Paracels Compromise

Paracels Compromise
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PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 7 1 THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND By ALLEN G. DEBUS* WHEN .Paracelsus attacked the ancient medical authorities at Basel in 15 2 7, and had the audacity to throw the Canon of Avicenna into the St. John's day bonfire, he struck a dramatic blow for a new medicine which was to embroil the physicians of Europe in controversies for the next century and a half 1 . The focal point of this struggle was the use of chemical therapy, which was con- sidered to be the most insidious innovation by most Galenists. However, at the same time there was disagreement over the comprehensive theories of the Swiss reformer, and the history of this ideological conflict is a matter of con- siderable importance in the understanding of the Scientific Revolution, since, to many observers in the latter years of the r6th century, the work of Paracelsus seemed more dangerous than that of Copernicus 2 • In recent years, some studies bearing on this problem in relation to its English phase, have appeared from Georg Urdang and Paul H. Kochel-3. These papers represent significant contributions to the history of the Paracelsians, and yet their findings leave some questions still unanswered. What, for *History of Science, Widener 18S-9, Harvard University, Cambridge 38, Mass., U.S.A. This study was completed during the tenure of a joint Sodal ScienceResearch Couneil and. F'Ulbright fellowship at University College, Londol1. J,Op.the question of the burning of the Canon by Paracelsus, see Walter Pagel, Para-   1958, 20f., and Lynn Thorndike, A History 01 Magic and Experi111,entaZ Science,   X941, v, 438. Prof. Pagel cites Sebastian Franck's IS31 reference to the event. II In JÖhn Donne's Ignatius His Conelave, 1610, the innovations of Paracelsus are judged to merit more reward from Satan than those of Copernicus. J ohn Donne, Camplete Paetry and Seleäed Prose, Bloomsbury, 1929, 362-9. Note also the parallel which is dravm between the work of Copernicus and Paracelsus by "R.B. esq:' [? Robert Bostocke], and is discussed below. a Georg Urdang, "How Chemieals entered the Official Pharmacopoeias", Wiscansin Academy 01 Science, Arts and Letters, Madison, 1949, val. 39, IIS-2S, also printed in the Archives d'histoire des Seiences, 7, 1954, 3°3-14 from which all citations will be made. Paul H. Kocher, "Paracelsan Medicine in England (ca. 1570-1600)", ]o'urnal 01 the History 01 Medicine, 2, 1947, 4S1-80. Paul H. Kocher, "Jolm Hester, Paracelsan (IS76-93)", ]oseph Quincy Adams MemorialStudies (ed. James G. McManaway, Giles E. Dawson, Edwin E. Willoughby), Washington, 1948, 621-38. Paul H. Kocher, scienee and Religion in EZizabethan Engla'tZd, San Marino, Calif., 1953. See also Robert P. Multhauf, IIMedicaJ. Chemistry and the Paracelsians", 01 the History 01 Medicine, 28, 1954. Iox"'z6. 7 2 ALLEN G. DEBUS instance, was the role of the Royal College of Physicians in the introduction of Paracelsism in England? Professor Kocher states that this organization was "tough-minded, clannish, and reactionary" and decidedly against the new remedies 4 • On the other hand, Professor Urdang has shown that one-third of the members of the Pharmacopoeia committee established by the College in I5 8 9 had graduated from those European universities which led in the promul- gation of chemical therapy, and not one of them had graduated from Paris which was' the chief stronghold of the most conservative Galenists 5 • His study of the proposed pharmacopoeia of I585 would certainly indicate that the most influential 'medical group in England was not opposed to "Paracelsian" remedies. But what is meant by the broad term ttparacelsian"? Both Professors Urdang and Kocher are primarily interested in the introduction of chemical therapy, and since Paracelsus was considered the leader of this group in the I6th century, they apply the name to the proponents of chemical medicines 6 • Surely this is an admissible use of the word, but it is necessary to keep in mind that