especially since I shall hereafter make it evident, that the Substances which Chymists are wont to call the Salts, and Sulphurs, and Mercuries of Bodies, are not so pure and Elementary as they presume, and as their Hypothesis requires. And this may therefore be the more freely press'd upon the Chymists, because neither the Paracelsians, nor the Helmontians can reject it without apparent Injury to their respective Masters. For Helmont do's more than once Inform his Readers, that both Paracelsus and Himself were Possessors of the famous Liquor, Alkahest, which for its great power in resolving Bodies irresoluble by Vulgar Fires, he somewhere seems to call Ignis Gehennæ. To this Liquor he ascribes, (and that in great part upon his own Experience) such wonders, that if we suppose them all true, I am so much the more a Friend to Knowledge than to Wealth, that I should think the Alkahest a nobler and more desireable Secret than the Philosophers Stone it self. Of this Universal Dissolvent he relates, That having digested with it for a competent time a piece of Oaken Charcoal, it was thereby reduc'd into a couple of new and distinct Liquors, discriminated from each other by their Colour and Situation, and that the whole body of the Coal was reduc'd into those Liquors, both of them separable from his Immortal Menstruum, which remain'd as fit for such Operations as before.
Ladies and gentlemen!
Thank you very much for the opportunity to get acquainted with the book "The Sceptical Chymist" by Robert Boyle.
2013 SFR GALAXY AWARD WINNER
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