The personal appearance of the Emperor of the German nation. His manners were courtly as became a Prince, and agreeable when he was not depressed with melancholia. He did not affect luxury in his dress and rarely displayed gorgeous costumes, but on ceremonious occasions he exhibited magnificent and imperial. Rudolph was an accomplished linguist speaking German, Bohemian, Spanish, Italian, French, and Latin, being quite fluent in the dead language owing to his early training Jesuit fathers at Madrid.
After an exchange of courtly phrases, Rudolph gave Dee liberty to speak at length and he delivered a grandiloquent. Uriel to give to the Emperor the following reproof: 'The Angel of the Lord rebuketh you for your sins if you ;. Moreover the Lord hath made this covenant with me by oath that He will do and perform if you will forsake :. Dee then immediately added: "I conjecture this Devil to be This is my commission. According to Varro, the intimate friend of Cicero,. Diviners by mirrors were called by the Romans Specularii; they were employed by the ill-fated Roman Emperor Didius Julianus born A.
Dee remarked that Rudolph was of course acquainted with the recently published work describing excellent methods for these ;. The mirrors used by these and others were, however, of human manufacture, whereas the "shew-stone" was Uriel. The conversation then drifted into astrology, especially on the influence of the zodiacal signs on the human anatomy Dee criticised the horoscope of the Emperor cast by a Bohemian expert as barbarous and offered to work out a correct one, for which purpose he obtained the necessary data as to Rudolph's nativity.
The learned Englishman's lofty, mathe;. Though passionately devoted to the sciences, Rudolph was not a profound scholar; lie hired skilled men to work in his ;. Consequently at the next and many subsequent visits paid by Dee to the Emperor, the Englishman discoursed on the mysteries of spiritualism, and the arcana of hermetic philosophy they exchanged views on the true sources of the prima materia, knowledge of which ;.
Then, penetrating more deeply into the mysteries of spagyrical secrets, they conferred on the doctrine of palingenesis, the operation of reconstructing from ashes a plant or a flower; this phenomenon consists in the evocation of the primitive form of the being, its astral body, by the will-power of the Spagyrist, under the influence of heat and of the spiritum universalem.
The marvels of its. Philosophers' Discussion ensued on the influence of the Lemures in de-. Englishman found himself getting beyond his depth in a philosophical maze; to extricate himself he suggested that the goal of transmutation might best be reached by obeying the precepts embodied in the ancient saying: "Labora, opera, ora et invenies. The 'Father of Alchemy,' Hermes, was identiit. Moreover he was perfectly acquainted with the Philosophers' stone, and being desirous that posterity should inherit the wonderful gift, he had the process for creating gold engraved on an emerald tablet which was placed in his sepulchre.
Many years later it was removed by Sarah, Abraham's wife, and she concealed it in a cave near Hebron where it remained until ;. Its father is Sol, its mother Luna; the wind carried it in its belly, the earth is its nurse. It is the cause of all perfection throughout the whole earth. Its power is Separate the earth from the perfect, if it be changed into earth.
Ascend with the greatest sagacity from the earth to heaven, and then again descend to the earth, und unite together the powers of things superior and things inferior. Thus you will possess the glory of the whole world, and all obscurity will fly far away from you. This thing has more fortitude than fortitude itself, because it will overcome every subtile thing and penetrate every solid thing.
By it this world was formed. Hence proceed wonderful things which in this wise were established. For this. What I had to say about the operation of Sol is completed. In discussing this ancient parable Dee preferred to give a theological interpretation to it, whereas the Emperor maintained it was the key to hermetic philosophy. Dee then. Doctor Dee found that Rudolph desired to learn more of and French masters in science, and he informed his Majesty of the celebrated Franciscan monk Roger the famous English.
Rudolph was of course acquainted with Bacon's Mirror of Alchemy published a short time before at Lyons. Dee then spoke of the skillful physician, Arnold of Villanova, and of the transmutation he accomplished with the aid of Raymund in every. Lully at Rome in ; also of Sir George Ripley, who gained such enormous wealth by the hermetic art that he presented the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem with five hundred thousand pounds of gold, as proved by documents at Malta. Passing to France, Dee reminded the Emperor of the extraordinary history of the poor Parisian scrivener, Nicholas Flamel, who had labored with crucibles, athanors and alembics for twenty years before he gained the secret of the and then, with the assistance of his Philosophers' stone faithful wife Perrenelle, on January 17th , about noon, he made a successful projection on one pound and a half of ;.
The learned Englishman delighted the Emperor with the mercury,. Zachaire, who labored vainly for nearly a lifetime and had spent a fortune before success had crowned his efforts by a. Rudolph, who was accustomed to see his alchemists maintain fires for seven weeks at a time, only to produce dross, was projection.
