Stibium Or Antimony
Stibium or Antimony, as the Philosophers say, is composed of a Noble
Mineral Sulphur, which they accounted to be the black secret Lead of the
The Arabians call it Asmat or Azmat; the Alchymists retain the
Addition. The Moors call it Antimony, others call it Alabaster,
or Tarbason. By the Arabians and Spaniards it is called Alcohol.
Avicennae c. 7. calls it A
temed. Alexius of Piedmont, in his
seventh Book of Secrets, calls it Talck, even as John Jacob Wecker
renders it in his Books of Secrets; but Talck is far different from
Antimony. Pliny, Book 33. Chap. 6. of Antimony. Dioscorides
gives a preparation of Antimony, Book 5. Chap. 39. They call it also
Stibi, Stimmi, &c. The Germans call it Spies glass, or as
George Fabricius would rather have it, Spies glantz. Gerlandius
calls it Black Alcophil, Altofel, or Alirnu, others Cosmet, and
it is twofold, Masculine and Feminine.
It will lead us to the consideration of higher Mysteries, if we behold
and discern that Nature wherein Gold is exalted, even as the Magi have
found that this Mineral is by God ordained under the Constellation of
Aries, which is the first Celestial Sign, wherein the Sun takes its
Exaltation, though this be not regarded by the Vulgar; yet discreet
people will know, and the better observe, that even in this place also
the Mysteries and Perpetuity may in part be considered with great
benefit, and in part discovered.
But some ignorant and indiscreet people think, that when they had
Antimony, they would deal well enough with it by Calcination, others
by Sublimation, and some by Reverberation, thereby to obtain its great
Mystery and perfect Medicine. But I tell you, that here in this place
it availes not in the least, either Calcination, Sublimation, or
Reverberation, whereby afterwards a perfect extraction can or might be
done or effected with profit, to transmute the meaner into a better
Metallick virtue; for it is impossible for you.
Be not deluded; some of the Philosophers which have wrote of such
things, as Geber, Albertus Magnus, Rasis, Rupecissa,
Aristotle, and many others: But observe this: Some say, that if
Antimony be made to a Vitrum or Glass, the bad volatile Sulphur is
gone, and the Oil which may be prepared out of that Glass, will be a
very fixt Oil, and will really give an ingress and Medicine of
perfection to the imperfect Metals.
These words and opinion are good and true, but it will not be nor
appear such indeed; for I tell you truly, without concealed speeches,
that if you lose any of the aforesaid Sulphur in the Preparation or
Burning, for a small fire may easily prejudice it, you then have lost
the true penetrating Spirit, which should make the whole Body of
Antimony to a perfect red Oyl, which should also ascend over the helm
with a delightful sent, and curious Colours; observe likewise, that the
whole Body of this Mineral, with all its Members, should be but one Oyl,
and ascend over the helm without any loss of weight, excepting the
How should the Body be brought to an Oil, or yield its pleasant Oil, if
it be brought to the last being of its degree, for Glass is in all
things the utmost and last.
You shall likewise know that you shall not obtain that perfect noble Oil
in the least, if it be extracted with corrected Vinegar poured upon the
Antimony, nor yet by Reverberation; and although its various colours
may appear, yet is it not the right way; you may indeed get an Oil, but
you must know that it hath no part of the Tincture, or power of
transmutation in it.