Today is one of my favourite alchemical anniversaries. John Frederick Helvetius takes up the story. The action takes place in The Hague, in late 1666:
"A little after this, he also asked me, whether I had not another Room, the Windows of which were not to the Street-side; I presently brought this Phaenix, or Bird most rare to be seen in this Land, into my best furnished Chamber; yet he, at his Entrance (as in the manner of Hollanders is, in their Countryes) did not shake off his Shoes, which were dropping wet with Snow. I indeed, at that very time, thus thought: perhaps he will provide, or hath in readiness some Treasure for me; but he dashed my hope all to pieces. For he immediately asked of me a piece of the best Gold-mony; and in the mean while layed off his Cloak, and Country Coat; also he opened his Bosom, and under his Shirt he wore in green Silk, five great Golden Pendants, round, filling up the magnitude of the Interior Space or an Orb of Tin. Where, in comparing these, in respect of Colour and Flexibility, the difference between his Gold, and mine, was exceedingly great. On these Pendants he had inscribed with an Iron Instrument, the following Words, which, at my request, he gave leave that I should coppy out.
The form of the Pendants, and words engraven thereon, are as follows.
I. Amen. Holy , Holy, Holy, is the Lord our God, for all things are full of his Power. Leo: Libra.
II. The wonderfull wonder-working wisdom of Jehovah in the Catholick Book of Nature. Made the 26 day Aug. 1666.
III. [Sun. Mercury. Moon] The wonderfull God, Nature, and the Spagyrick Art, make nothing in vain.
IV. Sacred, Holy, Spirit, Hallelujha, Hallelujha. Away Devil, Speak not of God without Light, Amen.
V. The Eternal, Invisible, only wise, Best of all, and omnipotent God of Gods; Holy, Holy, Holy, Governour and Conserver deservedly ought to be praysed.
Moreover, when I, affected with admiration, said to him; My Master, I pray tell me, where had you this greatest Science of the whole World?"