Rudolph, though credulous, was aware of the necessity of taking precautions against trickery and told Dee with great glee, of the simple scheme by which Christopher von Hirschberg swindled the opulent Lord von Rosenberg. Hirschberg informed the Prince that gold properly treated with chemicals. Rosenberg loaned the knave eighty gold ducats for the experiment; they were buried in the garden and duly sprinkled with the nasty liquid supplied, but after a few days Hirschberg disappeared and on digging for the ducats it was found that they too had vanished.
Mardocheus de Delle, who with other courtiers was present at the interview, laughed heartily at this narrative and promised the Emperor a poem on the adventures of the noble lord and the wily alchemist. Dee was about to inquire as to the penalty imposed on von Hirschberg, whom he had met in Gold Alley, when conversation was interrupted by the entrance of Martin de Rutzke, bringing with him a beautifully illuminated and rare manuscript rescued at the dispersal of the library of Wresowitz, who was reputed to have been a successful experimenter.
Path of Alchemy," and was written by Antonio of Florence ; being couched in exceedingly obscure and. Dee, and by Kelley, who made his first appearance before the Emperor. The treasurer to precious crystal.
The only other persons in the dimly lighted room were the Vice Chancellor Curtius and Martin de Rutzke of the privy chamber. At first he recited a chaotic mass of absurd rhapsodies in an infor once. Finally Kelley announced that the spirit Zadkiel wished to communicate directly with his Majesty, and the Emperor replacing Dee at the writing table, took alliance. Take also Lulo of red Roxtan and work him through the four fiery degrees until thou hast his Audcal and there gather him. So, doth it become Darr, the thing you ask for; a holy, most glorious and dignified Dlafod. But watch well and gather him so at the highest, for in one hour he descendeth or ascendeth from the purpose.
Take hold. The paper thus acquired properties that protected it from decay as well as from attacks of moths and worms. It had been given to the Emperor by George Kretschmar, a resident of Gold Alley, who was rewarded by a patent of nobility. Rudolph's private apartment to a prodigious height; a further display of philosophical instruments whose use was little understood by the Emperor, and of a magic mirror together with. Dee was assigned one of the best equipped laboratories on the Hradschin, and with the useful Kelley went to work with renewed zeal at the search for the Philosophers' stone.
At first the costly materials and apparatus were supplied by the Emperor's orders with liberality and promptness, but after some time the foreigners had to avail themselves of the contributions of the gentlemen of the privy chamber, the courtiers and the noble attendants, all of whom had blind faith in.
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Dee's eldest son, Arthur, already initiated in occult lore, became an assistant in the royal laboratory; having John Dee now found himself so pleasantly situated and profitably occupied that he removed his family, in January, , to a better residence, rented of two sisters at seventy dollars per annum; he conducted his household affairs in a lavish style and began to mingle with the aristocratic residents of the Hradschin and of Old Prague. His high reputation even reached the Russian court; the Czar Feodor invited him to enter his service, promising him a stipend of two thousand pounds per annum, besides laboratory expenses and apartments for his family and household servants.
Dee refused this brilliant offer but. Moscow, where he became court and a favorite with the powerful Czar. While at physician Moscow Arthur Dee wrote his famous book on alchemy entitled "Fasciculus Chemicus" printed at London in , sent his son Arthur to after his return to. Fierce controversies had long raged in Bohemia between Catholics and Protestants, and Rudolph, influenced by the wily Jesuits attached to the court, promulgated harsh measures against the new party, although a constitutional disinclination to exert his Dee's.
Theological disputations even penetrated court circles and naturaly the staunch Protestant from England took sides against the Catholic party, at the head of which was the Grand Steward George Popel von Lobkowitz and the Papal Legate. He secured Dee's confidence. This interested Dee immensely and he besought his good friend to use his influence. Some of this Rudolph already knew, some of it was unfortunately true, but the slanderous accusation greatly prejudiced Dee's position at court. The finances of the Englishmen were now very low, and they were in sore straits to keep up the appearance of secrets.
Fortune favored them, however, when ;. This flattering prediction pleased the King, and for a time he furnished money for experiments in transmutation, a large part of which was devoted to the necessary expenses of the English families. But the King of Poland soon grew spirits Their return to Bohemia was conducted secretely, yet Rudolph heard of it and sent envoys to von Rosenberg to demand their persons, but the powerful noble was bold enough to refuse to surrender them.
While in Bohemia the artful Doctor deemed it prudent to maintain his friendly relations with Queen Elizabeth and to remind her of his skill in alchemy he sent her accordingly a small disc of silver the size of a ducat, which he claimed to have made out of brass cut from a warming-pan, and a few weeks afterward he dispatched the utensil itself, with a ;.
By such transparent tricks sixteenth. At this time Edward Kelley misbehaved shamefully and after a quarrel with Dee, which was quite justifiable on Dee's part, deserted him. After five years absence from England, John Dee received an invitation from the Queen to return. He had saved some money while with Rosenberg and made the land journey in great style, having three coaches for himself and family, He left Trebona in March, , and travelled via Bremen, where he received a visit from a famous hermetic philosopher, Dr.
