Hermetic Triumph - Eudoxus vs Pyrophilus upon the Ancient War of the Knights

[]  the Stone of the first Order, is the Matter of the Philosophers perfectly purified, and reduced into a pure mercurial Substance;

the Stone of the second Order, is the same Matter decocted, digested, and fixed into an incombustible Sulphur;

the Stone of the third Order, is the very same Matter fermented, multiplied, and pushed to the last Perfection of Tincture fixt, permanent, and tinging

the Stone of the Philosophers is the Subject of Philosophy, considered in the state of its first Preparation, in which it is truly a Stone, since it is solid, hard, heavy, brittle, frangible; it is a Body (says Philalethes) because it flows in Fire like a Metal; and yet it is a Spirit, for it is wholly Volatile. It is the Compound and the Stone that contains the Humidity, that runs in the Fire (says Arnoldus in his letter to the King of Naples) it is in this State that it is a middle Substance between a Metal and Mercury (as the Abbot Sinesiusexpresses it) it is in fine in this State, that Geber considers it, where he says in two Places of his Summa, Take our stone, that is to say (saith he,) the Matter of our Stone, just as if he had said, take the Philosopher's Stone, which is the Matter of the Philosophic Stone.

The Philosophick Stone, is therefore the same Stone of the Philosophers; when by the secret Magistery it is exalted to the Perfection of the third Order, transmuting all imperfect Metals into pure Gold or Silver, ACCORDING TO THE NATURE OF THE FERMENT ADJOINED TO IT.

the Work is not made but of one only Thing, of one only and the same Species.

The Matter has no need but to be dissolved, and then coagulated; Mixtion, Conjunction, Fixation, Coagulation, and other like Operations, are made almost of themselves; but Solution is the great Secret of the Art. It is this essential Point that the Philosophers do not reveal. All the Operations of the first Work, or the first Medicine, is nothing (to speak properly) but a continual Solution; so that Calcination, Extraction, Sublimation, Distillation, is but a true Solution of the Matter. Geber taught not the Necessity of Sublimation, but because it not only purifies the Matter from its gross and combustible Parts; but also, because it disposes to Solution, from whence results the Mercurial Humidity, which is the Key of the Work. the principal Operation is to procure the Solution of a Matter hard and dry, coming near to the Nature of a Stone; which, nevertheless, by the Action of the natural Fire, ought to be resolved into a dry Water, as easily as Ice is melted by the least Heat.

-the natural Fire is the principal Key of the Art; it is indeed the great Mystery of the Art, all other Mysteries of this sublime Philosophy depending on the Knowledge of this; it is an potential Fire, that burns not the Hands, but makes its Efficacy appear, being a little exited by the exterior Fire. it is called Lunar Vulcan;

-Artephius has made a more ample Description of it, than any other Philosopher. Pontanus has copied him, and tells us, that he erred two Hundred times, because he knew not this Fire, 'till the had read an understood Artephius; this mysterious Fire is natural, because it is of one same Nature with the philosophick Matter; but nevertheless, the artist prepares them both.

-without it, one meets a full Stop, after the first Step made in the practick Part of the Work.

-this natural Fire is an artificial Invention of the Artist,

-there is but this one sort of Fire in this World able to calcine, dissolve, and sublime the Stone of the Philosophers:

-this Fire is of the Nature of Lime or Calx,

-it is in no sort a Stranger, with regard to the Subject of Philosophy.

-Consider, in fine, also by what means Geber teaches to make the Sublimations require to this Art;

-may the Stars of Venus and horned Diana be propitious to you !!!

-this Fire is not actually hot, but it is a fiery Spirit, introduced into a Subject of one self same Nature with the Stone, and which being moderately excited by the exterior Fire, calcines, dissolves, sublimes the Stone, and resolves it into a dry Water, as Cosmopolite has expressed it.

