From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Dedicatory Letter to Ernest Frederick, Margrave of Baden-Durlach
no place [Frankenthal], no date

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Source: Egidius de Vadis, Dialogus inter naturam et filium philosophiae, ed. Bernard Gilles Penot, Frankfurt am Main: Johannes Saur for Johann Rex, 1595, sig. †3r–†7r [BP.Penot.1595-01]

Summary: Penotus extols the virtues of pursuing knowledge and contributing to posterity, emphasizing the noble endeavor of alchemy not as a means to wealth but as a pursuit of health and the uncovering of nature's secrets. He defends the study of alchemy against those who dismiss it as mere charlatanism, asserting that true alchemy is a divine science aimed at benefiting mankind, particularly in medical applications. Penotus claims to have diligently explored this science to bring its divine knowledge to light, focusing more on the health of the human body than on the transmutation of metals into gold (Chrysopoeia).
He describes the philosopher's stone or elixir as a miraculous substance capable of curing all diseases, preserving youth, and even reversing old age, presenting it as the true fountain of youth. Penotus criticizes those who underestimate the value of alchemy, seeing it merely as a path to riches, and instead highlights its noble goal of maintaining health. He reflects on a time when the study of alchemy and the mysteries of nature was a revered pursuit among philosophers and royalty, serving the welfare of their people.
Penotus concludes by expressing his decision to dedicate his works to Prince Ernest Frederick, confident that they will be well-received and protected under the prince's patronage, contributing to the glory of God and the well-being of mankind. (generated by ChatGPT)


[sig. †3r] Illvstrissimo ac fortissimo Principi D[omi]no ac D[omi]no Ernæsto Friderico Marchioni Badensi & Hochbergensi, Landgrauio Susenbergensi D[omi]no in Rotelen & BadenWeiler D[omi]no meo clementissimo.

Laudabile & egregium esse institutum (Princeps Illustrißime, Herosque fortißime) qui nihil antiquius & præciosius habent, quam vt quacunque ratione valent posteritati consulant. Quare neque ego in huius mei libelli editione, vel tantillum vnquam dubitassem, nisi iamdiu expertus essem eos qui in isto genere scribendi ali- [sig. †3v] quid audent omnis generis irrisionibus, (vtinam non etiam iniurijs expositos esse,) quod plerorumque mentibus infixum sit, paucos ex secretioribus physicæ quam Chymiam vocamus studiosis, aliquid præstitisse, quod laudari poßit. Sed vana, ficta, & falsa omnia, astutißimis fraudibus proposuisse, vt à viris bonis pecuniam exugerent[.] Et reuera seculum hoc impostoribus plenum esse, qui nec ipsis Principibus, ne dum alijs parcunt, facile illis concesserim: Sed quod sine discrimine, bonos cum malis damnant, in eo iudicium requiro: cum veram à falsa [sig. †4r] scientia discernere nequeant. Hanc tractare solent sophistæ, qui aureos montes pollicentur istam exercent qui vel metallorum considerationem docent vel medicinarum præparationem tradunt. Horum in numero cum me quoque esse ingenuè fatear. Nullum non lapidem hactenus moui, vt diuina hæc scientia in lucem maximo cum multorum commodo prodiret. Nec tam ad Chrysopœiam vnquam respexi, quam ad humani corporis sanitatem. Etenim puluis siue elixir philosophorum, propter abundantiam suæ temperatæ caliditatis, morbos omnes curat: siue [sig. †4v] pulueris, siue olei forma sumatur. Quamuis olei forma præstet. Per os enim sumpta facilius digeritur & concoquitur, ac in chylum aut sanguinem conuertitur. Super vulnere vel vlcere facilius penetrat & parti succurit, quam si pulueris consistentia applicetur. Intelligendum tamen medicam esse, quæ iungi & incorporari debet medicamentis, ad morbos quibus eam adhibere volumus curandos idoneis. Sanat podagram, febres tollit. Cancrum, lupum, Antiqua, vt vulnera inueterata. Per os sumpta calculos comminuit, ventriculum pur- [sig. †5r] gat. Hepar refrigerat, pleuritidem tollit. Pulmonem restaurat. Iuuentutem conseruat, seniumq́ue remouet. Calorem naturalem auget, quo aucto videtur senex ad iuueniles annos redire. Est itaque verus fons iuuentæ ad conseruandum hominem ad cultum Dei sanum vsque ad tempus vnicuique præscriptum quo debitum naturæ exoluendum est, cui obnoxij sumus. Allucinantur plurimum illi qui arbitrantur hanc artem nos solum inuestigare ditescendi gratia, cuius finis & scopus est, potius ad sanitatem tuendam. Quondam sublimia ingenia philosophorum [sig. †5v] atque generosæ Regiæ mentes occupabantur studiosißime indagatione excellentißimarum secretioris philosophiæ, & Mysteriorum naturalium, quib[us] toti suo populo & belli & pacis tempore fuerunt præsidio. Hæc vere philosophandi Dux, in qua & rerum secreta rimari licet & arcana facile amplecti. Hæc bonis, hæc sapientibus, hæc doctis viris. Hæc Principibus, hæc Regibus atque Imperatoribus digna exercitatio & honesta voluptas, præ cæteris appetenda. Quæ cum ita sint, non veritus sum varia quæ edita sunt opuscula magnis Principibus dedicare, vt anno [sig. †6r] præterito, Serenißimo Electori Palatino Illustrißimoq́ue principi Christiano Anhaldino duo,[b1] Alterum de vera præparatione & vsu medicamentorum Chymicorum. Alterum de Sale Nitro & de viribus auri potabilis inscipsi: qui tractatus serena admodum fronte à tantis Principibus quod resipsa docunt, excepti fuerunt. Quare cum & hosce non minus vtiles tractatus publicos facere decreuissem. Tu imprimis fortißime Principum, qui non solum litas, sed etiam tanquam ambidexter sacra facis, dum optimarum ar- [sig. †6v] tium studia omni conatu promoues occurristi. Interq́ue Chymia postremum locum non obtineat. Hosce libellos, qui præcipua tantæ scientiæ capita explicant. Tuæ Celsitudini ingratos non fore mihi plane persuadeo. Tibi igitur eos (qua par est reuerentia) inscribendos censui: qua inscriptione patrocinium accipient: Et tanti nominis splendore illustrabuntur: Vetus enim illud est, multa ideo præciosa videri, quod sint templis dedicata.