Heinrich Kunrath, of Hamburg, and conducted amicable correspondence with the Landgrave of Hesse, to whom Dee presented his twelve Hungarian horses. On his arrival in England, in November, he found that his residence at Mortlake had been pillaged during his absence by a mob who had accused him of necromancy all his furniture had been broken, his valuable library had been burned, and the philosophical instruments ;.
Dee endeavored to get compensation from the state, but though the Queen received him graciously at Richmond, he never recovered the value of his property. Being settled at Mortlake, he was occasionly visited by Elizabeth as again of old, and at Christmas, , she sent him two hundred angels, and other presents. Being in favor at court Dee carried on his studies and experiments without molestation, but six years passed before he was given substantial emoluments; in he was granted the Chancellorship of St. Paul's Cathedral, and a few months later he was installed Warden of Manchester College, " wherein he had the unhappinesse to be often vext with the Turbulent Fellowes of that Colledge".
These sinecures he held until his death in the. While at the court of Ructolph Dr. Dee had kept Kelley background, through mistrust and jealousy, but after Dee's banishment Kelley secured an intimate footing in imperial circles. He was at that time about thirty years of age, a few years younger than the Emperor he had an ;.
In his experiments before the Emperor, Kelley used legerdemain rather than metallurgiball at the. Rudolph gave him a large salary as court alchemist, and endowed him with cal. In devising transmutation schemes to deceive the Emperor the golden Knight was obliged to avoid the well-known tricks that Dr. Kelley had had wooden box with a strong horizontal to hold the apparatus employed beneath partition, ostensibly the shallow tray he concealed his brother, who was both short and slight and capable of curling up into a surprisingly small space.
When the day arrived for the grand demonstraconstructed a large ;. Rudolph, who was not without experience in manipulation, preceded in the usual fashion, and under his direction the fire was pushed to a white heat; then as previously agreed, all persons withdrew from the laboratory for one hour so that the spirits whom Sir Edward had invoked might work their will undisturbed. No sooner had the door been locked and sealed by the Emperor himself, than young Kelley crawled out of his hiding-place, stepped quickly to the furnace, threw into the crucible a quantity of goldfilings and returned to his tool-box, the hinged partition closing after him.
The instant the hour had elapsed the royal party broke the seal, unbolted the door, and reentering the apartment found that nothing had been disturbed. The fire was replenished with coals and maintained at great intensity for some time and then allowed to die down the crucible was cooled and broken with a heavy hammer, in the bottom lay a bright button of gold delighting all beholders.
The Emperor was confirmed in his belief that in the Golden Knight he had a prodigy, and Kelley perceived that his brother made an excellent conspirator. As soon as convenient the wooden box was removed to Kelley 's private house and the prisoner was liberated from his uncomfortable retreat. He was permitted to make occasional visits to Prince von Rosenberg at his estates near Krumau, and. Englishman swindled the Bohemian out of the enormous sum of three hundred thousand florins this is in part sustained by the fact that the foreigner acquired valuable landed estates in the kingdom.
Kelley lived in lavish authorities affirm that the ;. A quarrel with one of the Emperor's retainers led to a duel, and unfortunately Kelley slew his antagonist. Rudolph was especially severe. Hradschin; a short time afterward he was transported to Purglitz and thrust into a horrible dungeon. The miserable man fallen from so high a position, was treated with great severity like a common malefactor his food was passed into his cell through a hole in the door, and he was refused the consolation of writing materials and books. But even a ;. Sir Edward.
February, , written by the Emperor's secretary to the Governor, "cltscloses the details to be extorted from the wretched prisoner the Emperor wished to learn First in what way can the four pounds of tincture found at Kelley 's house be purified and used in projections? The unhappy victim could not have answered these queries under ordinary circumstances and torture was unavailing. The news of Kelley's pitiable plight reached Dee at Mortlake, and he besought Queen Elizabeth to appeal to Emperor Rudolph to release the Englishman, but in vain.
The prisoner hearing of this fruitless attempt at succor, planed an escape; friends outside bribed the jailors and gave drugged liquor to the sentinels, placed horses at convenient points and made all preparations for flight. Kelley got out of his dungeon but in attempting to let himself down from the outer wall of the castle by a rope, fell, broke his leg and injured himself internally he was immediately recaptured and again immured in the fortress, where he was shortly relieved of his sufferings by death.
Sir Edward was then about forty-two years of age; some authorities say he was an Irishman by birth, and that his real name was Talbot, which he dropped after his ;. Rudolph II. The opening paragraph, addressed to his old patron, exhibits his bold arrogance that never forsook him even in distress :. Nay, the saying that none but fools and lawyers hate and despise alchemy has passed into a proverb. Furthermore, as during the preceding three years I have used great labor, expense and care in order to discover for your Majesty that which might afford you much a profit and pleasure, so during my imprissonment calamity which has befallen me through the action of.