Paracelsian remedies were but a small part of the Paracelsian system. There was as much, if not more, disagreement over the comprehensive theories of Paracelsus, as there was over his practical reforms. There is a need, then, to discuss the work of his followers on severallevels. Those interested in the theoretical work of Paracelsus often paid little attention to his practical medical reforms. Those interested in the latter, hO\vever, were not simply limited to those \\'ho wished tO utilize chemically prepared medicines, since there was at the same time a tendency to apply chemical Inethods to other purposes such as urinalysis, and the analysis of mineral waters. Even a cursory glance at Suclhoff's Versuch einer ]{ritil? der   Schriften shows that by the time of the death of the Swiss reformer in I541, that only a small fraction of the Paracelsian corpus had been published. However, after that date his works began to be published in ever increasing numbers, and as the traditional medical men began to realize thc Ü'nplications of Paracelsus' attack on Galen, his commentator Avicenna, ancl the other ancients, they immediately began to defend their on these time honoured authorities. Thus began the most momentous medical dispute of the Scientific Revolution, and because Paracelsus had clemanded that alchemy should exist for the benefit of meclicine alone, it was to infiuence profoundly 4 Kocher, Adams Memorial Stud-ies, 623. See also his disctlssion on page 472 of his article in the Journal 0/ the History 0/ Medicine. 15 Urdang, ap. cit., 305. 6 Prof. Kocher does distinguish betweell the work of Gesner anel   and he states that Gesner was the "prime mover" of chemical medicine in Ellgland in its early stages. Kocher, Journal 0/ the History 0/1I1edici1'te, 2, 455. THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 73 the development of chemistry. The first comprehensive statement of the views of the Galenists seems to have been the Disputationes de Medicina Nova Paracelsi (4 parts, Basel, 1572-3), of Thomas Erastus, which was commissioned by the Duke of Saxony in 15727. But if the physicians on the continent were already in dispute over the relative merits of the old and new medicines shortly after the middle of the century, the English were as yet untouched by this medical heresy. One of the founders of English humanism, Thomas Linacre, was not only the guiding light of the Royal College of Physicians at its inception in 1518, but he was also the enthusiastic compiler of definitive editions of the ancients. Similarly, the famous John Caius publishecl commentaries on Galen and Hippocrates, even though he was an intimate friend of Conracl Gesner who was one of the inde- pendent German proponents of chemical remedies. Caius had lived in the same house with Vesalius while studying at Padua, and he had stopped for a time at Basel on his way back to England where he must have obtailled some information on the teachings of the lately deceased Paracelsus, but there is nothing in his writings to show any acquaintance with either Vesalian anatomy or Paracelsian theory8. But despite this seeming lack of interest in the Para- celsian controversy on the contil1ent, much of what was new did appear in England. Parts of the De humani corporis ]abrica appeared within a few years after its first edition (1543) under the authorship of Thomas Geminus; and the surgical advances of Ambroise Pare were made available England through the works of Thomas Gale and \:Villiam Clowes 9 • And though the work of Paracelsus and his disciples dicl not yet issue from the English presses, tomes on chemical remeclies anel methods were available from the English book dealers. Hieronymus Brunschwig's book of distillation was °Englishecl" by Lawrence Andrewe in 1527, and while it combined the function of an herbaI with that of a chemical text, it brought to light the view of the author that distilled remedies würe far more potent than the herbs themselves 1o • Thomas H.aynalde's C01npentl'iO'l/;s declaration 01 the vertues 0] a Lateli z'nuented oUe, Venice, !5S!, was an early mOllograph on a chemical remedy, 7 Karl Sudhoff, Vel'S2tch einer Kritik der Echtheit der Pa,yacelsisclum Schrißen (2 vols., BerUn, 1894, 1899), 1, 217. 