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Paracelsus, a celebrated chemist, was born at Einsidlen, in Switzerland, in 1493. His father was the natural son of a master of the Teutonic order, who possessing a good library, was enabled to assist the genius of his son in his early pursuits of learning. His first studies were devoted to physic and surgery; but he was captivated with, and ran in to all the extravagances of alchemy. Making a visit to the mines, in Hungary, he had an opportunity of improving his knowledge in metallic chemsitry. He went grom Germany to Russia, was taken prisoner on the frontiers by the Tartars, and carried before the Cham, who valued his learning and honoured him by choosing him to accompany his son, the Prince, in an embassy to Constantinople, where, as he pretends, he was admitted to the secret of the philosopher's stone. His practice was obsucured by a kind of empyrical mystery; but his celebretiy was increased by a daring use of the two powerful remedies mercury and opium; No wonder therefore that he was considered as an oracle in the venereal disease. The circumstance of his recovering the famous printer Frobenius of Basil, from a latent disorder, greatly encreased his reputation, for he read professional lectures in that city. Notwithstanding Paracelsus vaunted of having discovered the philosopher's stone, he was compelled to sue the canon of Lichtenfels, for the amount of his bill; and although he affirmed that a man might live to the age of Methusalem by the use of his elixir, he died at the age of 48. He gloried in overturning the system of Galen, though his own contained more absurdities than those of all the writers before him.
Watkins, John: An Universal Biographical and Historical Dictionary, London: R. Phillips, 1800, n.p. [2M3v].
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