These are the things, My Friends! which l promised you; the Menstruums of Diana, hitherto by none but the Adepts described, declared, and rightly appplied to Use, and are now by me so manifestly explained, and distributed into their Kinds, that they may be distinctly apprehended even by the meanest Chymists. There are indeed many more Menstruums remaining (for Diana has superfluity of Menstruums) which I have not showed to you; but I thought these sufficient, As Examples to you: You, if you please, may collect more, and appropriate them to their Kinds. But if it be our duty to, respect the common Good, I could wish you would communicate to me some of the more rare Manuscripts or Impressions of the Adepts, if you have any in your Studies or Libraries, that they may be of service not only to you, but to all Mankind, or at least signify their Names to me, that I may either buy or by entreaty borrow them of you or others; especially you being already well assured, that in Practical Books all Secrets depend upon the Spirit of Philosophical Wine, But that in the Theoretick, they are all most obscure, being figurative, and not in the least to be understood according to the Letter: which, if you keep longer in your Libraries, will be daily exposed to a thousand dangers, and at length, as nothing worth, being mouldy and rotten, become the Aliment of Time, the Consumer of all things.
In the mean time, despise not these Receipts of Menstruums offered to you, but rather read and peruse them, and everywhere endeavour to find out the Chymical Truth, but those which you do not either understand, or not esteem, cast away as trivial; for if one only Kind, or any one Receipt of a Kind out of four and twenty please you, it is sufficient; for we will easily prove that by that one, all the Secrets of the more Secret Chymy may be prepared.
If also you are pleased to object against the Authority, yea
Honesty and Sincerity of this or that Adept, as, Paracelsus, Lully,
&c you may leave him, and reject his Receipts, making choice of
any other, in whom you may have greater confidence and we will prove all the rest by his Receipt: Learn therefore the ways of making these Menstruums, Observe their Orders, Degrees, Matters, Methods of Making, the Virtues of Dissolving, Tinging, Multiplying themselves, &c. and you will acknowledge them to be the best Instruments of all the more Secret Chymy, as Keys, without which nothing, and with which all the Secrets of this Art are opened and unlocked. To make these Things, which we have declared in the former Discourse, of the Excellencies of the Menstruums, more easy to you, I will here contract into a Breviary, and reduce them into twelve subsequent and infallible Conclusions.
That the Descriptions of these Menstruums are understood according to the Sound of the Letter.
That the Receipts of the Book contain nothing occult, but the Spirit of Philosophical Wine (the Use only of which we promised to define) you will easily vouchsafe us your Assent. Nor yet is it too obscure, but that it may he properly called an unctuous Spirit, proceeding from the White and Red Wine of Lully, the Constitutives of the Menstruum foetens. The rest which seem more obscure, are Terms of Art, for the most part explained in the very Descriptions of The Receipts of things made and produced from this Spirit. But the obscurity, which a shorter or longer description of a Receipt causes, is by accident, to be easily overcome and removed by any diligent Disciple of this Art.
That no one of the, aforefaid Menstruums is prepared without the Spirit of Philosophical Wine.
Among all these Menstruums of the Adepts imparted to you, there is not one, which has not the Spirit of Philosophical Wine for its Basis. There are indeed Menstruums, in the Receipts of which, we meet not with the Name of this Spirit, yet there it is lurking (371) under the name of this or that Menstruum. Other Receipts of Menstruums there are, which do not take the Spirit of Philosophical Wine free, but as it were fettered, that is, any Common Oil; but when in the making of these Menstruums the Spirit is unfettered, as also acuated, such Menstruum cannot in the least be said to be made without it. There are lastly also Menstruums, in the Receipts of wbich, neitber the Spirit of Philosophical Wine, nor any Oily Matter is expressly mentioned (but these are more rare, on purpose alledg'd to shew us either the Envy or Morosity of the Adepts) whereas not withstanding it is by the use of the Menstruum, manifest that this Spirit is added through neccesity ; for that which is promised, could not otherwise be affected.
Finally, There are some, which you will affirm may be made with Common Spirit, Common Vinegar, and Aqua fortis, or Common Sal Armaniack without the Spirit of Philosophical Wine. Suppose it so; but when you proceed to Practice, and try an Experiment with such a Menstruum, you will soon find it not only too weak, but also altogether ineffectual, and destructive in the more Secret Chymy: For it is impossible to do that with a common Menstruum, which the Adepts have prescribed by a Philosophical Menstruum. The Secrets of the more Secret Chymy, have this Priviledge, that they cannot be made by any man but him that is possessed of Philosophical Wine.
That these Menstruums are prepared from any sort of Matter.