8 John Caius, M.D., 1'!Ie Works 0/ ]olm Cai1tS, .MI.D., Second 1"ounder 0/ Gonville   Caius College and lvlastcr of Ihe   I.559-I573. With a MCl1zoir 0/ his Li/e l)y ]OkH Venn, sc.n., cd. E. S. Roberts, Cumbridgtl, 1912, ,5fI. 9 S. V. Larkey, J1Iledical Knowledgc in Tudor England as Displayed in an 0/ Books and J.,fanuscYipts, San Marino, Ca.lif., 1935, 5. 10 Hieronymus Brunschwig, The vertuose of distyllacyon ... , tr. L. Anc1rewe, London, 15 2 7. 74 ALLEN G. DEBUS but it is not until we reach Gesner's Treasure 0/ Euonymus in 1559 that we have come to the brink of chemical therapy in England. Gesner wrote that "waters and oyles secreate by the singular industrie and wit of ChYffiists, are of great vertues",11 but he explains that some physicians held them rightly in contempt because they had been incorrectly prepared 12 • Those who ascribed the intro- duction of this art to Brunschwig were in error, according to Gesner, and his authorities include Dioscorides, Geber, Amold of Villanova, Ramon Lull, and John of Rupescissa, with the notable omission of Hippocrates and Galen 1S • One whole secHon of this recipe book is devoted to metallic concoctions. Despite this revolutionary aspect of the work, there is no indication that the author desired to overturn the time honoured medical authorities. In fact, in his few references to Paracelsus, Gesner complained bitterly that the Swiss reformer had "condemned Galen, Hippocrates and all the ancient doctors", and although tel sawa broadside printed at Basel in 1527 in which he promised that he would teach all the parts of medicine in a far different manner than it was done by the ancient doctors, ... I heard that he accomplishednothing worthwhile, indeed, rather he was an impostor ..."14. Nevertheless, he had to admit "that many were cured byhimin desperateillnesses and that malignant ulcers were healed by hirn easily"15. A primary concern of the Elizabethan physicians and their Royal College was to rid the realm of the "empiricks and mechanicks", old women who sold potions to their neighbours, people who honestly believed they had a divine power of healing, and out and out quacks. These people were attacked with vigour in the Counseill against the disease called the Sweate, of John Caius in 1552; the Historieall expostulation ... against the beastly abusers, both 0/ Chyur- gerie and Phisicke in oure tyme, of John Hall in 1565; and in the Detection and Querimonie 0/ the daily enormities and abuses committed in phisicke, of J ohn 11 Conrad Gesner, The treasure 0/ Euonymus; containinge the Md secretes 0/ natu1/e, tr. P. Morwyng, London, 1559, 293. 12 Ibid., 412• 18 Ibid., 42 1. 14 Conrad Gesner, Bibliotheca UniversaZis, Tiguri, 1545, fol. 614. Galenum, Hippo- cratem, & omnes ueteres medicos contemnebat. Vidi charta impressam Basileae, anno 1527, qua promittit se longe aHo modo omnes medicinae partes edocturü, Ci apriscis medicis factum esset ... sed nihil egregii eü praestitisse audio, quin potius impostorem fuisse.... 11) Thomas Erastus, Disputationum De Medicina   v ~ PhiliPPi Paracelsi Pars Prima, Basil, 1572. From, the short essay titled "Conradus .Gesnerus Medicus Tigurinus de Theophrasto Paracelso" appended to this work. Audio tarnen muItos passim ab eo in morbis desperatis curatos, & ulcera maligna ab eo feliciter sanata. TEE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETEAN ENGLAND 75 Securis in 1566 16 • There is no reason to believe that these attacks were aimed at any Paracelsians, but since these men did employ chemically prepared potions, it later became easy enough to condemn all- chemieal remedies simply by not distinguishing between the true spagyrists and the quacks. This distinction, already hinted at in the Treasure 0/ Euonymus, was to continue to be a sore point among the Paracelsians. The earliest references to Paracelsus by English authors occur in works dealing with mineral waters. The first of these is a tract describing the waters at· Bath by William Turner, a