An history of the wonderful things of nature set forth in ten severall classes wherein are contained I. The wonders of the heavens, II. Of the elements, III. Of meteors, IV. Of minerals, V. Of plants, VI. Of birds, VII. Of four-footed beasts, VIII. Of insects, and things wanting blood, IX. Of fishes, X. Of man
Jonstonus, Joannes, 1603-1675., Libavius, Andreas, d. 1616., Rowland, John, M.D.

CHAP. XXVI. Of Gold.

WEe have done with Minerals thus far. Now follow Metals. First, Gold: This is found in its proper vein, and in stones that are of shining white; also in the true Pyrite, and sometimes in stones of iron. In Spain some pieces have been found weighing above ten pound weight. It is plough'd up in Galitia, Justin. l. 44. Dubra∣vius writes, that in the Mountains of the Gelovienses, a masse of ten pounds was taken out of a Rock; and he saith, it was presented to King Wenceslaus. In India the Pismires (which in Aegypt are as great as Wolves) do carry it and keep it. In the Islands of the Sea of Aethiopia, the plenty of it is so great, that the Inhabitants have bar∣ter'd a Talent for horses, Plin. l. 6. c. 36. This one thing loseth no∣thing by fire, but the more it burns, it growes the better. Yet the juyce of Lemmons will abate from its weight, Lemnius occult. l. 2. c. 36. and if hens limbs be mingled with melted gold, they consume it, Plin. l. 29. c. 4. The heat of living Creatures may work upon it, as Wendlerus witnesseth in Prognostic. Anni 1619. A Senator of Gor∣licum had a fat Hen, she had eaten about 4. books of leaf-gold beaten out with the hammer. When she was killed, it was found pure with∣in her. In her breast 3. golden streaks were seen, some Artificer was thought to have drawn them, Schnitzerus Epistol. 50. writes, that in the stomach of another, that was killed, some moneys were found half consumed. To this adde what Zacharias à Pteo affirms in his Clavis Medica Spagyrica, and Chirurgica; When, saith he, I studied at Pa∣dua, it happened, that one of our Hens, flew upon the Table; there were up∣on it some ornaments for women: amongst the rest a precious pearl, which hung to an ear Jewel curiously made by an Artificer, and it had some golden covers Page  118 drawn about it, the Hen swallowed this pearl with the ear-jewel; when 4. or 5. hours were past, the Pearl and Jewel were mist. A certain Maid thought the Hen had swallowed it; because some dayes before the said Hen had swal∣lowed one, the Italians call Gazetta. Wherefore, the hen was killed, and presently her Gisard being parted and cut, we found the pearel with the ear∣ing not yet passed into the cavity of the stomach, but contained in the orifice thereof; extream hot, and yielding to the touch like wax, and the ornaments of it almost consumed by the heat thereof, which Jewel in a short space, when it grew cold, and the heat was gon, became hard, as it was before; the forme was spoiled, and when it was weighed with another caring like it, it wanted a third part in weight. But to return to Gold. No Mettal is drawn out further, or can be more divided: for one ounce of it will be hammer'd into 750 and more leaves, of 4. fingers broad and long, Plin. l. 33. c. 3. That it may be wire-drawn, and spun without silk, I need not approve of; The Luxury of the Age is well known. Pliny lived, when Agrippina, as Claudius, made a shew of a Sea-sight, sate by him, clothed in a robe of woven gold, without any other addition. Now though it consumes not in the fire, yet it is resolved Chymically, and becomes so aërial, that if it be but stirred with an iron Spatula, or grow hot any other way, it will presently take fire and make a great noise; and one scruple of it shall work more forcibly than half a pound of Gun-powder, Crollius cited by Sennert. c. 18. de Consens. et dissens. Chymicor. A few grains of it if they flye down perpendicular∣ly, can strike through a Table of wood, Quercetan. The cause is, the contrariety of the spirit of Nitre, and the brimstone of gold: for when as oyl or salt of Tartar is poured into the solution of gold, the salt of Tartar unites it self with common salt, and also with Allum, and Ammoniac; and hence it is, that gold left to it self sinks to the bottom; and if any of these salts is left with the gold, it is washed off with hot water, Sennertus de consens. et dissens. Chymic, et Galen. c. 19. onely the spirit of Nitre is left, which perfectly unites with the Gold. If that therefore grow hot, so soon as it perceives that the Sul∣phur of gold is there present, it opposeth it self against its Enemy, and breaks forth with a mighty noise, in flame. It hath been long disputed, whether it can be made potable; experience shews that it may. For that famous man Dr. Francis Antony, Physitian of London, brought it into a consistence like honey, and sent certain portions of it to the Physitians of Germany to try it, Johan. Vincent. Finckius in Enchi∣ridio dogmatico Hermetico.

Yet Heurn. l. 1. Aph. 24, thinks it hath no nutritive faculty, be∣cause between potable and solid Gold, there is no difference but the liquefaction; and if a man cannot be nourished by the pure Elements he can hardly be fed with things inanimate and distilled: Also it may be made, nay it was made. Kelleius an English man converted one pound of quick-Silver with one drop of a liquor of a deep red colour, into Gold, that with one grain, he tainted 5000, and with one he extracted about ten Ounces of pure Gold, Sennert. de consens et diss. cap. 2. And what Theophrastus did, is known out of Neander; it is Page  119 known out of Oporinus, Neander in Geographia, Oporinus in Epistolis. Nicolaus Mirandulanus, made an Ingot of Gold out of Brasse, he did it also at Jerusalem, and there are so many witnesses, that it were im∣pudence to deny it. Picus Mirandula Apollinaris did aver sincerely that he had above 20 ways to make Gold. Hence was made that Epitaph at Rome, To the collector of Gold out of Lead. Some think they may be changed in shape but not in substance, I see not what hinders. The forme of Lead is not turned into Gold; but, that departing, this suc∣ceeds. Where there is community of matter, there must be symboli∣zation of necessity. Plants have a perfect form in their kind, yet are they turned into Chylus, and it is no sophistication; The forms of things are unknown to us, we know them but by their properties; and, when as they all inhere in that, what place is there for doubting? Yet that is difficult, and to be attempted warily. Penotus was an ex∣cellent Chymist; learned men know how miserably he was deceived in his old age. His words were, If there were any man whom he could not hurt by open violence, he would perswade him to turn Chymist. Sennert. lib. cit. It is known to all Men, that divers works are made out of Gold. Heliogabalus unloaded his belly in Golden Vessells. Xerxes had a Gol∣den Tree, under which he was wont to sit. A King of Aegypt buri∣ed his daughter in a Coat of Coffin. Agricola in observ. Metal. In lo∣wer Germany, on Danubius, there were Vines that had tendrels and somtimes white leaves of pure Gold, Alexander. The cause is assign∣ed, That (there) are Gold Mines, and that Gold grows about their roots, and being bred with it, and hardned by a secret Original, whilst Vines send out their branches, by a wonderfull work of na∣ture or decree of the Starrs, the Gold grows out with them. Alex∣ander ab Alexandro, l. 4. Genial. dier.