The Hermetical Triumph:
The Victorious Philosophical Stone

A Treatise more compleat and more intelligible than any has been yet, concerning The Hermetical Magistery. Translated from the French... London 1723.

To the Reader

Seeing not only the bad Success most Searchers of the Hermetick Art meet with, but that likewise great Numbers of them are fallen into the greatest Absurdities, as well in respect to their Operations, as to the Matter they work upon, and often wishing to see some Remedy applied, to recover those unhappy People from their Errors, it led me into a serious Consideration of the Cause thereof; and I found that it was impossible, those deluded Searchers could dwindle away into the absurderst Operations, if they did not want a sufficient Theory of this Art.

Then meditating further, and finding that the said Theory (which is the main Pillar and Foundation to go upon) is not to be acquired but by the constant Perusal of good Books; I at last begun to consider of those Authors, which are Extant in the English Tongue, and found that there really too few of them, and that it was chiefly to be attributed to this Want, that People labour so much in vain, and so contrary to Nature.

'This true, some, who only look upon the Number of Books, will think there are Authors enough, nay, too many Extant that have written of the Hermetick Art in the English Tongue; but others who have acquired some Knowledge in their Divine Science, and who know to distinguish good Authors from Sophisters, will easily allow, that there is a real Want of them; for there are but few who wrote in the English Tongue, that may be deemed as Maters, or at least by whom a seeker of this mysterious Art may be instructed; so that, as to those sophistical Authors who have encreased the Number of such Books, and treated of an Art which they did not know, nor understood so much as any Part thereof, the more numerous they are the more pernicious they prove to a Beginner who happens to read them; for it is certain, that they may easily put him out of a right Path, but can never lead him into a true Way.

As for those that have been translated out of other Tongues, they are but of little Use, when they have been translated, rather to serve some private View, than to be instructive to those who Study this Science; especially when they have been translated by Persons, who had no Knowledge of the Terms and Operations in Chymistry; and I do not Question, but it will be affirmed by all those, who (understanding the German Tongue) have read Basil Valentine in his own Native Language, that the Translation of that Volume which contains his Will and Testament, etc., differs widely from the Original; nay, I believe I might easily convince the Lovers of this Art, that the same is bad Translation of a bad Edition.

Concerning others, I will say nothing against them, it not being my Intention, to search for the Faults of other Translators. But finding from the aforesaid Considerations, that to get some good Authors translated, would be the most likely Means to furnish the Lovers and Studiers of this Science with a sufficient Theory, and to make them do desist from their unnatural Operations: I resolved to undertake the Work, and fixed upon the following Treatises to be the first, that should appear in an English Dress.

The first of these Treatises was written by a German Philosopher, under the Title of, THE ANCIENT WAR OF THE KNIGHTS, and was not only first received, as coming from a good Author, and true Master, but all those who had got any Knowledge in this Science: But the said Treatise did likewise afterwards receive a Commentary, which another learned Philosopher has made thereupon in French; who also after his instructive learned Commentary has added six Keys, which for their Plainness and ingenious Expressions give way to none, and are of the greatest Use imaginable to s Studier of this Art.

Thus the whole being an excellent Work, there is no doubt but those who apply themselves to get Knowledge by reading good Authors, will find infinite Benefit from the perusal of its; and the said Treatise called, THE ANCIENT WAR OF THE KNIGHTS, being wrote in the German Tongue, I have been at the Pains and Expences to get an Original thereof, that so the Lovers of this Science might likewise have a Translation of the same, and thus be able to draw Water from the Spirit itself; and also, that by comparing it with the first, they might see and rectify such Passages as have suffered by a second Translation.

No Body will, I hope object, that the Style of this Work is not according to the present Politeness, if he is so kind as to consider that it is not intended for a Grammar, but to instruct People in the Hermetick Science, which is for the most Part described in such difficult Terms, that the unhappy Turn of one Word, may alter a whole Sentence, to the infinite Prejudice of a Tyro; and that it is therefore better to keep the Author's Meaning in a less agreeable Style, than to deviate from it, by using politer Expressions.

'Tis likewise for the same Reason, that where the German has a Word or Sentence which might bear a double Meaning or Signification, both of them have been given, as for Instance: Where the War of the Knights, at the End of this Book, translated from the German original, says by Num. 19. pag. 10. And if you two should mix your selves together, and were kept in the Fire - The original says indeed in the Fire, but because the Germans speaking of Chymical Operations, and mentioning Fire, often mean Digestion, which is performed byFire; therefore has been added [or in Digestion,] that so the Reader might have both Meanings, and choose of the two which he should judge most proper.

I could easily have added my Opinion upon several Passages in this Work, as for Instance, pag. 41. where mention is made of the Stars of Venus and Diana, which two Signs or Characters put together, produce that which signifies Mercury; for if the Character of horned Diana {crescent sign with edges turned upwardsis placed upon that of Venus it yields a Character in this Form {Mercury signBut I omit it, lest I should be thought presumptuous in endeavouring to explain, what I own I am not Master of.

