¶Of Quicke siluer. chap. 8.
QUicke siluer is a watrye substaunce medled strongly with subtill earthy things, and maye not be dissolued, & that is for great drines of earth, that melteth not on a plaine thing, & therfore it clea∣ueth not to the thing yt it toucheth, as doth ye thing yt is watry. The substance therof is white, & that is for clée•nes of cléere water; & for whitnes of subtil earth yt is well digested. Also it hath whitenes of medling of aire with ye foresaid things. Page 255 Also quicke siluer hath the propertie, that it cruddeth not by it selfe kindly; with∣out brimstone: but with brimstone and with substaunce of lead, it is congealed, and fastened togethers. And therefore it is sayd there; that quicke siluer and brim∣stone is the element, that is to wit, mat∣ter, of which all melting mettall is made. All this sayd openly, lib. Me∣theororum. And also Richardus Rufus, expoundeth it openlye, in this manner: Quicke siluer is matter of all mettall, & therefore in respect of them it is a simple element. Of the vertue and kinde there∣of, diuers men speake diuerslye: But what the meaning of the Phisitions is thereof, it maye be knowen by these words. Quicke siluer (as Plato sayeth) is hot and moyst in the fourth Degrée, though some men déeme that it is colde in the same degrée. That it is hot, it is knowen by effect of working: for it dis∣solueth, pearceth and carueth, but for it séemeth full colde in touch, some men déeme it amisse, and meane that it is colde. But some men meane, that Quicke siluer is made by great heate of a veyne of the earth: but it is know∣en that that is false, for by heate of fire, it is soone wasted away in smoke: but of earth it is gendred, and is kept as it were fléeting water, & is full long kept in a cold vessell & sound, & cleaueth so toge∣ther, & so strong yt it may to nothing be meddeled, but it be first quenched, and it is quenched with spettle when it is fro∣ted therewith: and namely when pow∣der is medled with spettle, and specially when powder of bones of an Henne is meddeled therewith: and quicke siluer passeth out by euaporation is séething & in smoking. The smoke thereof is most grieuous to men that be thereby, for it bréedeth the Walste and quaking, sha∣king and softening of the sinewes. If it be taken in at the mouth or into ye care, it thirleth and slayeth the members. A∣gainst that perill, Goates milke is best, dronke in great quantitie, with continu∣all mouing oof the patient: for the same speciallye wine is good, in the which, wormwood and Isop is sod. Huc vsque Plat. And it is called quicke siluer, for it coniealeth matter in which it is done, as Isi. saith li. 15. And also ther he saith more to this. He saith it is fléeting, for it run∣nenth, & is specialy found in siluer forges, as it were drops of siluer molten, & it is oft found in olde dirte of sinkes, & slime of pits: and also it is made of Minis put in cauernes of yron, and a patent or a shell done there vnder, and the vessell that is noynted therewith, shall be com∣passed with burning coales, and then the quicke siluer shall drop. Without this, siluer nor golde, nor latton nor copper, may be ouergilte: and it is of so great vertue and strength, that though thou put a stone of an hundred pound weight, vpon quicke siluer of the waight of two pound, the quicke siluer anone withstan∣deth the weight, and if thou doest there∣on a scruple of gold, it consumeth into it selfe the lightnesse thereof: and so it ap∣peareth it is not wayght, but Nature to which it obeyeth. Taken in drinke, it slayeth because of weight, & is best kepte in glasse vessells: for it pearceth, boreth, and fretteth other matters. Huc vique Isidorus lib. 16. chap. de metallis.
Then siluer is white and cléere, & soun∣ding and pure, and may well be wrought with hammer, but not so well as golde, and kéepeth and saueth well balme, and helpeth the vertue in the stone Iaspis, yt hath more vertue in siluer then in gold, as it is said in Lappidario, and it will melt: and when it is molt in the fire, it hath the colour of fire, neuertheles when it is colde, it is againe white and harde. And though it be of more great and boi∣stous matter then gold, yet among met∣tall it beareth the price after golde, in worthinesse and value: and is medicina∣ble, and helpeth against many euills. For the some thereof healeth wounds, & ful∣filleth the place, & fretteth away superflu∣itie of dead flesh, & letteth it not grow, & bringeth in the whole flesh, & cleanseth filth and hoare of bodies, a marking in∣strument of siluer, kepeth from stinking, and comforteth féeble members, and lay∣eth and maketh them stedfast, & rusteth, if it toucheth the earth, and taketh his co∣lour againe, if it be scoured with grauell, sande, and salt.