physician and minister who was forced to flee England during the later years of Henry VIII, and again during the reign of Mary, because of his strong Calvinist leaning. While in Germany he became a friend of Gesner, and evidently at the same time learned of the interest of Paracelsus in medicinal waters. As a result he listed Paracelsus as an authority, but he did not give any personal opinion of his work 17 • This treatise was written at Basle in 1557 and printed in English at Cologne in 1562-then reprinted in 1568 and often thereafter. In 1572 John Jones (a Cambridge M.D.) wrote on the baths at Buckstones in which he referred disdainfully to the Paracelsian Ufyrework of three beginnings, of salt, Brimstone, and quick- silver"18. Two years later he published his translation of Galens Bookes 0/ Elementes. The title-page states that this is also a refutation of Paracelsian doctrine, but nowhere in the work is there any amplification of this promise 19 . He slightingly referred again to Paracelsus in his Arte and Science o} Preserving Bodie and Soule in HeaZth (1579), and stated that these teachings had been satisfactorily refuted in Latin by Thomas Erastus and in English by one Kinder in a work noted in the margin as De part. homo Outside of this single reference there seems to be no further trace of this work of Kinder which may have been thefirst full-fledged attack by an Englishman on Paracelsian thought 20 • 16 John Caius,   against the Sweat in Works already referred ta, p. 26 (separate pagination). J ohn Halle, A most excellent and learned woorke of Chiru1'gerie ... also against the beastlye abusers both of chyu1'gerie and Phisicke i1't oure tyme, Londen, 1565, Hif. J ohn Securis, A detection and querimonie of the daily enormities and abuses committed in Phisicke, Landon, 1566, passim. 17 William Turner, A Booke ofthe natures and properties-as welt ofthe bathes in England as of other batkes in Germany and Italy, Collen, 1562, f. iii. In the same year this was also issued with the secend part of William Turner's Herball. 18 JOhn Jones, Benejit of the Auncient Bathes of Buckstones, Lenden, 1572, "Te the Reader", fol. ü. 19 John Jones, Galens Bookes of Elementes . .• Confuting as welt the errours of aU them that went bejore time, as that hath, 01' shal folowe hereafter of the Paracelsians, London, 1574. 20 Jehn Jones, The Arte and Science of preserving Bodie and Saule in Healthe, Wisdome, and Catholicke Religion, Lenden, 1579, 31. See also Kocher, Journal of the History of Medi- eine, 457. ALLEN G. DEBUS More interesting is a reference to Paracelsus made by the well-known Elizabethan surgeon, George Baker (r540-r600). In his preface to a tract which placed side byside his translations of a monograph on a Spanish chemical oil and the third book of Galen, he compared Paracelsus unfavourably with Galen and cited Erastus as his source for this. Baker's view is of considerable importance, for although he was a firm supporter of Galen and the rest of the ancients, he was at the same time one of the earliest advocates of the use of chemical therapy. As he later became an ordinary surgeon to Queen Elizabeth, and President of the' College of Surgeons (r597), his views were to carry a great 'deal of weight. But by taking his cue from the tradition of Gesner who had no quarrel with the ancients, rather than Paracelsus who seemed to the Eliza- bethans to want to overturn the whole medical corpus of the past, he outlined the middle path which was eventually to prevail 21 • This moderate attitude of Baker's is again evident in The Newe ]eweU 0/ Health of 1576. This work was an English translation of the second part of Gesner's Treasure oj Evonymus (Ist ed. Zürich, 1569) made by Thomas Hill. Hill had intended to publish this work but he died before he had been able to do this. Sensing his death. to be near, Bill had willed the manuscript to Baker who saw it through the press and added apreface in which he stated that ltthe vertues of medicines by Chimicall distillation are made more vailable, 'better, and of more efficacie than those medicines which are in use and accustomed", but on the other hand, without a knowledge of Galen and Hippocrates the reader would be at a loss to apply properly the remedies in the book 22 • Thus, by the end of the 1570's, it may be seen that the few works so far published dealing with chemically prepared medicines were done primarily under the inspiration of Conrad Gesner. With the exception of William 21 George Baker, The composition or making 01 the moste excellent and pretious Oi! called Oleum Magist1'ale, Londen, 1574; the reference to Paracelsus is from the nen-paginated "Te the Reader". 