Preface, no date (1553), Philippus Hermanni to the Reader (BP031)

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Author: Philippus Hermanni
Recipient: Reader
Type: Preface
Date: no date [1553]
Pages: 3
Language: Dutch
Quote as:
Editor: Edited by Julian Paulus
Philippus Hermanni, Dat Secreet der Philosophyen, Antwerpen: Jan Roelants 1553, sig. A2v-A3v [BP031]
CP: Not in Kühlmann/Telle, Corpus Paracelsisticum
Translation: Raw translation see below
Abstract: The author of this book aims to reveal the noble art of mineral distillation to the reader, which involves extracting moisture and beneficial elements from minerals such as salts, alums, vitriol, sulfur, mercury, and metals like lead, tin, iron, gold, silver, and copper for use in medicine. The author acknowledges that alchemy has been discredited, but believes that its principles and techniques are necessary for proper preparation of minerals for medical use. The author distinguishes between the true purpose of alchemy (medicine) and its misguided intentions to turn base metals into gold or silver. The author argues that the art of alchemy is necessary for medicine and praises physicians who are experts in it. The prologue concludes with a discussion of the names of the simples used in the art and how the works of the art are called. (generated by Chat-GPT)
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[sig. A2v] ¶ Die Prologhe.

In dit teghenwoordich Boeck seer beminde Leser soo hebbe ick voor my ghenomen v te openbaren de rechte ende edele verborghen Conste der Mineraliker Distilatien dat zij dye dinghen dye in den Berch wercken gheuonden worden ghelijck als alle manieren van Souten alle Alluynen/ Vitriol/ Solfer/ Quicksiluer/ ende dyer ghelijcken andere Metalen als Loot/ Ten/ IJser/ Gout/ Siluer/ ende Coper hoemen den Liquor oft vochticheyt wt alle dese dinghen sal moghen crijghen ende alle tghene dat tot des menschen ghesontheyt dient hier wt sal moghen trecken dat sullen wy v metter hulpen Gos in desen Boeck altemael openbaren met noch vele andere Alchimistike bereydinghen der seluer dinghen die wonderlijcke operatie doen in des menschen lichaem soo dattet by veel menschen schijnt mirakel te wesen door de wonderlijcke operatien dye si doen daerom seer beminde Leser soo wilt dit Boecxken met verstant ouerlesen ende als ghy den sin daer af verstaet soo staet de hant aen den ploech ende weest naerstich totten arbeyt op dat ghy de edele wercken deser Consten ghenieten moecht want dat sult ghy ten eersten weten datter gheen Medicijnen ter weerelt gheuonden en worden die sulcken goeden ende snellen operatie doen als dese Mineralen als si te recht bereyt worden ghelijck ick v leeren sal/ maer ghi mochtse soo bereyden si louden schadelijck ende nyet profijtelijck wesen/ daerom soo siet dat ghijse bereyt als ick v leeren sal soo sult ghi v bouen maten seer verwonderen van hueren wercken. Ende al ist dat de edele Const der Alchimijen in verachtinghe ghecomen is soo datse heet gheloghen te zijn ende een valsche Const dat en staet ons niet te verantwoorden dan soo verre alst onser Materien teghen is dat is aldus te verstaen/ Dye Alchimisten hebben in deser edelder Const ghewrocht oft ghelaboreert op sulcker intentien dat sie van Loot ende Coper Gout ende Siluer hebben willen oft meynente maken/ ende oock van allen anderen simpelen oft slechten Metalen hebben si meynen Siluer oft Gout te maken ende oft dat moghelijck si ende van [sig. A3r] God toeghelaten oft nyet dat en weet ick nyet dat beuele ick den seluen Meesters van dyer Const/ hoe wel dat wy veel wonderlijcke veranderinghen ghennen hebben in dyer Const soo en willen wy daerom nochtans nyet affirmeren dattet moghelijck is/ wantet schijnt onmoghelijcken te wesen dat de menschen in corten daghen doen souden dat de natuere in veel Jaren doet/ ende dat de menschen doen souden tghene dat God selue doet ende dat zijn Schepselis/ dit en willen wy nyet affirmeren dattet waer oft moghelijck si oft oock niet negeren