-from this first Solution, Calcination, or Sublimation, which are here one and the same Thing, there results the Separation of the terrestrial and adustible Parts of the Stone; especially if you follow Geber's Councel touching the Regiment of the Fire in the manner he teaches it, where he treats of the Sublimation of the Bodies, and of Mercury. You ought to hold if for a constant Truth, that there is but this one way in the World, to extract from the Stone its unctuous Humidity, which inseparably contain the Sulphur, and the Mercury of the wise Men.

[] the Metals of the Vulgar, are not the Metals of the Philosophers; for it is evident, that to be such they must be destroyed, and cease to be Metals: And the wise Man wants nothing but the viscus Humidity, which is their first Matter from which the Philosophers make their living Metals by an Artifice, that is a Secret as it is founded upon Principles of Nature

[] the wise Man ought to be perfectly acquainted with Nature in general, and her Operations as well in the Center of the Earth, in the Generation of Minerals and Metals, as upon the Earth in the productive of Vegetables and Animals.

[] the Philosophers themselves call their Stone Dragon and Serpent, infecting all Things with its Venom. Its Substance, and its Vapour, are indeed a Poison, which the Philosopher should know how to change into an Antidote by Preparation and Decoction. The Stone is moreover the Enemy of Metals, since it destroys them, and devours them. Cosmopolite says, there is a Metal, and a Steel, which is as the Water of Metals, which has the Power to consume Metals, that there in nothing but the radical Moisture of the Sun, and of the Moon, that can resist it. But take heed that you do not here confound the Philosopher's Stone, with the Philosophick Stone; because, if the first like a true Dragon destroys and devours the imperfect Metals; yet the second, as a sovereign Medicine, transmutes them into perfect Metals, and makes the perfect more than perfect, and fit to make perfect the imperfect.

[] There is no doubt but Gold possesses great Virtues for the Preservation of Health, and for curing the most dangerous Diseases. {Venus} {Jupiter} {Saturn} and {Mars}, are every Day usefully employed by Physicians, as likewise is {Moon}; because their Solution or Decomposition which manifests their Properties, is easier than that of {Sun}; [] but I tell you in Truth, that without the Knowledge of our Magistery (which only can teach the essential Destruction of {Sun}) 'tis impossible to make the universal Medicine of it; but the wise can make it much more easily with the Gold of Philosophers, than with {Sun} vulgar.

[] it must in its beginning be all Volatile, and by consequence fugitive, for to be depurated from all manner of Terrestreity, and brought from Imperfection to the Perfection that the Magistery gives it in its other States;

[] there are three sorts of {Sun}:

The first is an Astral {Sun}, whose Center is the Sun, who by its Rays communicates it, together with its Light to all the Stars, that are inferior with its Light to all the Stars, that are inferior to him. It is a fiery Substance, and a continual Emanation of little solar Bodies, which by the Motion of the Sun and Stars, being in a perpetual Flux and Reflux, fill the whole Universe; all Things through the Extent of the Heavens, upon the Earth, and in its Bowels are therewith penetrated, we breathe continually this Astral Gold, these solar Particle incessantly penetrate into, and exhale from our Bodies.

The second is an Elementary {Sun}, that is to say, it is the most pure and the most fixt Portion of the Elements, and of all the Substances that are composed of them; so that all the sublunary Beings of the three Genders, contain in their Center a precious Grain of this elementary Gold.

The third is the beautiful Metal, whose unalterable Splendour and Perfection give it a Value, that makes it esteemed by all Men as a sovereign Remedy of all the Ills, and all the Necessities of Life, and as the only Foundation of humane Power and Grandeur;

