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past, the Jew said to me; I shall not be able to attend you as I would, in regard of some charge the city hath laid upon me, for the entertaining of this great person. Three days after the Jew came to mne again, and said: Ye are happy men; for the father of Solomon's house taketh knowledge of your being here, and commanded me to tell you, that he will admit all your company to his presence, and have private conference with one of you
that ye shall chuse: and for this hath appointed the next day after to-morrow. And because he meaneth to give you his blessing, he hath appointed it in the forenoon. We came at our day and hour, and I was chosen by my fellows for the private access.
We found him in a fair chamber richly hanged, and carpeted under foot, without any degrees to the state; he was set upon a low throne richly adorned, and a rich cloth of state over his head, of blue sattin embroidered. He was alone, save that he had two pages of honour, on either hand, one finely attired in white. His under garments were the like that we saw him wear in the chariot ; but instead of his
he had on him a mantle with a cap, of the same fine black, fastened about him. When we came in, as we were taught, we bowed low at our first en trance; and when we were come near his chair, 'he stood up, holding forth his hand ungloved, and
in posture of blessing; and we every one of us stooped down, and kissed the hem of his tippet. That done, the rest departed, and I remained. Then he warned the pages forth of the room, and caused me to sit down beside him, and spake to me thus in the Spanish tongue.
God bless thee, my son; I will give thee the greatest jewel I have. For I will impart unto thee, for the love of God and men, a relation of the true state of Solomon's house.' Son, to make you know the true state of Solomon's house, I will keep this order. First, I will set forth unto you the end of our foundation. Secondly, the preparations and instruments we have for our works. Thirdly, the several employments and functions whereto our fellows are assigned. And fourthly, the ordinances and rites which we observe.
The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret motions of things; and the enlarging of the bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible.
The preparations and instruments are these : We have large and deep caves of several depths: the deepest are sunk six hundred fathom; and some of them are digged and made under
hills and mountains: so that if you reckon together the depth of the hill, and the depth of the cave, they are (some of them) above three miles deep. For we
find that the depth of an hill, and the depth of a cave from the flat, is the same thing ; both remote alike from the sun and heaven's beams, and from the open air. These caves we call the lower region. And we use them for all coagulations, indurations, refrigerations, and conservations, of bodies. We use them likewise for the imitation of natural mines : and the producing also of new artificial metals, by compositions and materials which we use and lay there for many years. We use them
also sometimes (which may seem strange) for curSing of some diseases, and for prolongation of life,
in some hermits that chuse to live there, well accommodated of all things necessary, and indeed live very long; by whom also we learn many things.
We have burials in several earths, where we put divers cements, as the Chinese do their porcelane. But we have them in greater variety, and some of them more fine. We also have great variety of composts, and soils, for the making of the earth fruitful.
We have high towers; the highest about half a mile in height; and some of them likewise set upon high mountains : so that the vantage of the hill with the tower, is in the highest of them three miles at least. And these places we call the upper region; accounting the air between the high places and the low, as a middle region. We use these towers,
according to their several heights and situations, for insolation, refrigeration, conservation, and for the view of divers meteors; as winds, rain, snow, hail, and some of the fiery meteors also. And upon them, in some places, are dwellings of hermits, whom we visit sometimes, and instruct what to observe.
We have great lakes both salt and fresh, whereof we have use for the fish and fowl. We use them also for burials of some natural bodies : for we find a difference in things buried in earth, or in air below the earth; and things buried in water. We have also pools, of which some do strain fresh water out of salt; and others by art do turn fresh water into salt. We have also some rocks in the midst of the sea ; and some bays upon the shore for some works, wherein is required the air and vapour of the sea.
We have likewise violent streams and cataracts, which serve us for many motions: and likewise engines for multiplying and enforcing of winds, set also on going divers motions.
We have also a number of artificial wells and fountains, made in imitation of the natural sources and baths; as tincted upon vitriol, sulphur, steel, brass, lead, nitre, and other minerals. And again, we have little wells for infusions of many things, where the waters take the virtue quicker and better, than in vessels, or basins. And amongst
them we have a water, which we call water of paradise, being, by that we do to it, made very sovereign for health, and prolongation of life.
We have also great and spacious houses, where we imitate and demonstrate meteors; as show, hail, rain, some artificial rains of bodies, and not of water, thunders, lightnings; also generations of bodies in air ; as-frogs, flies, and divers others.
We have also certain chambers, which we call chambers of health, where we qualify the air as we think good and proper for the cure of divers diseases, and preservation of health.
We have also fair and large baths, of sereral mixtures, for the cure of diseases, and the restoring of man's body from arefaction: and others, for the confirming of it in strength of sinews, vital parts, and the very juice and substance of the body.
We have also large and various orchards and gardens, wherein we do not so much respect beauty, as variety of ground and soil, proper for divers trees and herbs: and some very spacious, where trees and berries are set, whereof we make divers kinds of drinks, besides the vineyards. In these we practise likewise all conclusions of grafting and inoculating, as well of wild trees as fruittrees, which produceth many effects. - And we make (by art) in the same orchards and gardens,