oft loochenen dattet nyet waer en si/ maer wy beuelent den ghenen diese voor waerachtich houden/ te verantwoorden/ maer wy openbaren v tghene dat wy ghesien ghewrocht ende gheproeft hebben ende daer wy expert van zijn/ ende hoe wel dattet wter Alchimijen ontspringt ten is nochtans nyet tot dyer intentien oft ten dient oock nyet om Metalen mede te veranderen/ maer het dient om den mensche van binnen ende van buyten te Cureren van sinen sieckten ende ghebreken dye van allen anderen Churgijns voor ongheneselijck gheoordeelt zijn gheworden ende oock van den Medicijns verlaten/ Dese Patienten sullen moghen ghecureert worden door de Arcana Misteria ende heymelijcke Secreten deser Const. Ende om dattet nyet moghelijck en is dese dinghen te bereyden sonder de Const der Alchimijen soo moeten wy de selue Const door dye redene prijsen bouen alle Consten/ ant alle ander Consten moghen den mensche dienst doen van buyten aen zijn lichaem/ maer dese Edele Const gheeft den mensche weder zijn eerste ghesontheyt meer dan eenighe ander Const der werelt/ daerom soo moet ick se prijsen bouen alle Consten der werelt/ want ick hebbe mirakelen van huer sien gheschieden/ ende om dattet al metten viere gheschiet soo heetet den ghemeynen Man altesamen Alchimije/ hoe wel dat de intentie der Alchimisten verre is van onser intentien/ maer dye hem sinen rechten naem soude gheuen hy soudet heeten de rechte Const der Medicijnen/ want wat is de Const der Medicijnen anders dan de Medicijnen te bereyden ende den siecken te ghenesen/ maer in desen beyden en is de Medicijne nyet de prijsen als si sonder de bereydinghe der Alchimijen (alsoot dye onwetende Medicijns heeten) ghebesicht woordt/ want wat is dye Apoteke anders dan een schommel koken als sie van desen bereydinghen dye wy v leeren sullen gheen verstant en hebben/ alsoo ist oock van den Medicijn dye van desen bereydinghen gheen verstant en heeft/ want wy hebben dickwils [sig. A3v] ghesien ende gheproeft dat den eersten roock oft damp van eene is Cryde oft ander Specie dat beste is dat in hem is/ ende wy sien dat onse gheleerde Medici ghebieden te sieden op dye helft ende dier ghelijcken/ ende is den eersten damp dyer af op vliecht het beste alsoo wy v dat bewijsen sullen hier achter/ wat duecht cander dan ghewesen in den Drancken dye si alsoo coken/ daerom soo segghe ick dat dye Medicijn sonder dese edele Const der bereydinghen luttel oft nyet vele wt en recht al neempt hy tghelt van den Patienten/ maer hy gaet te wercke als een blinde met eenen blinden leyder dat is hy is blint in der Const ende heeft eenen blinden bereyder den Apoteker. Maer de Medicijn dye in deser Const expert is/ ende dye Species te rechte bereyt dye is bouen alle menschen te eeren/ prijsen ende te beminnen/ want men machs met gheenen ghelde coopen tghene dat hy den mensche met zijnder Consten doet vercrijghen/ daerom soo is de Const der Alchimijen seer te prijsen want al en zijnse tot huerder eerster intentien nyet ghecomen/ si hebben nocht ans den wech gheopent waer door dese edele Const der bereydinghe voort ghecomen ende bekent is gheweest ende waer door soo veel wonderlijcke Secreten gheopenbaert zijn gheworden dye sonder hueren soecken al verborghen souden ghebleuen hebben tot grooter schaden van den crancken menschen ende ghebreckighe Persoonen/ daerom en wiltse nyet verachten maer in grooter eeren houden nochtans niet op huere maer op onse intentie v sinnen funderende/ dat is op de ghenesinghe der sieckten/ ende op dye rechte bereydinghe der Mineralen/ waer mede ghy sult moghen doen tghene dat ghy met gheenen anderen Cruyden/ oft Simplicien/ oft Specien en sult moghen doen in gheender manieren/ Hier mede willen wy dye Prologhe besluyten ende spreken van den namen der Simplicia dye in deser Const ghebesicht worden ende oock hoemen de wercken deser Consten heet op dat wijse int schrijuen niet altoos weder op een nieu verhalen en doruen want dat is seer verdrietelijck/ ende sonder profijt.

¶ Dat Eynde der Prologhen.