22 Cenrad Gesner, The Newe jewell of Health, London, 1576; Preface and iii f. See also F. R. ]ohnson, "Thomas Hill: An Elizabethan Huxley", Huntington Library Qua1'terly, 7, 1944, 109-35. Baker's preface to the 1576 edition (the work was reissued in 1599 as The Practise of the New and Old Phisicke-see Plate I), is also valuable in. showing that there were chemical practitioners in London at this time, to whom the physician or surgeon could turn with confidence if he should desire any of the new medicines. Baker recom- mended "one mayster Kemech an Englishe man. dwelling in Lothburie, another mayster Geffroy, a French man dwelling in Crouched friers, men of singular lmowledge that waye, anether named John Hester dwelling on Powle's wharfe, the which is a paynfull traveyler in those matters, as I by proofe have seene and used of their medicines to the furtheraunce of my Pacients healthes." Gesner, Newe jewell, iv f. Little is known of Kemech or Geffroy, but Hester's work will be considered later. l" .' · Tlle pradife, wherein iscontainedthe moft nt   1>hi6,ke and PhUo[ol"hie,deuiacditno faure Inthc rhl bdt apI'f('lued tonne \'Well inw.lrd:ls oUfward\of Ql • mam bott)': tte.nmg 'lCt}' 3illp!l(: of al diilllhUttill$of of Q!irm:Hencc$. wüh che exu;wirm()lanlfidal! f.dtt$, the"ie30apr Antim')ny,Iod Gold Gatheredout oE tbe bell Vtproued 11)' tbac excdlcfU Doctor,rßlh'uit. tbe P4(mrtl anti.. .• [0 lclli,Fum3ccs,aod other Iatlrul:tlCl1ts thertunto and pubh!hedm G/fJrgt   of thc ... icfiindüefeChhurgi . , PI.ATE I. THE difference bet\vene the aun erent taught hy thegOI1 Ir forefathers , confifling in vnitie peace ane concord: and the latter Phificke procec... from Idolaters, Ethnickcs,and Heathen:as q411rn,and {heh 0- ther eonfi!l:ing in dualitie, difcorde , and con... trariwe. And wherein the natura1t Phitorophie of-A. riflotle doth ditTer from thc tructh of Gods worde • and i,1) iniurious to and founde doarine. '1'&tJlrltnAtNram tont;Rtt & /UperAt, (f{UIt,,1t- /lsra 14t4tllr & emtndatH.1' J & tiUJ p'" pinquital4J reJ commifteri & coniJmgiji4filt.     Imprintedat London [or 7{obert YValley.. J S ß 5. [)LA'I"I<: 11. THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 77 Turner's non-committal reference, the citations of Paracelsus had a11 been of universal distrust, and the reason for this is probably that the chief references to hirn come from J ohn J ones and George Baker-both of whom seem to have become acquainted with Paracelsus' work through the refutation of it made by Erastus in 1572-4. It was not until 1585 that any Englishman took notice of the comprehensive Para.celsian theories. At that time one R.B. esquire (possibly R. Bostocke- see footnote 23) ,vrote his betzvene the auncient Phisicl?'c ... and the latter Ph'z:siclw 23 • The author of this work was interested in the theory of Paracelsus rather than in the application of the new chemical remeclies. (See reprocluction of title-page on Plate 11.) Bostocke relates that one of the reasons he wrote the book was that I was the last Parliament time before this that is 110W sommoned at the table of areverend Bishoppe of this land, which was not unskilful in Physicke, in the companie of a Phisition, which inveying against this auncient Phisicke, by the name of Paracelsus his Phisicke, ignorantly attributing to hirn the first invention thereof, pleased hirnself anel some of his auclience in telling that the same Phisicke hacl no ground nor foundation, neither any being 24 • This, then, was a ne'\v approach in terminology. George Baker, and John Hester (whose work will be considereel later), had pointed out that the new chemical remedies had in reality an earlier origin than the carly years of the current century, hut nevertheless, they had still considerecl this as the new Hphisicke" in contrast to the old "phisicke" of Galen. Bostocke, on the other hand, considered it his primary aim to point out that iatrochemistry was actually the ancient meclicinc which had steadily cleterioratecl after the Fall of man until it had reached the depraved state in which Galen offered it. The original chemica.l physicians were to be sought in a line of sages that ran from $\ll Thi.