Hence I have written a treatise by means of which your imperial mind may be guided into all the truth of the ancient philosophy; but if my teaching displease you,. I venture to hope, however, that my life and character will so become known to posterity that I may be counted among those who have suffered much for the. Elias Ashmole prints in the "Theatrum Chemicum Britannicum" London, the "scheame of nativity" of. Nach grosser Freud kam Traurigkeit, Mit Jiirgen. Kcllaus den Hunkler hat erstochen. Das liess der Kaiser nicht ungerochen. Kellaus ins Gefangniss kam,. Dabblers in science dealers in virtue, And S3 cophants of every form and hue.
Low Artists too, a busy babbling fry, That frisk and wriggle in a great man's eye. He collected at enormous expense, and without definite purpose, beautiful. Rudolph's passion for art was not without precedent on the part of those who had occupied the imperial throne; the stately cathedral of Carl IV. Castle Karlstein, were noble examples of art well calculated to stimulate the beholder to further acquisitions.
Emperor was undoubtedly influenced by the success of the Archduke Ferdinand of Tyrol, for fifteen years Governor of Bohemia, in forming the remarkable collection at the Castle Ambras, the richness of which can hardly be appreciated by the few specimens still preserved in the imperial museum at Vienna. Rudolph's world -renowned "KunstKammer" was formed by the union and removal to the Hradschin of two great collections, that of Maximilian II.
While residing in Italy he formed acquaintances with prominent artists, sat for his portrait to Titian a painting now preserved in Vienna, and acquired a good knowledge of their masterpieces; under Maximilian he became curator of the Viennese Galleries and within a year after Rudolph's accession to the throne, he was invited to Prague and appointed custodian of the Strada and his son Octavius soon imperial collections.
The intimacy was undoubtedly strengthened by Rudolph's passion for Strada's extremely beautiful daughter, who bore the Emperor three sons and three daughters. Agents in every part of the world sought for the imperial museum natural curiosities, antiquities, and art-rarities; not Emperor always found money for the purchase of the articles by Strada and his agents.
Frequent and large levies were exacted by the crown from the impoverished people,. No extravagance was too great provided the ends. The collections were frequently increased by costly presents from Bohemian noblemen, foreign potentates and rapidly,. Unscrupulous dealers in fraudulent off on the Emperor's curator the cap and antiquities palmed sandals of Duke Premysl, and two iron nails from Noah's ark!
The horn of the unicorn was actually the tooth of the narwhal; it was valued as a miraculous remedy for certain diseases. A specimen at Dresden was supposed to be worth seventy-five thousand dollars, and on the rare occasions when. The Duke Premysl, just named, was one of the semi-mythical heroes of Bohemia a peasant farmer, he became the husband of Libusa the first judge of the people, and was called from the plough to the throne.
Cosmas, writing in the eleventh century, says: "PremysPs boots are preserved at Vyschrad in the Duke's room to this day. From such he had a table-top made, of small pieces ornamented with valuable gems, valued at more than one thousand ducats and classed by Dr. Guarinonius as one of the wonders of the world. Mineralogy as a science had no existence; an empirical knowledge of the value of ores and of the methods of extracting the useful constituents was all that learned men had attained; it is hardly surprising therefore that Rudolph set a high value on specimens of rocks and minerals having accidental.
For these and for lodes tones, thunder-stones so-called, and stones believed to increase in size as they reposed on the shelves of the cabinet, extraordinary prices were paid, relatively higher than for the. Josef Svatek, the Bohemian historian, whose essay we follow, likens the Rudolphine cabinet of curiosities to the. A number of these had been purchased in from the Imhoff Gallery at Nurem-.
The Rudolphine gallery was very rich in the. Bartholomew in Venice, was bought by Johann von Achen sum and transported across the Alps on These magnificent paintings were not arranged according to any system, the names of the artists were seldom attached, though some bore the name of the places where they had been obtained. In justice to Strada, Johann von Achen and other artists, it must be said that this lack of system. Rudolph had a large number of artists engaged in decorating the palace and in painting easel pictures, but they were of mediocre ability they profited little by contact with the masterpieces with which they became acquainted and they left no evidence of superior skill.
Indeed some of them were guilty of the atrocity of whitewashing over the superb ancient frescoes on the walls of the Castle of Karlstein, and painting on the new surface crude scenes of Biblical history in semi-barbarous style; a life-size figure of the Virgin was beautified? The oldest and one of the most eminent of the royal artists was Bartholomew Spranger, born in the Netherlands and trained in Italy. Being recommended to Maximilian in , he executed for his Majesty, and afterwards for Rudolph, important decorative works on the palace walls; the latter monarch enobled Spranger who took the cognomen "van den art.
