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//-->Francis Bacon - The Making of GoldThis section on the making of gold is included Century IV of Francis Bacon'sSylva Sylvarum, or a Naturall Historiein ten Centuries...London, 1627, which was part of Bacon's unfinishedInstauratio Magna.This text was transcribed by Marcus Williamson.Experiment Solitary, touching theMaking of Gold.The World hath been much abused by the Opinion ofMaking of Gold:TheWorkeit selfe I judge to be possible; ButtheMeanes(hitherto propounded) to effect it, are, in the Practice, full of Errour and Imposture; And in the Theory,full of unsound Imaginations. For to say, thatNaturehath an Intention to make all MetalsGold;and that, if she weredelivered from Impedients, shee would performe her owne Worke; And that, if the Crudities, Impurities, andLeprosities ofMetalswere cured, they would becomeGold; And that a littleQuantityof themedicine,in the WorkeofProjection,willturne a Sea of thebaser MetallintoGold,byMultiplying:All these are but dreams: And so aremany other Grounds ofAlchymy.And to help the Matter, theAlchymistscall in likewise many Vanities, out ofAstrology, Naturall Magicke;Superstitious Interpretations ofScriptures;AuricularTraditions; Faigned TestimoniesofAncient Authors;And the like. It is true, on the other side, they have brought to light not a few profitableExperiments,and thereby made the World some amends. But we, when we shall come to handle theVersion&TransmutationofBodies;And theExperimentsconcerningMetals,andMineralls;will lay open the true Wayes andPassages ofNature,which may lead to this great Effect. And we commend the wit of theChineses,who despaire ofMaking ofGold,but are Mad upon the Making ofSilver:For certain it is, that it is more difficult to makeGold,(which is the most Ponderous and Materiate amongstMetalls)of otherMetalls,lesse Ponderous, and lesseMateriate; than (viaversa)to makeSilverofLead,orQuick-Silver;both which are more Ponderous thanSilver;Sothat they need rather a further Degree ofFixation,than anyCondensation.In the meane time, by Occasion ofHandling theAxiomestouchingMaturation,we will direct aTrialltouching theMaturingofMetalls,and therebyturning some of them intoGold:For wee conceive indeed, that a perfect goodConcoction,orDisgestionorMaturationof someMetalls,will produceGold.And here wee call to Minde that we knew aDutch-man,that hadwrought himself into the Beleefe of a great Person, by undertaking that he could makeGold:Whose discousse was,thatGoldmight be made; But that theAlchymistsOver-fired the Worke: For (he said) theMakingofGolddidrequire a very temperateHeat,as being inNaturea Subterrany Worke, where littleHeatcometh; But yet more to theMakingofGold,than of any otherMetall;And therefore, that he would doe it with a great Lamp, that should carry aTemperate and Equall Heat: And that it was the Work of many Moneths. The Device of the Lampe was folly; Butthe Over-firing now used; And the Equall Heat to be required; And the Making it a Worke of some good Time; areno ill Discourses.We resort therefore to ourAxiomesofMaturation,in Effect touched before. The First is, that there beused aTemperate Heat;For they are everTemperate HeatsthatDisgest,andMature:Wherein we meaneTemperate,according to theNatureof theSubject; For that may beTemperatetoFruits,andLiquours,which will not Worke atall uponMetalls.The Second is, that theSpirit of the Metall be quickened,and theTangible Parts opened:Forwithout those two Operations, theSpiritof theMetall,wrought upon, will not be able to disgest the parts. The Thirdis that theSpirits doe spread themselves Even,andmove not Subsultorily;For that will make the Parts Close, andPliant. And this requireth a Heat, that doth not rise and fall, but continue asEquallas may be. The Fourth is, thatnoPart of the Spirit be emitted, but detained:For if there beemissionofSpirit,the Body of theMetallwill be Hard,and Churlish. And this will be performed, partly by the Temper of the Fire; And partly by the closenesse of theVessell. The Fifth is, that there beChoice made of the likeliest and best prepared Metall, for the Version:For thatwill facilitate the Worke. The Sixth is, that you giveTime enough for the Worke:Not to prolong Hopes (as theAlchymists doe;) but indeed to giveNaturea convenient Space to worke in. These Principles are most certaine, andtrue; We will now derive a direction ofTriallout of them; Which may (perhaps) by further Meditation, be improved.Let there be aSmall Furnacemade, of aTemperate Heat;Let theHeatbe such, as may keep theMetall perpetuallyMoulten,and no more; For that above all importeth to the Work. For the Materiall, takeSilver,which is theMetallthat in Nature Symbolizeth most withGold;Put in also, with theSilver,a Tenth Part ofQuick-silver,and TwelfthPart ofNitre,by weight; Both these to quicken and open the Body of theMetall:And so let the Worke be continuedby theSpace of Sixe Monthes,at the least. I wish also, that there be, at some times, and Injection of someOyledSubstance; such as they use in Recovering ofGold,which by Vexing with Separations hath beene made Churlish:And this is, to lay the Parts more Close and Smooth, which is the Maine Work. ForGold(as we see) is the Closest(and therefore the Heaviest) ofMetalls:And is likewise the most Flexible and Tensible. Note, that to thinke to makeGoldofQuick-silver,because it is the heaviest, is a Thing not to bee hoped; ForQuick-silverwill not endure theMannage of theFire.Next toSilver,I thinkeCopperwere fittest to bee theMateriall.Goldhath theseNatures: Greatnesse of Weight; Closeness of Parts; Fixation; Pliantnesse,orsoftnesse; Immunitiefrom Rust; ColourorTincture of Yellow.Therefore the Sure Way, (though most about,) to makeGold,is to knowtheCausesof the SeverallNaturesbefore rehearsed, and theAxiomesconcerning the same. For if a man can make aMetall,that hath all theseProperties,Let men dispute, whether it beGold,or no? [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]