Should this my well-intended Labour meet with Approbation: I'll continue it with Pleasure; and in Case the present Work should any way be wanting in Exactitude, I'll use all Endeavours to make amends in the next.

The Preface

Of the Author of the Commentary,
Translated from French.


One is sufficiently persuaded, that there are already too many Books which treat of the Hermetick Philosophy; and that unless one would write of this Science plain, without Equivocation, and without Allegory, (which none of the sages will ever do,) it would be better to remain silent, than to fill the World with new Works, which rather serve to clog the spirit [or Minds] of those who apply themselves to penetrate into the Philosophick Mysteries, than to put them in the true Way, which leads to the desired End, to which they aspire. 'Tis for this Reason that it has been thought, that to interpret a good Author, who treats of this sublime Philosophy with Solidity, would be more useful to the Children of Science, than some new Philosophical Production, adorned with some of the most ingenious Expressions, which the Adepts know to {?} when they treat of this great Art, or rather, when they write only to make known, to those that seek it, that they have had the good Fortune to arrive to the Possession thereof. Indeed most part of the Philosophers which have wrote thereof, have done it rather to speak of the good Success wherewith God had blessed their Work, than to give the necessary Instruction to those who give themselves to the study of this sacred science. This is so true, that most of them don't so much as make any Difficulty of owning sincerely, that that has been their chief View, when they compared their Books to that Matter.

The little Treatise which bears the Title, The ANCIENT WAR OF THE KNIGHTS, has without any Contradiction deserved the Approbation of all the Sages [or Wise Men] and of those, who have any Knowledge of the Hermetic Philosophy. It is written by way of Dialogue, in a very plain and measured Style, which bears every Way the marks of Truth; Yet notwithstanding its Plainness, it is not wanting of Profundity, and to be solid in its Reasoning, as also convincing in its Proofs, in such a manner, as also convincing in its Proofs; in such a manner, that there is not one Word, but what carries its Sentence, and on which there might not be made a long Commentary.

This Works was composed in the German Tongue by a true philosopher, whose Name is unknown. It appeared in Print at Leipzig, in the Year of our Lord 1604. Faber of Montpellier translated it into Latin: And it was from this Latin [Edition] that the French Translation was taken, which was Printed at Paris by d'Houry, and put at the End of [the Book called] the French Turba, of the Word left behind [verbum dismissum] and of Drebelius,which together make up one Volume. But whether Faber did not well understand the German Tongue, or else did on Purpose falsify the Original: So it is, that there are in these two Translations corrupted Passages, which are so manifestly false, that they have occasioned, that many have condemned this little Work, although it seemed otherwise to be very much informed.

As Truth and Falsehood cannot dwell together in one Subject, and because it was easy to judge that Translations were not done faithfully, a Philosopher of extraordinary Knowledge and Merit, did, for to satisfy his Curiosity in this Point, give himself the Trouble, of seeking upwards of ten Tears for to find the German original of this little Treatise, and having at last found it, caus'd it to be exactly translated into Latin. This new Translation is taken from that Copy, and done with all possible Fidelity. The Goodness of the Original may be seen here, by the truth which evidently appears in divers Places which have been restored [to its former Sense,] which were not only alter'd but quite changed. One may judge of this by the Passage marked thirty four, where the first Translation says, like the Latin of Faber, Mercurium nostrum nemo assequi potest; nisi ex mollibus octo corporibus neque ullum absque altero parari potest. No body can attain to our Mercury, otherways than out of the eight soft Bodies, nor can the one be prepared without the other. This Treatise needed no other Thing, to be despised by those that have a sufficient knowledge of the beginning of the [Philosophick] Work, in order to distinguish what is true, from that which is false: The learned , however, did easily judge, that such a capital Fault as that could not come from a true Philosopher, who otherways gives sufficiently to know that he has perfectly understood the Magistery: But there was wanting a zealous learned Man, for to discover the Truth, an one that was as capable as the aforesaid, to make so great a search for to find the Original of this Work; without which it was impossible to re-establish true Sense thereof.

The place just now mentioned, was not the only one, that wanted to be amended. If one takes the Pains to compare this new Translation with the former, there will appear a very great Difference, and many material Corrections. The passage thirty-five is not one of the least, and as this Translation has been from the new [or last] Latin copy, without ever looking upon that which was already printed in French, it has been a pleasure to remark in course, all what was not conform to the same.

The Words in and entire Phrases, that have been added in some places in the present, to make it join more natural, or render the Sense more perfect, are placed betwixt two Crotches ( ), in order to distinguish what is, and what is not in the Text, to which the Author of this Translation has kept himself extremely close: By Reason, that the least Addition, to a Matter of the Nature, may make a considerable Alteration [or Change] and Occasion great errors.