Stockholm , "Venus served by the Graces" St. Petersburg , "Cupid and Psyche" Stuttgart , and portraits of members of noble families. Johann von Achen, already mentioned several times, was born in Cologne; while quite young he went to Italy and became a pupil of Michelangelo and of Tintoretto, and on his in. Much younger than these artists was the Flemish painter of landscapes and animals, Roelant Savary, who was sent by Rudolph to study for two years in the Tyrolese Alps, an act of liberality which should be remembered to the Emperor's credit.
Besides objects intended to please the eye, the imperial contained a collection of musical instruments, both wind and string, which were regarded by the court musicians ill-disguised. The most eminent of these musicians, Filippo da Monte and Andrea Mosto, were from Italy, but the musical entertainments of the court were usually intrusted to the Nuremberger, Johann Leonhard Haster, who afterwards distinguished himself at the court of Christian II.
The concerts were sometimes given in the large hall used for state balls situated opposite the great "Turnier Haus.
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For thirty years Rudolph guarded his superb collection of pictures, statuary, antiquities and curiosities with jealous care; its fame attracted many visitors to Prague, but access to the treasures. In company with Strada, Rudolph spent entire days in the cabinets, devoting his nights to his astrologers and alchemists. When Strada died in he. In his later years as his disposition to believe in chimerical problems increased Rudolph paid more attention to the charlatans trickster. Kelley, after a few exhibitions of legerdemain from him landed estates and a patent of nobility, whereas Johann von Achen, the eminent painter of historical scenes,.
History relates that Rudolph's imperial grandfather Charles V. A Bohemian writer says the perfidy was undertaken with a view to pillage at the suggestion of Oxenstierna however this may be, whole shiploads of precious treasures were sent to Stockholm; the remainder was transferred to Vienna and the other cities of. Rudolph's position as an imperial patron of art has been compared to that of the Medici family in Italy, who by. As if the title of Philosopher, that creature of glory, were to be fetched out of a furnace. Albertus Magnus, the great oracle of savants in the Middle Ages, enumerated the conditions to be obin the treatise.
The alchemist should be discreet and silent, revealing to no one the results of his operations. He should reside in a private house, in an isolated situation, containing two or three rooms set apart for the experiments. He should choose his days discretion. He should have patience, diligence and perseverance.
He should perform according to fixed rules trituration,. He should be sufficiently rich to bear the expenses of his art. A notable exception to this was seen in the case of a Westphalian, whose name has not been preserved, and whose skill in transmutation aroused the cupidity of. The Emperor sent a trusty messenger to invite the alchemist to his court, but the man resisted every inducement oifered, saying: "If I possess the Philosophers' stone I have no need of the Emperor, if I do not possess it the Emperor Rudolph. Throughout Rudolph's reign intense activity in alchemical research prevailed not only in Bohemia, but in all Europe; nor was the German Emperor the only potentate who coquetted with the enticing and elusive damsel.
Frederick,' Duke of Wurtemberg, was devoted to the pseudo-science; journeymen alchemists were always welcomed at his palace, and he incurred in futile experiments such enormous expenses that the Chamber of Deputies passed restrictive resolutions. Augustus, Elector of Saxony, not only employed salaried adepts, but worked with his own hands in his private laboratory built in Dresden, known to the citizens as the "GoldHouse. Having tested its virtues and found it powerful in transmutation of base metals and multiplication of precious ones, he neglected his master's work and began to lead a careless, spendthrift life, idling with boon companions.
When in need of gold he used a little of the "magistery" in projection;' these operations he kept secret for some time, but finally he admitted two of his intimates to witness "the great work" under promise of secrecy. These ;. The unfortunate man, being in prison, was unable to satisfy the greed of his despotic master and attempted to escape, but was caught in the act and sent to Leipsic where he was formally indicted and tried.
The court sentenced the alchemist to suffer question by torture, to have the middle finger of each hand cut off and to be re-. Augustus, however, felt. Annaberg, two splendidly equipped laboratories in which great and small furnaces were continually glowing; one was devoted to the manufacture of substances used in medicine and the other to experiments in alchemy. In the first Paul Luther, the son of the founder of Protestantism, is said to have worked, in the latter labored David Beuther and Sebald Schwertzer, of whom more will be learned presently.
From this neighboring state of Saxony, as well as from. Denmark, Italy and the Orient came frequent reports of suctransmutations which became staple topics of discussion at the conferences in Gold Alley, in the court assemblies and in the private apartments of the Emperor. The courtier Martin Rutzke, the poet de Delle, and the physician von Hayek retailed to Rudolph the current gossip of the day, and never obtained a more interested auditor than when they reported cessful.
He rewarded too his faithful gossips more generthan that other great patron of science and art, Pope ously Leo X, of whom the following anecdote is related: Having been presented by Aurelius Augurelli with an epic poem in intoxicants. These wily pretenders to occult power and knowledge of processes for creating at will precious stones, universal panaceas and silver and gold, were usually poverty stricken wanderers who preyed on rich men willing to listen to their captivating claims they were ;.
