A 1 m (LcfN''fC?ev"6r q fïpx. 'I he subject of alchemy as we must regard it today —the obscure beginnings of scientific chemistry, yet at the same time the practice of a sort of meditative introversion with magic hopescannot be explained adequately in a short essay, which could never pretend to unravel its mingling of objectivity and subjective supposition, of profound thought and extravagant il lusion. The quotations collected here will tell the reader a little, especially as they were penned by writers who may almost be counted among the "ini tiates" of the science. The reader who would like to know more can turn to the great works on the history of philology and chemistry or, if he is interested in the psychological aspects, to the relevant writings of the Zurich doctor C. G. Jung, who is also a noted collector of alchemic treatises. The more casual reader will at least gain some idea of the amazing picture-language, half Christian and half heathen, coloured with mytho- From the Buch der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit (Book of the Holy Trinity, Munich manuscript, circ. 1460). According to the text, scenes of suffering of this kind signify the "killing" (calcination) of metals. Details not comprehensible. Aus dem „Buch von der Heiligen Dreifaltigkeit" (Münchener Handschrift, urn 1460). Derartige Leidensszenen sollen nach Angabe des Textes die „Tötung" Calcinationder Metalle bedeuten. Ein- zelheiten unverstandlich. Une page du «Livre de la Sainte Trinité» {Buch von der Heil. Dreifaltigkeit(manuscrit munichois, vers 1460). Selon le texte, les scènes de souffrance de ce genre sont censées représenter la «mise a mort» (calcination) des métaux. Les détails demeurent incompréhensibles. From the same manuscript. Meditation picture for the evil, egoistic form of the art of transmuta tion. In the text: Lucifer-Antichrist and his mother(dragon, prima materia) one flesh and spirit: is fixed and volatile." Aus derselben Handschrift. Meditationsbild flir die böse, egoistische Transmutationskunst. Im Text: „Lucifer-Antichrist und seine Mutter (Drache, prima materiaein Leib und Seele: ist fix und volatile" (fester und flüchtiger Zustand). Dans le mêmc manuscritRepresentation édifiante de la forme nefaste, égoïste, de Part de la trans mutation. Le texte dit: «Lucifer-Antéchrist et sa Mère (Dragon, prima materia) ne formant qu'un seul corps et qu'une seule ame: est fixe et volatile.» "Wt Aim s\ w*«t Vajc fynCtty. n <**\Cir\êcu r**. fZe uVcj |twVr Th* jpeevt *Vv<Vt St SXwtffy j<*** ftytsr, (ft <|t (ttus jöjrm Ct*6' chemical phantasy, hut a philosophy they applied to the world, to the elements and to man himself; and that they sought to fashion gold out of common metals merely as part of a universal transmutation of all things into some divine and imperishable substance WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS in ROSA ALCHEMICA <ie«cfï Uw-. .V» J1e»M p>Ct\\ &s.< jui\ Vvv* cfa* affyefóüivjch •^Wa'Vvv^l* <>ïmt 451

Graphis de | 1951 | | page 79