[] the metallick Gold is not the Gold of the Philosophers, [] but [rather] it is the Stone which hides in its Bosom the true {Sun} of the wise Men, that is to say, the two first Sorts of {Sun}; the Stone being the most pure Portion of the metallick Elements, after the Separation and Purification, which the wise Man has made of it;

it follows, that it is properly the Gold of the second sort; but when this {Sun} perfectly calcined and exalted unto the Cleanness, and to the Whiteness of Snow, has acquired by the Magistery a natural Sympathy with the Astral Gold, of which it is visibly become the true Magnet, it attracts and concenters in it self so great a Quantity of Astral Gold, and of solar Particles, which it receives from the continual Emanation that is made of them from the Center of the Sun, and of the Moon, that it is found in the nearest Disposition to be the living Gold of the Philosophers, infinitely more noble, and more precious than the metallick {Sun}, which is a Body without Soul, and cannot be vivyfied, but by our living Gold, and by the Means of our Magistery.

[] to be fluid, volatile, and not permanent, are qualities as necessary to the Stone in its first State, as are its fixity and permanency when it is in the State of its utmost Perfection; [] the great Secret consists in knowing how to extract the Humidity of the Stone. [] this is indeed the most important Key of the Art. [] Happy then is the Artist who not only knows the Stone, but also can turn it into Water. Which cannot be done by any other means, than by our secret Fire, which calcines, dissolves, and sublimes the Stone.

[] The Sun and Stars are indeed the first Cause of it; they inspire the Stone with that Spirit and Soul that give it Life, and make all its Efficacy. And therefore it is that they are its Father and Mother.

[] the Physical Tincture is composed of a red and incombustible Sulphur, and of a clear and well purified {Mercury}; [] the metallick Humidity of the Stone prepared and purify'd, contains inseparably in its Bosom the Sulphur, and the {Mercury} of the Philosophers; it is by consequence that only thing of one only and self same kind, to which nothing ought to be added; and that the only {Mercury} of the wise Men contains its own Sulphur, my means whereof it coagulates, and fixes it self;

[] it is certain, that Nature stops in her Productions, when she has brought them to their proper State and Perfection; for Example, when from a most clear and most pure mineral Water tinged by some Portion of metallick Sulphur, Nature produces a precious Stone, she stops there, as she likewise does when in the Bowels of the Earth she hath formed {Sun} with mercurial Water, Mother of all Metals, impregnated with a pure solar Sulphur; so that it is not possible to make a Diamond, or a Ruby more precious, than it is in its kind; so neither is it in the Power of the Artist, nay (I will go further,) nor of Nature her self, so push on Gold to a greater Perfection, than what she has given it. It is the Philosopher that can only carry Nature from an undetermined Imperfection, even to a State more than Perfect. It is therefore necessary, that our Magistery produce a plusquam Perfection, which to accomplish, the Sage must begin with a Thing imperfect, which being in the way of Perfection, is found in the natural Disposition to be carried on even to plusquam Perfection, by the help of an Art wholly Divine, which is able to exceed the limited Bounds of Nature; and indeed if our Art could not exalt a Subject to a State of plusquam Perfection, neither could we give Perfection to what is imperfect, and all our Philosophy were vain.

[] if the [Mercury] of the wise Men hath been elevated by Art from an imperfect, to a perfect State, yet this Perfection is not of the Nature of that, whereat Nature stops in the Production of Things, according to the Perfection of their kind, such as is that of [Mercury] vulgar; but on the contrary, the Perfection which the Art gives to the [Mercury] of the wise Men, is but a middle State, a Disposition, and a Power that makes it fit to be carried by the continuance of the Work, unto the state of plusquam Perfection, which gives it the Faculty by the Accomplishment of the Magistery, at last to give Perfection to the imperfect.

[] those that know not the Gold of the Philosophers, may nevertheless find it in common Gold decocted with the Mercury of the Philosophers. Philaletha is of this Sentiment; he assures, that Count Trevisan, Zachary, and Flamel followed this Way, but he adds That it is not the true Way of the wise Men, though it leads to the same End.

