I BELIEVE providence contemplates the blind mole squirming through abysmal darkness and declares its vision adequate. Why? Because to look further would encumber this poor thing with unremitting discontent by exposing the tenebrous walls and limits of its existence. So do we observe timorous men who, perceiving that they have burrowed up toward daylight, hastily dig themselves downward into comfortable obscurity. Still others like foolish birds standing on withered bough chatter with amazement at the dawn. Others lift both hands to praise the incipient day as night slips west. Providence apportions to each...to each man, beast, insect and mineral...the animus of its being.
NOW, if earth be a cryptogram burning with significance...the House of Man in which ubiquitous houseflies predicate brief lives...let us equate the Holy Spirit to a glow-worm. Does not the humblest caterpillar symbolize transfiguration? Therefore let us say quick-silver represents man's conscience whose existence must be verified, having lapsed into desuetude. We see mercuric particles cling to the rim of dusty crucible, hence we are entitled to say of our conscience that it endures, that it refuses to forget.
MINERALS sink, feathers float, serpents upon their course change direction. We do not know why. Quick-silver escapes from alluvial gold...aureate sperm of cinnabar. Why is this? Meanwhile fumbling neophytes submit to misjudgment by Macar, by Galen, by Dioscorides. Even so, they anticipate success! But I say alcymic magistery cannot be conferred by diploma nor through philosophic reflection, nor by those souffleurs that burn charcoal, since being duped on their own ignorance they make dupes of others. I avow that as God spoke radiance was formed, departing from its limb. Then God spoke further, confused elements became separated and what was chaos understood its balance.
RAIN falls to the earth not all at once but drop after drop because if it is poured down too abundantly it would destroy everything, just as if a gardener should inundate his plants. From this it is evident how nature distributes her benefits. Therefore the soil of any province tends toward infertility through exhaustion and lies unconscious for long intervals. Similarly, those remote mines which provide silver and gold often exhaust their energy and insist upon millennia of rest before they consent to additional labor. Now this is because minerals germinate and grow like wheat from their elementary matrix, hence it must be useless to contemplate or cry aloud for valuables that do not exist.
WHEN at the end of time all things throw aside their cover every chymist and physician must stand up to be recognized so that we learn which kept to the foundations of science, which did not. Then all that were conceived and flourished emptily and stood notorious behind clap-trap recitals greasily prevaricating...I say their gullets will enlarge at the hour of their disgrace! What do they teach about Pliny's herbs? Have they learned the three parts of wisdom? And how was it that those promising vast wealth to others are themselves importunate beggars? Cacochymists whose tongues ride before their wits like a gentleman's usher! Alleging familiarity with Avicenna of Bokhara, with Velascus and with De Vigo...how do they call themselves learned? Times return, rhetoric yields its measure highest to lowest, logic makes a circuit. Hah! We will count how many rich and redoubtable physicians tucked flagrant ignorance beneath chit-chat to the detriment of reliable doctors. I say those that truthfully prescribed will be distinguished from muck-hill daubers and guild-hall apprentices. Each deserves his merit, so each shall acquire the palm. Proscription to such swaggering glistering rogues that exult with the title of Alchymist but oppugn the Art, boasting how they know anatomy that cannot identify tartar stuck to their own teeth. Liars! Fugitives! Horse-leech fops! Executioners! Purse-milkers! Yet as the tare is plucked out of ripening wheat so must the melody of pretence reverberate until Whitsunday. The murderer does not escape the crushing wheel, the thief a gallows-loop, the fish its appointed net, the fox his destined hunter.