<; 'Work ()f somCl ninet)H,;ix 'lmnumbered lCf the hook to his active participatiem in the trade makos this identifica,ticlll doubtful, the cmmexion. canuot be entirdy   out as an R. Bostock was listed as an apprentice in. 1,ond011 in the 1580'S. M ItB., Esq., The cli;[{erence l)ctwene ehe almcient Phisicka ... amI the latler Phisiehe, Londou,Is8S. Chap. 7. Thiswork 18 lwt paginated, and hence will be made elther tochapter numbers or prefatory material. ALLEN G. DEBUS Adam through the sons of Seth, Abraham, Moses, Hermes Trismegistus Thales , , Democritus, Pythagoras, and even Hippocrates. Untold secrets were to be discoverecl in the myths of the ages, but by the time of Plato and Aristotle all this was changing. Bostocke equated Plato's contempt of Greek physicians with their lack of chemical kilowledge, anel Aristotle is treated with even more scorn than Ga1c1l 25 • The heathnish Phisicke of Galen doth depende uppon that heathnish Philosophie of Aristotle, (for where the Philosopher endeth, there beginneth the Phisition) therefore is that Phisicke as false and iniurious to thine honour and glory, as is the Philosophie 26 • Thus it is on religions grouncls that he rejects Aristotle and Galen when he speaks of "'1'he heathnish Philosophy of Aristotle, which admitteth nothing, that cannot be clemonstratecl"27. Continuing his historical treatment he grants merit to on1y thc Alcxanclrian alchemists, the Arabian adepts and a handful of \\Testern chemists anel alchemists of thc late middle ages such as George Ripley in the period up to the r6th celltury. Hence, to Bostocke, thc rdorm of Paracelsus was just a matter of purifica- tion of mcclicinc, much as his agc saw the restOl'ation of other fields of discipline to their pristine purity. He explains that Paracelsus was not thc author anel invclltour of this arte as the followcrs of the phisickc doc imagine, as by the former writers may appeare, HO more than \Vicklife, Luther, Oecolampadius, Swinglius, Calvin &c. the Anthor anel inventors of the Gospell and religion in Christes Church, whe11 thcy restored it to his puritie, according to Gods word, anti disdosed, openecl and expelleel the Clowdes of the Romish religion, whieh long time had shacloweel and darkeneel the trueth of the worde of Anel 110 more then Nicholaus Copernicus, which liveel at the time of tbis Paracelsus, anel restored to 1.1S the place of the starres ac(;ording tn thc trueth, as experience and tnle observation doth teach is in he called the author anel inventor of the motions of the stars, which long before \vere taught hy Ptolmeus Rules Astronomieall, auel Tables for' l\lotiol1s and Places of thc starres by long excesse of time grewe to he nnperfeet (which imperfeetions by Coperllicus observations were di:-:.dosml, opened anel brought to thell" former punhe w8 • 'fhe Copernican ref('nmce is an early anel interesting English llotice of trre astnmnrnieal svstmn, however, it should be explained that Bostocke dicl not tlse the heliocc:ntric system himself, hut considered the Copernican work only to be a rcstora.tiol1 of the Ptolemaic star tables. IH\ H.. IL'H historkal   ibitl., Chaps. 10- 1 9.   lbitl., The AuthorH nbtestatinn tn almightie God. $11 lbiti.• 'fhe Authors nbtestatinn tu alm.ightic Goc1. 