We have demonstrated that the Menstruums aforesaid are made of divers Oleosities, Aridities and Acidities of the three Kingdoms. You have observed the simple Vegetable Menstrutims to be made of things neither Tinging nor Acid; Compounded Vegetable Menstruums of things Tinging not Acid; Simple Mineral Menstruums made of things Acid, and not tinging; the Compounded of things both Acid and Tinging. Wherefore being now better assured of your Menstrual Matter hitherto so anxiously sought for, you may take crude Mercury, or Vitriol, Niter, common Salt, Salt of Tartar,
or Urine, Rain-Water, May-Dew, the Spirit of the World also, by whatever Art obtained, or any other Matter also which you have made choice of before the rest, for the true and universal Matter of a Menstruum, to which choice you will not err; for it is much at one, whether you make it of Gold or Mercury; whether of Pearls or Arsenick; Vegetable or Mineral Salt, provided you proceed according to this or that Kind of Menstruums, with consideration also of what use you would have the Menstruum, lest you prepare an Essence instead of a Magistery, or a Poison for an Antidote: On the contrary, take pure Honey so applauded hy Parisinus. or the Salt of Tartar, commended by Ripley; or common Salt, esteemed by Paracelsus, as the Matrix of Metals; or Vitriol abounding with the Tincture of Gold, extolled by Basillus, or Argent vive magnify'd by most of the Adepts, as the open Metal: Take, I say, which of them you please, but you must know it cannot in the least answer your expectation, except it be joined, that is, corrected, exalted, and graduated with the Spirit of Philosophical Wine.
That these Menstruums are also prepared by any Method.
You have here had several Methods of Preparation, which if not satisfactory, you may please to invent new ones. Herein is contained nothing secret, if your Matter, and the Spirit of Philosophical Wine, be, without any possibility of being separated, mixed together, and distilled either in part or whole, through an Alembick: For every Matter, by what method soever volatilized and distilled with the Spirit of Philosophical Wine, is a Menstruum.
That these Menstruums are sufficient also for every Use.
You have now in this Book observed the Use of the Philosophical Wine, as also of most Menstruums in these ways of making Menstruums: hereafter, in the following Books you will perceive them to be sufficent for every purpose. By these means you will make all the Medicines of the Adepts, reduce all Metals into running Mercury, or if you had rather; into the Philosophers Mercury, or first Matter of the Metals. By these will you make as well universal as particular Transmutatives of Metals, the best of all in respect of deeper Tincture, shortness of Time, and conciseness of Work. Hereby lastly, will you prepare whatsoever curiosity has been left us by the Adepts, and described in their Books, so, that if they have any Preparations without the Spirit of Philosophical Wine, you may decline them without any damage: For these Menstruums do volatilize all fixed Bodies, and fix the volatile and volatilized, dissolve the coagulated, and coagulate the dissolved: Vnder which few Notions are comprehended all the Operations of the more Secret Chymy.
That these Menstruums are many.
You have observed diverse kinds of Menstruums, designed for several distinct Uses. Simple Vegetable Menstruums do extract, rather than dissolve Bodies; the Compounded dissolve only but extract; That which Vegetable Menstruums do, the Mineral cannot; and so on the contrary: of Vegetable Menstruums are made Medicine's only, not poisons; but of Mineral Menstruums; Poisons only, and not Antidotes witbout the singular dexterity of an Artist. An Use different and contrary to its self admits no universal Menstruum. The Spirit of philosophical Wine is indeed the Universal Matter of them all, but there is not one of all the Menstruums sufficent for every Use; Wherefore unless
you will for the same reason call every one a Universal, because they all proceed from the Spirit of Light, the universal Basis of all things, wc cannot but deny an universal Menstruum.
That some Menstruums are corrosive.
That Mineral Menstruums are corrosive, and therefore dissolve Bodies with ebulition, is clearly manifest by the Recipes aforesaid. I would not have you, being perhaps not sufficently instructed in the Sayings of the Adepts, every where declaring against Aqua fortisses, and all Corrosives, either despise, or think ill of them: These are those Menstruums by which the ancient Adepts abbreviated their Time and Labour in preparing their Tinctures: And Paracelsus justly entitled himself to the Monarchy of Arcanums, he having been the principal Instrument in compleating not only the Abbreviations of Alchymy, but moreover introducing these Mineral Menstruums to Medicinal Use, and that with so much dexterity, that there seems to be now no hope left to his Disciples of mending any imperfection of this Art, as will be demonstrated in the following Books: Besides, these Menstruums differ from the Vegetable Menstruums no otherwise, than that an Acidum is superadded to them, or to the Spirit of Philosophical Wine, corroding the Aridum, and dividing it into Atoms, making way for the Oleosum, to be sooner and better incorporated and mixed together, which notwithstanding do by taking away the Acidum, return to the same Vegetable Menstruums they were before.
That these Menstruums are permanent, yea fixed with Things dissolved in them.
