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Maier, Michael: "AtalantaFugiens: The Fleeing Atalanta or New Chymical Emblems of the Secrets of Nature"

Maier, Michael: "AtalantaFugiens: The Fleeing Atalanta or New Chymical Emblems of the Secrets of Nature"

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Published by: Jacobus Swart on Mar 26, 2009
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All perſons that have once heard of the name or power of the Stone, unleſs they
are altogether incredulous, aſk preſently where it may be found, that ſo they may
run directly to it. The Philoſphers anſwer is twofold: Firſt Adam brought it with
him out of Paradiſe, that is, in you and in me, and in every man that, birds flying,
bring it with them out of far countries. Secondly, it may be found in the Earth,
Mountain, Air and Rivers. Which path therefore muſt be taken? I ſay, both, but in
a different reſpect, although the laſt pleaſes us beſt, and ſeems moſt ſafe.
It is ſaid to be thrown upon the Earth, becauſe the Element of Earth does firſt
appear in an obſcure and black body. Then, becauſe it is vile and of ſmall price, is
trod upon in the path of the Traveller, and in the very dung itſelf. Hence Roſarius
ſays, “Although I ſhould name it by its Name, the fools would not believe it to be
the Thing.” And Morienus, in his anſwer to Calis,
“Whither is much of it to be found?” “If this: It is not there unleſs, as the wiſe man
ſays, it be both to the Poor and Rich, to the Liberal and the Covetous, to him that
goeth as well as ſitteth. For this is thrown in the way and is trampled on in it's
dunghills, that they might extract it to themſelves, but they have been deceived.”
Mundus likewiſe in the Turba ſays, “If they who ſell it but did know it, they would
not ſell it ſo cheaply.” And Arnoldus affirms that the Stone may be had gratis, in
as great plenty as any man can deſire, neither will he be forced to aſk for it. All
which things are true; for who but a Churl will deny Earth and Water to him that
aſks for it? The ancient Cimbri, as hiſtory tells us, when they were denied the
benefit of theſe two things by the Romans, entered Italy with large Armies, and
ſlew ſeveral thouſands of the Romans, together with the Conſuls. For the Earth as
the Mother of all things, is moſt precious as it is. The laſt Matter of things
putrefied, is moſt vile; for nothing can be viler than mud or dirt, which yet is
nothing elſe but Earth mixed with Water. What is more common than a Clod of
Earth?
But Euripylus, the ſon of Neptune, offered it to the Argonautical Heroes as a
Preſent, and they not refuſing it, but accepting it gratefully, and Medea having
diſſolved it in water, divined many good things by it; for it is neceſſary that Earth
be diſſolved in water, otherwiſe neither one nor the other will be of any value.
After this manner, the Stone is ſaid to be caſt upon the Earth, in which
notwithſtanding, it does not remain as a thing abject, but is exalted into the
Mountains, ſuch as Athos, Veſuvius, Aetna and others, that ſend forth Flames,
many whereof are to be ſeen in diverſe parts of the World; for in theſe burns a

108

perpetual Fire, which ſublimes the Stone and exalts it to the higheſt dignity. As it
grows in mountains in a rude form, from Sulphur and Argent Vive, ſo it is
perfected and brought to maturity upon the tops of mountains, where alſo grows
that Herb without which the Fire cannot be tempered, becauſe this, being cold and
moiſt, and ſo thrown into the Fire, repels the vehemence of it by its contrary
nature. From the mountains it paſſes into the Air, where it finds a habitation. For
the Air is its houſe that encloſes it, which is nothing elſe then that it is carried in
the belly of the wind, and is born in the Air, which ways of ſpeaking we have
explained before.
At laſt he is fed in Rivers, that is: Mercury is fed in waters; and then, as the
Athenians celebrated certain Feaſts in his honour, which they called Hydrophoria.
For the matter of the Philoſophical Stone is water, as the Roſary ſaith, and is
underſtood by the waters of thoſe three; for which reaſon Mercury is ſaid to have
three heads, as being Marine, Celeſtial, and Terreſtrial , becauſe he is preſent in the
Water, Earth and Air.
He is ſaid to be educated by Vulcan, and given to thievery becauſe Mercury is
taught to be accuſtomed to Fire, which is volatile and carry away whatever is
mixed with it. He gave Laws and Diſcipline to the Egyptians, and anciently
inſtituted the religion of the Theban prieſts, and the great part of the world
beſides. For the Egyptians had this policy and ſacred rites from Chemical
Inſtitutions, from them the Grecians received them, and laſtly the Romans, as we
have in other places abundantly demonſtrated.
He ſlew Argus with a piece of a rock or Stone, and turned Battus into a Touchſtone
. What need of many words? All the volumes of the Chemiſts are nothing elſe but
repetitions concerning Mercury, and they ſufficiently confirm his power by this
one verſe: IN MERCURIO EST QUICQUID QUAERUNT SAPIENTES: What wiſemen ſeek in
Mercury is found.
Here therefore he muſt be ſought, for ill he may be found, whether he remain in
the Air, the Fire, the Water, or the Earth. For he is wandering, now running hither,
now thither, to perform the Services of the Chemick Gods:
He is their Footman, which is declared to be his proper Office, hence ſome men
aſcribe to him a Daughter called Anglia.

109

EMBLEMA XXXVII.

Tria ſufficiunt ad magiſterium, fumus albus, hoc eſt, aqua, leo viridis,
id eſt, æs Hermetis, & aqua fœtida.

[Three things are ſufficient for the Magiſtery: The White Fume that is Water;
The Green Lion that is the Braſs of Hermes; and Aqua Faetida.]

EPIGRAMMA XXXVIII.

Terna magiſterii ſunt ſemina, fœtida Lympha,
Et niueus uapor, ac pelle LEO uiridi:
Vnda parens peperit, reſtant quæ elementa, Sophisque,
Vt lapidem faciant, ultima primaque ea eſt.
Æs Hermetis at eſt uiridis LEO, petraque nota
Librorum capitlis, Fumus & albus aqua.

110

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