21t J[Jiil., Cha.p. If}. THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 79 The religious aspects of the Paracelsian system are of paramount importance to R.B., and as the heavenly virtues of chemical remedies are compared with the true doctrine of Christ, so the "corporall and Grosse medicines" of Galen and the common doctor may be likened to the Romish religion which is mixed with impurities, and standeth in outward ceremonies and traditions, corporal exercises, which be less to the workes of the spirite, whylest it is occupied about them 29 • But if The Chymicall Phisition in his Phisicke first and principally respecteth the worde of God, and acknowledgeth it to be his gifte, next he is ruled by experience, that is to say, by the knowledge of the three sustanties, whereof eche thing in the great world and man also consisteth, that is to say, by their severall Sal, Sulphur and Mercury, and by their several properties, vertues, and natures, by palpable and visible experience. And when he knoweth the three substanties and all their properties in the great world, then after shall he knowe them in man. For man is Microcosmus for this cause, that hee might have the good and bad sicknesse and health of the great world 3G • From this it is evident that Bostocke thoroughly accepted the time honoured concept of the macrocosm and the microcosm which was a fundamental part of Paracelsian theory. Also of basic importance was the use of the three principles and the discarding of the traditional humoral system. He explained that Humors and qualities, to the which the folowers of the Ethnikes doe so much cleaue, and in the which they spende their study and labour, are but onely dead accidents, without power of lyfe. They be conditions, signes, tokens, and as it were onely fiowers and colours of diseases and not the very matter, cause, substance, or nature of the disease, they are caused and not the causes ...31 (However) ech member hath his proper humour not like to any of the fower, but according to the c6stitution of the members, and their effect, eche member possesseth his own humour 32 • While Paracelsus had elaborated on a system of five basic diseases in his Volumen Paramirum 33 , Bostocke preferred a variant theory based more rigidly on the three principles. 29 Ibid., Chap. 6. 80 Ibid., Chap. 8, section 5. 31 Ibid., Chap. 5. 32 Ibid., Chap. 8, section 8. 83 Benry M. Pachter, Paracelstts, New York, 1951, 133-4. 80 ALLEN G. DEBUS Therefore there be three generall kinds of diseases, and eche of them haue their especiall ,of infirmities, as there be sundry sorts of Sal, Sulphur and Mercun of dmers and sundry natures. There be likewise three kinds of medicine required, and eche kinde of sondry nature to preserve or restore mans body to health 34 • Diseases were to be cured with a knowledge of the Paracelsian Arcana, and a unitary rather than a dualistic method was to be employed. In other words, a disease contraeted in a lead mine could be cured with a remedy prepared from lead. The dualistic method of the Galenists would prefer a medicine prepared from a substance opposite to that which caused the disease 35 • The new medicine was incorporating a new system of nomenclature to replace the senseless names of diseases employed by the Galenists. Here an attempt was to be made to Ilame the disease on the basis of the principle that was its cause 36 • UAnatomy" also was not to be considered in the manner which we use the word today, but rather he that will be a perfect Phisition, must know eche disease by his right Anatomie, that is to say, by the matter, property and nature of the true substaunce of the disease, as which of the three substaunces have broken unitie, anel not by the signe of it. . .. For the right Anatomy con- sisteth not in cutting of the body, but in the knowledge of the Amitie, concorcl and nature of all naturall externe things, with man, whieh doe agree, imbrace and receave eche other, and concord together in mutual agreement, in vertue, power, propertie and essence, to defend nature 37 • And again, the chemical surgeon avoids the knife and instead works with uoyl es and Balmes to pacifie nature, and to keep the wounde defended from accidents, and to leave the eure to nature which is able then to be its own . surgeon"38. In regard to the relation of chemistry to medicine, Bostocke i8 unequivocal, for at the opening of the volume he states that The true and aUllcient phisicke which consisteth in the searching out of the Fountaines of Nature, and is collected out of Mathematicall and supernaturall precepts, the exercise whereof is     & to. be accomplished with labor, is part of Cabala, and 18 called by aunc1ent name Ars sacra, or magna, & saera scientia, or Chymia, or Chemeia, or Alchimia, & mystica & by 80lne of late Spagirica ars 39 • 84 R.B., op. cU., Chap. 4. 