It is by the former descriptions of Menstruums, manifest, that as well the Spirit of Philosophical Wine, & Menstruums made of it, do stick to the things dissolved in them. There is indeed no better Argument to confirm the excellency of Menstruums than that tbey are homogeneous and permanent with things dissolved, and consequently
Dissolvents transmutable with the dissolved into a third substance different from both: These Menstruums therefore are so far from being immutable, that, according to the Edict of the whole Crowd of Philosophers, to wit, The dissolution of the Body is the coagulation of the Spirit, and so on the contrary, nothing in the more Secret Chymy, can be more infallible. Now with this permanence of Menstruums you have observed not only in the volatilizations of Menstruum but also in the fixations of some, thus you had tbe fixation of the Spirit of Philosophical Wine in the greater Circulatums of the Ninth and Two and Twentieth Kinds; but you will find more in the preparations of Medicines, as well as Tinctures. They were by an Analogy of the Ancients ill called Menstruums, unless also they could be transformed into the substance of an Embryo, and yield proper Nutriment and augmentation to the Infant: The Spirit of our Wine is indeed an absolute Oleosum, that is, combustible, but here being throughly mixed with Aridums, it becomes incombvstible, and despises the violence of Fire: It is also moist and so uncapable of Fixation; but the moister and thinner parts, which it contains, are separated in the work of fixation from the more Oily Particless in the work being now concentrated. So you observed, that, in the Preparations of the Sal Harmoniaks, or Sulphurs of Nature, the Spirit of Philosophical Wine, as also the Vegetable, as well as Mineral Menstruums are partly reduced into insipid Water, and partly sticking to tke Matters left in the bottom, and fixed; But better Examples you will have both in the Second and third Books.
That Menstruums are not satiated with dissolving but become rather more avidous, and so are by Dissolutions augmented as well in quantity as quality.
Though the Spirit of our Wine is the Basis, Root, and Center of all Mentruums, Medicines, Alchymycal Tinctures, and Precious Stones yet nevertheless does it dissolve slowly, Yea only such Bodies as are homogeneous to it, that is, purely Oily, as itself is a pure Oleosum, and associate the same to it, transmuting into its own nature, and so multiplies
itself by this means. Now so soon as this Spirit, is transmuted into an Arido-Oleosum, it does under the name of a Simple Yegetable Menstruum, dissolve Arido-Oleosums that is, the Sulphurs or Tinctures of the Mineral Kingdom the pure Aridum, being. untouched and left in the form a white Powder with which essences the said Menstruums or Essences may indeed melt together, but not in the least be satiated, because there is an Addition and Multiplication of like Parts: But the same Vegetable Menstruums being now compounded of the Simple, do no more extract the Tinctures and Essences of Minerals, hut dissolve and transmute the whole Mass, or Substance of tbe Bodies into an Oil swimming above, which is called a Magistery: Now this being digested together with its Menstruum, at length falls in, is united, and so multiplies the Compounded Vegetable Menstruum. For an Example to young Beginners; The Spirit Of Philosophical Wine being a Menstrum of the first Kind, and acuated with the oil of Nutmegs, is hereby made a Menstruum of the second Kind; or acuated with Honey, if you would have a Menstruum of the third Kind: distill either of those Menstrums with Common Sal Harmoniack, and you will have a Menstruum of the fourth; but if you desire one of tke fifth Kind, Cohobate either of them witb the Salt of Tartar, and you will have the Acetum acerrimum of Ripley, or with common Salt, and You will make the Sal circulatum of Paracelsus; Cohobate Mercury, or any other Mercury, or any other Metal through an Alembick with this Vinegar or Salt, and you will transmute the Simple Vegetable Menstruums into the Compounded Vegetable Menstruums of the eighth Kind; from which you will further prepare Menstruums of the tenth Kind, by dissolving and Volatilizing any other Metal in them. The same Rule you have to our Mineral Menstruums: But the Common Menstruums cannot receive beyond their Capacity.
That these Menstruums are also Secrets of the Second Book.
You have in the Book observed that among theVegetable Menstruums there is none but what is either an Essence or a Magistery, and it will be more copiously demonstrated in the Book of the Preparations of Medicines: You have also taken notice by the aforesaid Receipts of them, especially being compared with the following Descriptions of Medicines, that Mineral Menstruums are the same Medicines, but mixed and dissolved with Acids.
That these Menstruums are likewise Secrets of the Third Book.
It is now partly clear by the Receipts of them, hut will be more clear by the Secrets of the Third Book, that the Simple Menstruums are the Philosophers Stones not yet fermented; but the Compounded are Menstruums mixed with the Masculine Seed, and therefore Volatile and Fermented Stones.
That these Menstruums are in like manner Secrets of the Fourth Book.
That these Menstruums do give Light by night, and consequently, are perpetual Lights, yield also Matters for
Pearls, Precious Stones, &c. the Receipts thcmselves do show, which will be confirmed by the Fourth Book.
Cap. 13. Philorcii.
Without these Waters we do little Good in this Art; but he that has these Waters, will without all doubt complete the Art.
The End of the First Book.