They generally maintained that the small amount of "tincture" in their possession had been given them by a mysterious stranger who appeared and disappeared with equal unconcern, or had been discovered in some secret hiding-place, the half-ruined wall of an abbey or the crypt of an ancient church, where it had been concealed for centuries. To give statements an air of mystery, those possessing the secrets of alchemy were said to have derived their knowledge during sojourn in oriental countries, or through the sheer philanthropy of an Eastern sage encountered in travel.
On cooling the metal was found to be prre gold. Descriptions of the Philosophers' stone are not wanting; Paracelsus represented it as a solid of the color of a dark ruby,. The power of this protean object to accomplish transmutation was variously estimated; some alchemists boasted of a "magistery" so perfect as to transform one hundred times its weight of mercury into gold;.
Roger Bacon claimed for it a multiplying power of one hundred thousand, Isaac Hollandus, one million, and the artificial gold thus obtained was itself endowed with equal power. The life-prolonging properties claimed for the " Elixir" were confirmed by the occasional appearance of persons boasting extraordinary age; the adept Trautmansdorf reached the age of one hundred and forty-seven years, living the life of a hermit in the wilderness of St.
Formulas for the artificial preparation of the Philosophers' stone abound in alchemical writings but without an exception they are clothed in such obscure language as to be incomprehensible; a single example will suffice. Richard Carpenter "Take the clear light of of Worcester in wrote thus :.
In three hours you will see marvelous colors, black, white, red and citron; let not your vessel be open until you ;. Secrecy "was an important condition of success, secrecy as respects the ingredients and preparation of the "tincture," its usage and the very possession of it. Injunctions to silence often occur, none are better expressed than the following: "Trust not thy friend too much, wheresoever thou goe,.
Augustus, the Elector of Saxony, died in the month of February , leaving a fortune of seventeen million thalers, sufficient evidence in RudoTph's eyes of success in transmutation. In the last years of his reign, Augustus had been much interested in the labors of one of his hired alchemists, Sebalcl Schwertzer by name, who appeared at Dresden with a rare. On the fifth of May, , in presence of the Elector and a select company of his friends, three marks of quicksilver were converted into gold, a portion of which the Elector presented to the Countess The director of the treasury calculated that the Hallach.
Schwertzer, encouraged by this projection, proposed to manufacture ten marks of gold daily, but the death of Augustus. During Doctor Dee's sojourn at the court of Rudolph, news arrived from Rome of a wonderful feat accomplished by Leonhard Thurneisser, son of a Swiss goldsmith and a disciple of Paracelsus. This arrant knave began his adventurous career in his youth by selling to a Jew dealing in silver and gold some gilded bars of lead, a speculation that led to.
Archduke Ferdinand, who generously defrayed his expenses of travel throughout the Orient in search of the secrets of Hermes. Thurneisser did not find the great magistery, but acquired some knowledge of medicine which he practiced with immense success he entered also the service of the Elector of Brandenburg, becoming director of the laboratory founded by the Elector's wife.
His medical practice gained for him great wealth which he squandered in luxurious living; he became the most popular physician in Berlin, the oracle of the rich and the friend of the poor, to the great displeasure of the old established practitioners, who combined to expose ;. Resuming a wandering life he reached Rome where he was invited to dine with Cardinal Fernando di Medici, who afterwards became Archduke of Tuscany. At the dinner table he transmuted half an iron nail into gold, delighting and astounding the distinguished company the process was simple, he warmed the nail, dipped it into an oily liquid, and on withdrawing it one half was found to be of gold.
This probably means he was provided with a nail made of gold cemented to iron, from which the solvent removed a black varnish and disclosed the yellow metal. This bi-metallic nail ;. The events taking place in the laboratories of the palace, the failures and successes of the residents of Gold Alley, as well as of the journeymen alchemists visiting Prague, were Emperor through the Director of the imperial laboratories, Dr.
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It was an enclosed circular structure containing two or three galleries with benches or stools. Spectators could also stand in an unroofed space on three sides of the raised platform stage, which extended into the middle of the theatre. Large numbers of people could be accommodated, and the price was kept low at between one penny and sixpence. Such sheer simplicity presented a superb challenge for the writer: the quality of both language and acting had to be good enough to hold the attention of the spectators and make them use their imaginations.
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The Follies of Science at the Court of Rudolph II, 1576-1612 (1904)
Christopher Marlowe was the major innovator, developing a vigorous style of tragedy that was refined by his contemporary, Shakespeare , who began writing for the theatre about At this time, professional companies operated under the patronage of a member of the nobility. Other companies paid rent to the patron, who paid their salaries.
There were very few rehearsals for a new play, and because the texts were not immediately printed to avoid pirating by rival companies each actor was usually given only his own lines, with the relevant cues, in manuscript form. No women appeared on the Elizabethan stage; female roles were taken either by boy actors or, in the case of older women, by adult male comedians. As in Italy, all the actors had to be able to sing and dance and often to generate their own music. An alternative to the outdoor public playhouse was the private indoor theatre.