[] the Stone is the most pure Part of the metallick Elements, and by consequence it is the first Matter of the mineral and metallick Gender, and when this very same Matter has been animated, and made Fruitful by the natural Union that is made of it with the Matter purely universal, it becomes the vegetable Stone, alone capable to produce the great Effects that the Philosophers attribute to the three Medicines of the three Kinds.

[] the Stone is the first Matter of the Metals, and consequently it is Prior to {Sun}, and to all other Metals; and if it derives its Original from them, or if it takes Birth from their Destruction, it does no therefore follow, that it is a Production posterior to Metals; but on the contrary, it is Prior to them, since it is the Matter from whence all Metals have been formed. The Secret of the Art consists in knowing how to extract from Metals this first Matter, or this metallick Germ, which is to vegetate, by the Fecundity of the Philosophic Sea.

[] The Passage of the smaragdine Table of the great Hermes, proves the excellency of the Stone, in that it shows that the Stone is endued with two Natures, i.e., with the Nature of superior Beings, and with that of inferior Beings; and that these two Natures both alike have one only and the same Original; so that we must conclude, that they (being perfectly united in the Stone) compose a third Being of an inexpressible Virtue:

"That which is below, is as that which is on high; and that which in on high, is as that which is below" one reads "To do the miracles of one only Thing. "

But the Latin Original has quite another Sense, for the "quibus", which makes the Connexion of the last Words, with the preceding, signifies, "That by These things (that is to say, by the Union of these two Natures) one does the Miracles of one Thing".

The "to", of which the [common translation] do make Use, destroys the Sense and the Reason of a Passage that of it self is very proper and intelligible.

[] Indeed the superior and inferior Natures are not alike to work Miracles, but it is because they are alike, that one can do by them the Miracles of one only Thing.

[] It weds it self, it is with Child by it self, and it is Born of it self.

The stone weds is self; in as much as in its first Generation, it is Nature alone assisted by Art, that makes the perfect Unison of the two Substances, which give it Being, from which Union there results at the same time the essential Depuration of the Metallick Sulphurand Mercury. An union and Marriage so natural, that the Artist who lends his Hands to it in disposing all things requisite, can give no Demonstration of it by the Rules of Art; since he cannot even so much as well comprehend the Mystery of this Union.

The Stone is with Child by it self; when Art continuing to assist Nature, by mere natural Means, puts the Stone in the Disposition requisite for it, to impregnate it self with the Astral Seed, which renders it fruitful, and gives it the Power of multiplying its kind.

The stone is Born of it self; because after having wedded it self, and after being with Child by it self, Art doing nothing else than to assist Nature, by the continuance of a Heat necessary to Generation, it takes a new Birth form it self, just as the Phoenix is born again from its Ashes; it becomes the Son of the Sun, the universal Medicine of all Things, that have Life, and the true Living Gold of the Philosophers; which by the continuance of the Help of the Art, and the Ministry of the Artist, acquires in a little time the Royal Diadem, and the sovereign Power over all his Brethren.

[] the Stone has a Body, in as much as it is a Substance wholly metallick, which gives it the Ponderosity; it hath a Soul, which is the most pure Substance of the Elements, in which consists its Fixity, and its Permanency; it hath a Spirit, which makes the Union of the Soul with the Body, which [Soul] it acquires particularly from the Influence of the Stars, and is the Vehicle of Tinctures. [] all Things are of it, by it, and in it: the Stone is not only the first Matter of all Beings contained in the mineral and metallick Family, but that it is also united to the universal Matter, from whence all Things have taken Birth

[] some Artists who have imperfectly known the Stone, and also known but a part of the Work, having yet wrought with the Stone, and found means to separate its Spirit, which contains its Tincture, they have succeeded so far as to communicate some Part of it to imperfect Metals, which have Affinity with the Stone, but not having a full Understanding of its Virtues, nor of the manner of working with it, their Labour has not turned to any great Account; and even of these Artists the Number is very small.

