Posted by : RioZee Friday, April 6, 2012
Nearing 14th century, Many people, agreeing about the reality of transmutation, and giving tangible proofs of their own skill, were able to achieve success and the art became very highly sought after, and its professors were invited from all quarters, and held in high honor by the world. Lesser geniuses caught the scattered doctrines and set to work, some with sufficient understanding and with various success.
Raymond Lully is supposed to have become acquainted with Arnold, and the Universal Science, in his later life, but when the fame of his Christian zeal and talents had already become known and acknowledged abroad, his declarations in favor of alchemy had the greater weight.
Raymond had traveled over Europe, and a great part of Africa and Asia, and with his former fame was at length mingled the discovery of alchemy and the philosophers’ stone.
John Cremer, Abbot of Westminster, had worked for 30 years, it is said, earnestly, with the hope of obtaining the secret.
The enigmas of the old adepts had sadly perplexed and led him astray,
but he had discovered enough to convince him of the reality, and to encourage him to proceed with the investigation, when, Lully’s fame having reached him, he determined to seek that philosopher, then resident in Italy. He was fortunate in meeting with him and gaining his confidence.
Cremer invited and took Raymond Lully to England, where he was presented to the king, then Edward II, who had also before invited him from Vienna, being much interested in the talents .
Lully, still as ever zealous for the promulgation of the Christian religion, promised to produce Gold for the king, if the King agreed to promote Christianity. King Edward did not hesitate, but complied with every condition, provided only Lully would make gold. The artist set to work, in a chamber set apart for him in the Tower, and produced 50,000 pounds weight of pure gold. His own words relative to the extraordinary fact in his testament, are these; --- "Converti una vice in aurum 50 millia pondo argenti vivi, plumbi, et stannic. I converted", says he, "at one time 50,000 pounds weight of quicksilver, lead and tin, into gold" (55).
The king no sooner received this, than breaking faith with Lully, in order to obtain more, the artist was made a prisoner in his own laboratory, and without regard at all for the stipulation, before engaged in, ordered to commence on his productive labors .
This base conduct on the part of the king was much lamented by Cremer, who expresses indignation thereat openly in his Testament (56); and the whole story has been repeatedly recorded in the detailed chronicles of those times. But to be short, our hero fortunately escaped from his imprisonment, and a coinage of the gold was struck in pieces weighing about 10 ducats each, called Nobles of the Rose. Those who have examined these coins pronounce them to be of the finest metal, and the inscription round the margin distinguishes them from all others in the Museums, and denotes their miraculous origin.
They are described in Camden’s Antiquities, and for the truth of the whole story, we have, besides Cremer’s evidence and the declarations of Lully,
A great deal of curious allusion to be found in the books of Olaus Borrichius, R. Constantius, l’Englet Dufresnoy, and Dickenson. The last relates that some time after the escape of Lully, there was found in the cell he occupied at Westminster with Cremer, whilst it was undergoing some repairs, a certain quantity of the powder of transmutation, by means of which the workmen and architects became enriched (57).
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Lully’s writings on Alchemy are, as the rest, obscure; and have only been understood with great pains and application even by those who have been so fortunate as to possess the key of his cabalistic mind. Whether his equivocal and contradictory language was so contrived to baffle the sordid chemists, or whether, as before said, he learned the art late in life, and was convinced at last only by Arnold exhibiting the transmutation in his presence, it would require scrupulous examination to judge at this day, certain it is there are passages in his writings which leave room for controversy, though none, we think, virtually denying the art, whilst his essays in favor of it are acknowledged excellent and numerous; as many as 200 are given in the catalogue of Dufresnoy treating exclusively on this subject.