The first of these was an abandoned monastery near St. Others included the Cockpit , the Salisbury Court, and the Whitefriars. Initially these theatres were closer to the Spanish model, with a bare stage across one end, an inner stage at the back, benches in front for the audience, and galleries all around. Later, they made use of more elaborate scenery and featured the Italian-style proscenium arch. Because of the reduced size of the audience in such a setup, higher prices had to be charged, which excluded all but the more wealthy and learned segment of the public.
This in turn affected the style of writing; these private theatres were mostly used by boy companies that presented a more refined and artificial type of drama. One of their chief dramatists was John Lyly , though Ben Jonson wrote many of his plays for them. Growing rivalry between the boy and adult companies, exacerbated by hostility from the increasingly powerful Puritan movement, resulted in James I imposing even tighter controls and exercising heavy censorship on the theatre when he came to the throne in Although the Italian influence gradually became stronger in the early part of the 17th century, the English theatre was by then established and confident enough to take over foreign ideas without losing any of its individuality.
Full text of "Five court rolls of Great Cressingham, tr. with an intr. and notes by H.W. Chandler"
Jonson became increasingly preoccupied with the dramatic unities, while other writers of the Jacobean period such as John Webster , Thomas Middleton , and John Ford favoured a more definite separation of comedy and tragedy than had been the case in Elizabethan drama. They were given to sensationalism in their revenge plays, finding inspiration in Spanish cloak-and-sword drama and in the darker moods of Seneca and often setting their own plays in Italy.
Meanwhile, at court the pastoral was finding new popularity, partly because it provided opportunities for spectacular scenery, and with it came the revival of the masque —an allegorical entertainment combining poetry , music , dance , scenery, and extravagant costumes. As court poet, Ben Jonson collaborated with the architect and designer Inigo Jones to produce some of the finest examples of the masque. Having spent a few years in Italy , Jones was greatly influenced by the Italian painted scenery and its use of machinery. On his return to England he did much to bring scenic design up to date, introducing many innovations.
Members of the court had thorough training in dancing, fencing, singing, instrumental music, and courtly ceremonial. They were therefore well prepared to perform in the masques, even to take solo parts and to appear in the chorus. Masques became even more elaborate under Charles I, but in Jonson angrily withdrew his contribution when he saw that the visual elements were completely overtaking the dramatic content.
When the Civil War broke out in , the Puritans closed all the theatres and forbade public dramatic performances of any kind. This created a significant break in the acting tradition for 18 years, until the Restoration of Charles II, after which the theatre flourished once more, though along quite different lines. While England and Spain were developing their own national styles of theatre, the German-speaking countries lagged well behind, embroiled in constant warfare and religious upheaval and lacking a unifying capital city as a cultural focal point.
Classical plays had little more than academic interest, and the tradition remained indigenous albeit crudely medieval. The most notable writer was the Meistersinger Hans Sachs , who transformed the bawdy Fastnachtsspiele into more acceptable farces with which to entertain Shrovetide carnival crowds. An unexpected stimulus came from touring English troupes that had firmly established themselves in Germany by the end of the 16th century.
Although there was a good deal of cross-fertilization between England and the Continent, many English actors chose exile as an escape from monopolies , suppression, and the withdrawal of playing licenses at home. They gave public performances in towns or at rural fairs and private ones in the halls of nobles. In a country where local theatre was weighed down by excessive moralizing, these actors made an immediate impact through their robustness and vivid professionalism.
Their repertoire consisted mainly of pirated versions of Elizabethan tragedies and comedies, performed in English, though heavily cut and padded with enough music, dancing, acrobatics, and dumb show to overcome the language barrier. In between the acts a clown figure, combining the English fool and the German Narr from the Fastnachtsspiel , took over with improvised antics in pidgin English sprinkled with Dutch and German phrases.
Thomas Sackville created one of the first of such clown figures in the character Jan Bouschet. Similar English creations were Hans Stockfisch and Pickelherring—prototypes of the German character Hanswurst, who found his way into all the improvised comedies of the day. As the proportion of German actors in the English companies increased, a more indigenous drama developed known as Haupt-und-Staatsaktionen.
As this term implies, such plays dealt with the intrigues of high characters in high places and abounded with blustering rhetoric and gory sensationalism. The last English troupes left Germany in , by which time the Italian style of staging, with its perspective scenery , had become the fashion in spectacular court operas and the elaborate productions of Jesuit school plays see above.
While the strolling players did little to elevate German theatre to the level of the highest art, they did at least establish vital links with neighbouring European cultures , helping to inject new ideas into backward traditions and precipitating the emergence of the professional actor. Theatre companies in France in the early 16th century were playing a mixed fare of moralities, miracle plays, farces, and soties. Both auditorium and stage were lit by candles. The feeble traditions of indigenous secular drama in its repertoire were soon overpowered by the Renaissance influence, and dramatists began looking to Classical antiquity for inspiration.