[] Without doubt many Artists have the Stone in their Possession; some despise it as a mean Thing, others admire it, because of the Characters, in some sort supernatural, which it carries in its Birth, and yet without knowing its Value. There are, in fine, who are not ignorant of its being the true Subject of Philosophy; but the Operations which the sons of Art are to make upon this noble Subject, are intirely unknown to them; because they are not taught in Books, and because all Philosophers hide this admirable Art which converts the Stone into the Mercury of Philosophers, and which teaches to make the philosophick Stone into the Mercury of Philosophers, and which teaches to make the philosophick Stone of this Mercury. This fist Work is the Secret one, touching which the Sages declare themselves only in Allegories, and by impenetrable Enigma's, or else are wholly silent in it. And this is the great Block at which almost all Artists stumble.

[] the Error of those who have wrought with the Stone, and have not succeeded, proceeds from their not having known the Original, from whence the Tinctures come; for it is generally believed, that Metals and Minerals, and particularly Gold, contain in their Center this Tincture, which is capable to transmute the imperfect Metals.

This source of vivifying Water, Is before the Eyes of all the World, says Cosmopolite, and few Men know it. Gold, Silver, Metals, and Minerals, contain not a Tincture able to multiply to Infinity, there are none but the living Metals of the Philosophers that have obtained from Art and Nature this multiplying Faculty; [] the Heaven, and the Stars, but particularly the Sun and Moon are the Principles of this Fountain of living Water; [] to make this Water to descend from Heaven is truly wonderful; it is in the Stone, which contains the central Water, which is indeed one sole and the same Thing with the celestial Water, but the secret consists in the knowing how to make the Stone become Magnet, to attract, embrace, and unite this Astral Quintessence to it self, so as to make together one sole Essence, perfect and more than perfect, able to give Perfection to the imperfect, after the Accomplishment of the Magistery.

[] the Wife which is proper for the Stone, and which ought to be united to it, is that Fountain of living Water, whose Source altogether Celestial, which hath particularly its Center in the Sun, and in the Moon, produces that clear and precious Stream or Rivulet of the wise Men, which gently slides into the Sea of the Philosophers, which environs all the World; this Divine Fountain is called the Wife of the Stone; some have represented it under the Form of a heavenly nymph; some give it the Name of the chaste Diana, whose Purity and Virginity is not defiled by the spiritual Band that unites it to the Stone: In a word, this magnetick Connexion is the magical marriage of Heaven and Earth; so that the fruitful Source of the physical Tincture, that performs so great Wonders, takes Birth from this altogether mysterious conjugal Union.

[] the Season of the Year, which is the most proper for this Operation [is] the Month of March, and the Spring. Zachary, and other Philosophers say, that they begun the Work at Easter, and that they finished it happily within the Course of the Year. Others are contended with representing the Garden of Hesperides enamelled with Flowers, and particularly with Violets and Primroses, which are the earliest Productions of the Spring. Cosmopolite more ingenious than the rest to indicate, that the Season the most proper for the philosophick Work, is that wherein all living Beings, sensitives and vegetables, appear animated with a new Fire, which carries them reciprocally to Love, and to the Multiplication of their Kinds; he says, that Venus is the Goddess of this charming Isle, wherein he saw naked all the Mysteries of Nature; but to denote more precisely this Season, he says, That there were seen seeding in the Pasture, Rams and Bulls, with two young Shepherds, expressing clearly in this witty Allegory, the three spring Months, by the three celestial Signs, answering to them, viz. Aries, Taurus and Gemini.

