with my weakness. I cannot do much, but the little I know I am ready to impart to others, especially to you and your friends. For the rest, I always desire to learn more, so that I might serve you great merit as you deserve. Your affectionate and devoted friend, Friederich Gualdus.
Venice, 2 December 1674.
Still Another Letter of Friederich Gualdus to a Priest His Good Friend
Your letter of the 25th inst. has been handed to me together with a basket of excellent cherries. You are always doing me one honor and favor after another, and I cannot but confess the truth, namely, that I have got in you another father, indeed more that a father after so many and long years, as my real father is dead. God be praised and Heaven thanked for such a great kindness.
Your desire to know the proportion of the water and the earth in their reduction can easily be satisfied, provided you first let totally go of all the utterances of the philosophers, because in this case they do not speak unanimously. For one wants to take 10 parts of water. The second speaks of nine, another again of seven parts. And Pontanus demands three parts. And thus there are still many others who have yet other opinions. Now we let go of all of them and consider what we have to do and what is necessary, in addition to the possibilities of nature.
I say, therefore, that to extract the fixed and dry core of the Mercury after taking such great pains and completing the Herculean labor, it is necessary to keep the Work dry at all times. Therefore little water, yes, very little water is required, especially at the beginning, so that the earth, which is the dry part, can always keep control over the water. With little no mistake can be made. All the philosophers rather assert and say: If you wish to turn earth into water, take three parts of water and one part of earth; but if you wish to turn water into earth, take three parts of earth and one part of water, etc. This is the right rule.
When now we turn water into earth, that is, reduce the water over the earth, and wish to make a dry mass, quite frozen and hard like a shining marble, we must give it very little water in one go and keep the mass dry, so that the dryness always has the upper hand. And in this way it can probably be done, although it will be a little difficult in the beginning and require some effort. But when the earth begins to give its water again, it will already be easier. Care must be taken, though, to remove that superfluous wetness, or urinal moisture every 8 or 15 days, as that raw part does not unite with the earth, because the earth only attracts the most cooked and tough part that it finds in the water and instead repels the raw part, so that it appears to be quite frozen.
Furthermore, to answer the question whether they have to be kneaded together or whether the water has to be poured at the bottom of the vessel and the earth put over it, I say that it is all the same. The difference only consists in the fire, for if the water is poured below and the earth added above, a stronger fire is required, that is, such a strong one that the water can sublimate and enter the earth; but not so strong that the water inundated the earth completely like the sea. Because, if a firm union and true marriage like Chibric [Kibrik] and Beya [Beja] is to occur, they must not be separated but joined, so that they can stand together in a continual union that can never be separated.
But if one wishes to knead them together and then puts them neat the fire, the latter must be fairly mild and small, because the moisture sublimates much more easily, while the earth stays open due to the rubbing (kneading). Although it is true that they unite much more firmly with less and longer heat.
Be it now one or the other manner, the degree of the fire must be carefully watched, so that the woman does not separate from the man some raw and watery part that disappears in a little smoke (or steam).
And this is what I can report in this matter. For, to tell the truth, the greatest part of the Herculean labor consists in finding the ash-colored earth, that is, in knowing how to separate the fixed part of our materia, which is quite volatile, and in this most of the alchemists blunder by wrongly considering the fixed body as something else. It is not so easy to go wrong in the rest, which is much surer to work, and there are not so many mistakes that can occur, just as you will experience and recognize that Sendivogius wrote the truth when he said: My center is highly fixed. Whoever has fixed that part will also fix its spirit, which has issued from it. With which I always remain, Your most affectionately devoted friend, Friederich Gualdus.
Venice, 22 May 1678.
Conclusion of the Translator of the 1720 Edition
All the conclusions that can be drawn from the preceding report, however, are not so strong and certain that they could induce me to believe that our mortal life could be longer or shorter than the goal that has been set for it in the unchangeable degrees of Providence. True, I will admit that this is so very famous Stone can be found. Nor will I gainsay that those whom God had honored with his Grace really possess it, and that among those our Gualdus has to be especially reckoned. Nevertheless, it is far from being able to abolish Destiny or ward off those dangers against which neither medicines nor other help can do anything. For an unexpected fall that does not allow a man ot get up; the floods of the sea and the rivers which exhaust us quickly; buildings shaken and collapsing through earthquakes or other accidents, causing houses and residents to turn to ashes, all are such causes houses and residents to turn to ashes, all are such causes which Death has reserved for itself. I am sure that if death were a live body, he would laugh at our musings. Aside from this, I can also really believe that a good diet, as also the medicines that serve the preservation of the radical moisture and the natural heat, no less the medicine referred to by Herr Amptman, may well keep us healthy in our life but not, as stated, prolong it. Accordingly, those are only defying death who can maintain their life more than others without some regulation or medicine.
Of this Gualdus the newspapers subsequently wrote a great deal, namely, that after leaving Venice, he was supposed to have stayed in Florence, Turin, and Paris, and finally at the Hague. Yes, after the papers reported last year that a man who had been considered an Adept at the Hague and for that reason moved away, had found his death in the Scheldt through the unfortunate overturning of his boat, was considered to be over 400 years old although he looked like a 40-year old, many now believe that it must have been this Friederich Gualdus, who was at last called from this world by God through such a death.
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