Civil war, however, halted the appearance of any truly great drama until well into the 17th century. The new plays that appeared in Paris —mainly pastorals and tragicomedies—were written by Classical scholars as imitations of the Italian commedia erudita , but the French love of order resulted in the intensification of the dramatic unities of time, place, and action. The acting in these Neoclassical plays was not given to realism: each actor stood at the front of the stage to declaim his lines and then stepped back to allow the next actor to speak. National unity came in the early 17th century under Louis XIII and his brilliant adviser, the cardinal de Richelieu , and with unity came the desire similar to that in Tudor England to create a strong national culture.
Theatre companies were active in the provinces , but Paris, the centre of cultural life, was the goal for which they all aimed. Richelieu, who took an active interest in theatre, had also tried to purify comedy and tragedy by discouraging what he considered the formless tragicomedy. Later he moved to the Palais-Royal. In the course of the succeeding centuries, national theatres were established in many other European countries but not necessarily for the same reasons.
German national theatres fought to shake off the infiltration of French culture and to develop native traditions. It was the aim of the Austrian emperor Joseph II to institute national theatres for all the peoples of his empire so that they might become acquainted with the works of world literature in their own tongue.
After establishing a national theatre for the German-speaking population of Austria , Joseph II then supported the Czechs and Slovaks in their efforts toward their own national theatre. Later, one was founded in Budapest for the Hungarians. Gustav II created the Swedish national theatre. Catherine the Great of Russia also set out to introduce her people to the dramatic works of world literature performed in the Russian language. There was no court theatre in the Netherlands. The plays—both serious religious pieces and farces —were usually presented outdoors on a raised platform with a curtained facade.
The curtain could be closed for scene changes, though the settings themselves were very simple. In the first Dutch Academy was opened, and one of its priorities was to foster a higher standard of theatre developing at the time under a strong French influence. This eventually led to the construction of the first indoor theatre in Amsterdam, the Schouwburg. It opened with Gysbrecht van Aemstel , a patriotic play in the Classical tradition by the Dutch poet and dramatist Joost van den Vondel.
The Schouwburg, which had a semipermanent setting, was remodeled in along Italian lines, though this did nothing to stem the general decline in Dutch drama. If there was a lack of great theatre in France before Corneille, it was well compensated for by extravagant court ceremonials in which dance featured prominently.
A product of this collaboration was the ballet comique , a courtly dance entertainment with words. Another Italian import was changeable-perspective scenery, which was brought to Paris in by the designer Giacomo Torelli , who completely refurbished the Petit-Bourbon. The staging of court ballets was accordingly adapted to show off the possibilities of the new machinery. Louis XIV also organized the teaching and presentation of music and dance by setting up academies. Following the developments in Italian opera, composers made new demands on singers, who had to study for years in order to be able to meet them successfully.
After the midth century, singers exerted considerable influence on the structure of new works because they demanded showpiece arias at certain places in the text. The dramatic technique of Baroque opera followed set rules: arias were to be sung at the front of the stage, facing the audience; the chorus was directed as a static body; and the ornate setting was an elaborate decoration with which to please the eye rather than a functional definition of the acting area.
One of the first gestures of Charles II upon his Restoration in was to reverse Puritan sobriety by encouraging the kind of entertainment and theatrical activities that he had seen during his years of exile at the French court. Significantly, they chose to follow the French example and convert two indoor tennis courts as temporary premises rather than take over one of the surviving Elizabethan playhouses. These theatres combined Continental innovations with some of the features of the Elizabethan stage.
Stock sets of changeable flats were used, and lighting was provided by candles. The greatest impact, however, came from the introduction of actresses to the English stage, the most famous being Nell Gwyn. The first productions were reworkings of Elizabethan and Jacobean plays, tailored to suit the tastes of the new aristocratic audience composed almost exclusively of courtiers and their attendants.
The majority of the populace, still under the influence of Puritanism, stayed away and probably could not have afforded it anyway. Romance and feeling gave way to intellect in sophisticated plays about cuckoldry, gossip, intrigue, and sexual license, yet tempered with a strong sense of decorum.
Although most dramatists of the time did not consider themselves professional writers, Sir George Etherege and William Wycherley developed an elegant style of prose drama that was refined by Sir John Vanbrugh and later William Congreve , whose Way of the World is the finest example of Restoration comedy. At the beginning of the 18th century there was a softening of cynicism in the comedies of George Farquhar , which brought the period to a close. As the late 17th century was not a heroic age, tragedy fared less well in England. The poet John Dryden tried unsuccessfully to combine the merits of Racine and Shakespeare in a genre of rhymed heroic tragedy.
His blank-verse tragedy All for Love was more lasting. The weakness of Restoration theatre was that, by concentrating on its aristocratic audience, it excluded most of the populace and was therefore not representative of the various levels of English society. Not surprisingly, the theatre was always struggling to survive, and after the s audiences dwindled.