Vale Principum clarißime & ex animi sententia rem gere. Deus Opt[imus] Max[imus] tuam Celsi- [sig. †7r] tudinem cum coniuge quamdiutißime florentem ad nominis sui gloriam seruet.

T[uae] Celsitudinis Obsequentissimus

Bernardus G. Penotus à Portu S. Mariæ Aquitanus Franckentallensis D[ominus] Physicus.



Modern English Raw Translation

Generated by ChatGPT on 24 February 2024. 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.
To the most illustrious and mighty Prince, Lord Ernest Frederick, Margrave of Baden and Hochberg, Landgrave of Sausenberg, Lord of Rötteln and Badenweiler, my most gracious master,

It is a commendable and excellent endeavor (most illustrious Prince and bravest Hero) to prioritize nothing higher and more precious than to consult for posterity by whatever means possible. Therefore, I would never have hesitated even slightly in the publication of this little book of mine, had I not long experienced that those who dare to write in this genre are exposed to all kinds of mockery (and, unfortunately, sometimes even to injustices), because it is deeply ingrained in the minds of many that few among the more secretive students of physics, which we call Alchemy, have achieved anything praiseworthy. Instead, they are thought to propose all things as vain, fabricated, and false, with the most cunning of frauds, to extort money from good men. And indeed, I would readily admit that this age is full of impostors who spare neither princes nor others easily: but where they condemn the good with the bad indiscriminately, I seek judgment: since they cannot discern true knowledge from false. This is usually handled by sophists, who promise golden mountains; those who practice it either teach about the consideration of metals or the preparation of medicines. I openly confess to being among their number. I have left no stone unturned so that this divine science might come to light for the great benefit of many. Nor have I ever looked so much to Chrysopoeia as to the health of the human body. For the powder or elixir of the philosophers, due to the abundance of its balanced heat, cures all diseases, whether taken in the form of powder or oil, although the oil form is superior. When taken orally, it is more easily digested and assimilated, and converted into chyle or blood. It penetrates more easily and aids the part when applied to a wound or ulcer than if applied in the consistency of powder. However, it is to be understood that it is medicinal, which should be combined and incorporated with medicines suitable for the diseases we wish to treat. It heals gout, removes fevers. It cures cancer, lupus, ancient, as in old wounds. Taken orally, it breaks down stones, purifies the stomach. It cools the liver, removes pleurisy. It restores the lung. It preserves youth and removes old age. It increases natural heat, by which increase it seems an old man returns to youthful years. It is therefore the true fountain of youth for keeping a person healthy for the worship of God until the time prescribed for each to pay the debt to nature to which we are liable. Those are greatly mistaken who think that we pursue this art only for the sake of becoming rich, whose end and purpose is rather to maintain health. Once the sublime intellects of philosophers and the noble minds of kings were most studiously occupied with the investigation of the most excellent secrets of philosophy and natural mysteries, which were a protection to their entire people in times of war and peace. This is truly the guide to philosophizing, in which one may explore the secrets of things and easily embrace the arcane. This is for the good, the wise, the learned men. This is for princes, for kings, and for emperors, a worthy exercise and an honorable pleasure, to be sought above all others. Therefore, I have not hesitated to dedicate various published pamphlets to great princes, as last year, to the most serene Elector Palatine and the most illustrious Prince Christian of Anhalt, two works, one on the true preparation and use of chemical medicines, the other on Saltpeter and the virtues of drinkable gold, which treatises were very graciously received by such great princes, as the facts themselves show. Therefore, when I had decided to make these no less useful treatises public, you especially, most valiant of princes, who not only serve Mars but also Minerva, as a kind of ambidextrous Hercules, promoting the study of the finest arts with all your might, came to mind. Among these, Alchemy should not hold the last place. These booklets, which explain the principal parts of such a great science, I am fully convinced will not be unwelcome to Your Highness. Therefore, I have deemed it proper to dedicate them to you (with all due reverence), under whose patronage they will receive protection: And they will be illuminated by the splendor of such a great name: For it is an old saying that many things are considered precious because they are dedicated to temples.

Farewell, most illustrious of princes, and manage affairs with all your heart. May God Almighty keep Your Highness and your spouse flourishing for as long as possible for the glory of His name.

Your Highness's Most Obedient,

Bernard G. Penotus from Port Saint Marie of Aquitaine, Lord Physician of Frankenthal.