[] The Knowledge of the Season proper to begin the Work, is of no little consequence; the fundamental Reason thereof is this. Whereas, the Sage undertakes to perform by our Art, a Thing which is above the ordinary Force of Nature, as to soften a Stone, and to cause a metallick Germ to vegetate; [] Nature from the beginning of the Spring, to renew is self, and to put all the Seeds that are in the Bosom of the Earth into the Motion proper to Vegetation, impregnates all the Air that environs the Earth, with a moveable and fermentatious Spirit, which derives its Original form the Father of Nature; it is properly a subtile Nitre which gives the fertility of the Earth, whereof it is the Soul, and which Cosmopolite calls the Salt-Petre of the Philosophers. It is therefore in this prolifick Season, that the wise Artist, to make his metallick Seed to bud, cultivates it, breaks it, moistens it, waters it with this prolifick Dew, and gives it as much of it to drink as the weight of Nature requires; after this manner the philosophick Germ concentring the Spirit in its Bosom, is animated and vivyfied by it, and acquires the Properties which are Essential to its becoming the vegetable and multiplying Stone.

[] our Mercury or our Stone does indeed take Birth from two Bodies; but it is not the Mixture of two Bodies which produces our Mercury, or out Stone: For Bodies are contraries, and there can be no perfect Union made of them; but our Stone on the contrary is born from the Destruction of two Bodies, which acting one upon another, as the Male and the Female, or as the Body and the Spirit, after a manner no less Natural than Incomprehensible to the Artist, who lends it the requisite Help, do intirely cease to be that which they were before, to bring forth a Production of a miraculous Nature and Original, and which hath all the necessary Dispositions to be carried by Art and Nature, from Perfection to Perfection, to a sovereign Degree, which is above Nature it self.

those two Bodies which destroy themselves, and confound themselves one in the other for the Production of a third Substance, and of whom the one holds the place of Male, and the other Female, in this new Generation, are two Agents, who stripping themselves of their grossest Substance in this Action, change their Nature to bring forth a Son, of an Original more noble, and more illustrious than the Parents that give him Being, and in being Born, he carries visible Marks, that evidently shew, the Heaven presided at his Birth.

our Stone is born many several Times, but in every one of its new Births it still draws its Rise from two Things. [] it espouses a celestial Nymph, to make but one sole and same Thing with her; [] after the Stone hath appeared a new, under terrestrial Form, it must again be Married to a Spouse of its own Blood, so that there are still two Things which produce one [Thing] only of one sole and same Kind; in all the different States of the Stone, the two Things that are united to give it a new Birth, come from one sole and same Thing; [] of one is made two, and of two one, in which all Operations, Natural and Philosophical, are terminated without any Possibility of going further.

[] the first and most important Operation of the Practice of the fist Work, is to reduce into Water that Body, which is our Stone, and this is the most Secret Point of our Mysteries. [] this Water must be vivified and fertilized by an astral Seed, and by a celestial Spirit, wherein resides the whole Efficacy of the physical Tincture: [] one only Thing, whereof the Sage hath need to make all Things, Is no other than the Water and the Spirit of the Body. The Water is the Body, and the Soul of our Subject, and the astral Seed is the Spirit of it; our Matter has a Body, a Soul, and a Spirit.

[] This Matter, so precious by the excellent Gifts, wherewith Nature has enriched it, is truly mean, with regard to the Substances from whence it derives it Original. Their Price is not above the Ability of the Poor. Ten Pence is more than sufficient to purchase the Matter of the Stone. But the Instruments, and the Means that are necessary to pursue the Operations of the Art, require some sort of Expence; which makes Geber say, That the Work is not for the Poor.

[] to attain this End, many Operations are requisite, which tending all but to one and the same Scope, are not in the main considered by the Philosophers, but as one sole and same Operation diversly continued. Fire separates at first the heterogenous Parts, and conjoins the homogeneous Parts of our Stone; the secret Fire produces afterwards the same effect; but more efficaciously in introducing into the matter a fiery Spirit, which opens interiourly the secret Gate which subtilizes and sublimes the pure Parts, separating them from those that are terrestrial and adustible. The Solution which is afterwards made by the Addition of the astral Quintessence, which animates the Stone, makes a third Depuration of it, and Distillation compleats it entirely; thus purifying and subtilizing the Stone by many different Degrees, to which the Philosophers use to give the Names of as many several Operations, and of Conversion of Elements, it is exalted to that Perfection, which is the nighest Disposition to conduct it to plusquam Perfection, by a Regiment proportioned to the final Intention of the Art, that is to say, unto perfect Fixtion. [] to speak properly, there is but one way, as there is but one Intention in the first Work; the Philosophers describe not many ways, but because they consider the different Degrees of Depurations, as so many Operations, and different Ways, with design to conceal this Admirable Art.