English Raw Translation

Generated by ChatGPT-4 on 5 April 2023. Attention: This translation is a machine translation by artificial intelligence. The translation has not been checked and should not be cited without additional human verification.

The Prologue.

In this present book, dear reader, I have taken it upon myself to reveal to you the true and noble hidden Art of Mineral Distillation. This includes things found in the work of mountains, such as all types of salts, all alums, vitriol, sulfur, mercury, and similar other metals like lead, tin, iron, gold, silver, and copper. I will show you how to obtain the liquor or moisture from all these things and how to extract from them everything that serves human health. With God's help, we will disclose all of this in this book, along with many other alchemical preparations of these things that perform miraculous operations in the human body, so much so that many people consider it a miracle due to the wondrous operations they perform.

Therefore, dear reader, please read this little book with understanding, and when you grasp its meaning, set your hand to the plow and be diligent in your labor so that you may enjoy the noble works of this Art. You should know first and foremost that there are no medicines in the world that perform such good and swift operations as these minerals when properly prepared, as I will teach you. However, if you prepare them incorrectly, they may be harmful and not beneficial. Therefore, make sure to prepare them as I will teach you, and you will be amazed beyond measure by their workings.

And even though the noble Art of Alchemy has fallen into disrepute, so that it is considered a falsehood and a false art, we do not have to answer for that, except as far as it is against our subject matter. This is to be understood as follows: The alchemists have worked or labored in this noble art with the intention of turning lead and copper into gold and silver, and they have also intended to make silver or gold from all other simple or inferior metals. Whether this is possible and allowed by God or not, I do not know; I leave that to the masters of this art themselves. Although we are aware of many wondrous transformations in this art, we do not affirm that it is possible, as it seems impossible for humans to accomplish in a short time what nature does in many years, and for humans to do what God Himself does and what is His creation.

We do not affirm whether it is true or possible, nor do we deny or reject that it is not true. Instead, we leave it to those who consider it true to answer for it. But we reveal to you what we have seen, worked on, and tested, and what we are experts in. And although it originates from alchemy, it is not for that purpose or intended to change metals, but rather to cure a person from within and from without of their illnesses and defects that have been deemed incurable by all other surgeons and abandoned by physicians. These patients may be cured through the Arcana Misteria and hidden secrets of this art.

And since it is not possible to prepare these things without the Art of Alchemy, we must praise this very art for that reason above all others. All other arts may serve the human body externally, but this noble Art restores a person's original health more than any other art in the world. Therefore, I must praise it above all arts of the world, for I have seen miracles occur from it. And because everything is done with fire, common people call it all Alchemy, even though the intentions of the alchemists are far from our intentions. But if one were to give it its proper name, it would be called the true Art of Medicine, for what is the Art of Medicine other than preparing medicines and healing the sick?

However, in these two aspects, medicine is not praiseworthy when practiced without the preparation of Alchemy (as the ignorant physicians call it) because what is the pharmacy but a chaotic kitchen if they have no understanding of these preparations that we will teach you? The same applies to the physician who has no understanding of these preparations, for we have often seen and proven that the first vapor or smoke from a herb or other species is the best part of it. We see that our learned doctors prescribe boiling things down to half and similar methods, and if the first vapor that flies off is the best, as we will prove to you later, what good can come from the concoctions they cook this way?

That is why I say that medicine without this noble Art of preparation accomplishes little or nothing, even if the physician takes the patient's money. The physician works like a blind man with a blind guide, which means he is blind in the Art and has a blind preparer, the pharmacist.

But the physician who is an expert in this Art, and who prepares the species correctly, is to be honored, praised, and loved above all others, for one cannot buy with money what he helps people achieve with his art. Therefore, the Art of Alchemy is to be highly praised, for even if they have not reached their original intentions, they have nonetheless opened the way through which this noble Art of preparation has come forth and become known, and through which so many wondrous secrets have been revealed, which would have remained hidden without their search, to the great detriment of sick and afflicted people.

So do not despise them, but hold them in high esteem, though not focusing on their intentions but on our own, which are the healing of illnesses and the proper preparation of minerals, with which you will be able to do what you cannot do with any other herbs, simples, or species in any manner. With this, we wish to conclude the prologue and discuss the names of the simples used in this Art and also how the works of this Art are called so that we do not always have to repeat them anew in writing, for that is very tiresome and without benefit.

The End of the Prologue.