The Beauty an the Solidity of this Treatise, did very well deserve the Print which have been taken to make Commentary thereupon, to make it more intelligible to the Children of the Art; [or Science;] because it is a Treatise that may stand them instead of all others. And, as the Method of a Dialogue it the most proper for to explain, and for to make palpable the sublimest Truths, it has been made Use of here, and that with the more Reason, in that the Author, upon which the Commentary has been made, has written in the same manner. The Dialogue of Eudoxe and Pyrophile, which explains the Dialogue of the Stone, with Gold, and with Mercury, unfolds the chiefest Difficulties by its Question, and by the Answers which are made thereto about the most material [or essential] Points of the Hermetick Philosophy.

The Cyphers which are on the Margin of these two Dialogues, are to remark the places which are alike in the first Dialogue, and the second in which they are explained. There is to be seen in this work an entire Conformity of Sentiments with the first Masters of this Philosophy, as well as with the most learned that have written in the latter Ages, so that there may hardly be found a Treatise upon this Matter, (how great soever the Number thereof may be,) which is clearer, and more sincere than the present, and which in Course could be more useful to such as apply themselves to Study this Science, and who otherway have all the Qualifications both of the Mind, and of the Body, which our Philosophy requires of those who desire to make some Progress therein.

The Commentary, will doubtless, be allowed to be so much better in that it is not diffusedly, as almost all Commentaries are: That it does not touch upon any other Places than those which may be needed to be explained: and that it does in no way deviate from the Subject; but as these sort of Writings are not fit for those who have not yet gotten a Spark of the secret Philosophy, the clearest sighted will easily find, that it has been thought better to skip several Things, which perhaps might deserved an Interpretation, than to explain generally all what might yet cause some Difficulty to the young Beginner in the great Art.

As the first of these Dialogues tells the Victory of the Stone and the other explains the Reason,a nd shows the Foundation of its Triumph: It seemed that this Book could not appear under a more proper Title, than that of the Hermetical Triumph: Or, The Victorious Philosophical Stone. Nothing remains to be said, except that the Author of the Translation (who is likwise the same of the Commentary, and of the Letter which is at the End of this Book) has had no other Interest of View in this, but to manifest the Truth to those who aspire to the Knowledge of it, from such Motives as are proper to the true Children of the Science: He also declares, and protects sincerely, that he desires with all his Heart, that those who are so unfortunate as to lose their time in working with foreign or distant Matters, may find themselves enlightned by reading this Book, in order to know the true and only Matter of the Philosophers; and that those who know the same already, but are ignorant of the great Point, viz. the Solution of the Stone, and the Coagulation of the Water, and of the Spirit of the Body, which is the Term [or End] of the Universal Medicine, may here learn those secret Operations, which are distinctly enough described for them.

The Author has not thought proper to write in Latin, because he could not believe, like many others, that to treat of these high Mysteries in a vulgar Tongue, is to reveal them: He has followed the Example of several Philosophers, who were resolved, that their Work [or Treatise] should bear the [said] Character of their Country. His first Design has likewise been to be useful to his Countrymen, not doubting, but that if this Treatise should appear to the Disciples of Hermes to have any deserts, there would be found such as will translate it into such a Language as they please.

General Explication
of the Embleme

Translated from the French. It ought not to be expected to find here a particular Explication, such as should undraw the Curtains which are spread over the philosophick Enigma, for to show the Truth quite naked; for if that were [done], there would remain nothing more to be done but to burn all the Writings of the Philosophers: The Wise would not have any more Advantage over the Ignorant; the one an the other would be equally skilled in this wonderful Art.

It ought therefore to be thought sufficient to see in this Figure, as in Looking-Glass, the Abridgement of the whole secret Philosophy, which is contained in this little Book, in which all the Parts of this Emblem are explained as clear as it is permitted to be done.

Those that are initiated in the Philosophick Mysteries, will easily and presently comprehend the Sense which is hid under this Figure. But these who have not these Lights, must here consider in general a mutual Correspondence betwixt the Heavens and the Earth, by Means of the Sun an Moon, who are like the secret Ties of this Philosophical Union.

They will see in the Practice of the Work, who parabolical Rivulets, who confounding [or mixing] themselves secretly together, give Birth to the mysterious Triangular Stone, which is the Foundation of the Art.

They will see a secret and natural Fire, of which the Spirit penetrating the Stone, sublimes it in Vapours, who condense themselves in the Vessel.

They will see what Efficacy the sublimed Stone receives of the Sun and Moon, who are its Father and Mother, of whom it inherits presently its first Crown of Perfection.

They will see in the Continuation of the Practice [or in the Progress of the Work,] that the Art gives to this Divine Liquor a double Crown of Perfection, by the Conversion of Elements, and by the Extraction and the Depuration of the Principles, by which it becomes to be that mysterious Rod of Mercury, which operates such surprising Metamorphosings.

They will see that this same Mercury, as a Phoenix, who takes a new Birth in the Fire, arrives by the Magistery to the last Perfection of the fixed Sulphur of the Philosophers, which gives it a foreign Power over the three Genders of Nature; of which the three-fold Crown (upon which is set for this Purpose the Hieroglyphic Figure of the World) is the most material Character.

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