[] the Solution of the Body is not made but in its own Blood: in our Art, there is in three different Times, three essential Solutions made, wherein the Body is not dissolved but in its own Blood, and that is in the Beginning, in the Middle, and at the End of the Work. [] in the principal Operations of the Art, there are always two Things, one supplies the place of the Male, and the other of the Female; one is the Body, the other is the Spirit: in the three Solutions, the Male and the Female, the Body and the Spirit, are not other but the Body and the Blood, and these two Things are of one same Nature, and of same kind; so that the Solution of the Body in its own Blood, is the Solution of the Male by the Female, and that of the Body by its Spirit. And this is the order of these three important Solutions.

In vain you would attempt by Fire the true Solution of the Male in the First Operation, you could never succeed in it, without the Conjunction of the Female; it is in their mutual Embraces that they confound and change each other, to produce one whole Homogeneity, different from the them both. You would in vain open and sublime the Body of the Stone, it would be intirely useless to you, unless you made it espouse the Wife which Nature hath designed for it; she is that Spirit, from whence the Body hath drawn its first Original; which Body dissolves therein as Ice does at the Heat of Fire. [] you would attempt in vain to make the perfect Solution of the same Body, if you should not reiterate upon the Affusion of its proper Blood, which is its natural Menstruum, its Wife, and its Spirit altogether, wherewith it so intimately unites, that from thenceforth they become but one sole and same Substance.

[] as the Stone, strictly speaking, does not devour imperfect Metals, but so changes their Nature, that there remains nothing to know by what they were before; so the Stone not being able to destroy Gold, nor to transmute it into a more perfect Metal, transmutes it into a Medicine a thousand Times more perfect than Gold, since it can then transmute a thousand Times as much imperfect Metal, according to the Degree of Perfection that the Stone had receiv'd of the Art.

[] The Stone is a Field which the Wise cultivates, into which Art and Nature have put the Seed, which is to produce its Fruit. And as the four Seasons of the Year are necessary to the perfect Production of Fruits, so the Stone has in like manner its determinated Seasons. Its Winter, during which Gold and Humidity have Dominion in this Earth thus prepared and sowed. Its Spring, wherein the philosophick Seed being warm'd, gives Signs of Vegetation and Increase; its Summer, during which its Fruit ripens, and becomes proper to Multiplication; and its Autumn, in which this Fruit being perfectly ripe, rejoices the Wise that have the good Fortune to gather it.

[] I must here make you observe three Things.

First, That the Sage ought to imitate Nature in the Practice of the Work; and as this wise Worker [viz. Nature] can produce nothing perfect, if its Motion be made violent, so the Artist ought to suffer the Principles of his Matter to act interiourly, by exteriourly administring a Warmth or Heat proportioned to its need,

The second Thing is, that the Knowledge of the four Seasons of the Work, ought to be a Rule, which the Wise should follow in the different Regiments of the Fire, in Proportioning it to catch, according as Nature shows it, who has need of less Heat to put the Trees in Blossom, and to Form the Fruit, than to make them perfectly Ripe.

Thirdly, That though the Work has its four Seasons, so as Nature has, it does not follow, that the Seasons of Art, and of Nature, must precisely Answer to each other, the Summer of the Work may happen without Inconvenience in Nature's Autumn, and its Autumn in her Winter. It suffices, that the Regiment of the Fire, be proportion'd to the Season of the Work, it is in that only, that the great Secret of the Regiment consists, for which I cannot give you a more certain Rule.