35 Ibid., Chap. I. a8 Ibid., Chap. 8, section l4. 8? Ibid., Chap. 4. 88 Ibid., Chap. I I. illl R.B., op. eil.• Chap. I. THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND Sr And although he stated that "the Chymicall Philosopher layeth the foundation of his Philosophie in Gods booke"40, he was weH aware that according to Paracelsus the ereation eould be interpreted as nothing but a divine chemieal separation 41 . But those who thought they might make gold by this proeess were greatly deceived, for the alchemists were really diseussing the preparation of medieines whieh would eure all bodily ills and not secret recipes for the transrnutation of the base metals as it appeared on the surfaee. The oecult language of these ancient alchemists was explained by Bostocke- beeause Secretes are to be reveyled onely to the Godly, and unto the ehildren of doetrine and knowledge, and unto the wise, therefore they did write unto such, that the secrets might be hidden from the ungodly, foolish, slouthful and unthankfull hypocrites, whereby the wise and diligent with travayle and labour might attaine to the understanding thereof, as one of them sayde, it is not meete to provide for a man a Pigion and to rost it for him and also to put it unto his mouth or ehawe it for him 42 . Fully aware that the Paraeelsists were being eastigated on the eontinent for their use of strong inorganie compounds as medicines, he laid strong emphasis upon the purification of the ehemical remedies and their use in small quantities 43 . Furthermore, he contrasted the chemical physician who eare- fully extraeted the essence of metals through means of his art with the tradi- tionalist who used Golde, and steale in Drink or Brothe, ... (and gave) ... Golde beaten into fine leaves in medicine, and ... (used) ... pearls and Precious stones (which be Mynerals also) in power (which is their body) for .medieine and sometimes the very bodies of some Mettals : whieh is eontrary to the rules of this auncient Chymyeall Phisicke, and thinke they doe mueh good therewith 44 • But those who eomplained that the Spagyrists onIy dealt with mineral remedies were in the wrong, for Bostocke pointed out that herbs and plants formed a valuable part of the physicians' eures, just as long as they were treated ehemically before administering them to the patient 45 • The ehemieal physician 40 lbid., Chap. 8. 41 lbid., Chap. 21. 42 lbid., Chap. 3. 43 lbid., Chap. 8, section 15. 44 lbid., Chap. 8, section 12. 45 lbid., Chap. 9. 82 ALLEN G. DEBUS is also warneel not to experiment on men, but rather, he shoulel learn the cause of the elisease through the macrocosm anel then apply it to his patient. This again was one of the chief points of attack on the Paracelsists on the continent, anel Bostocke stated the matter in these worels: So in ministering of meelicines, he willeth thern not to minister, before they know the cause anel nature of the elisease, & what & how much it wanteth of his proper nature, anel what anel how much it hath gotten of an other nature. For incognita causa, a casu proceelit cura, to the knowleelge whereof wee ought to come, as the Alkimistes eloe come to tbe knowledge of the boely that is to them unknowne, anel not by trying of the meelicine in man 46 . Finally, Bostocke took up certain objections which had been specifically raiseel to Paracelsus anel his works. This was necessary, for beyonel the appeal first to holy scripture anel then to personal experience, he suggesteel that the physician who listeth to leane to Bookes ... (shoulel) ... learne of those Bookes which Paracelsus hath most Godly and learnedly expressed in his Labyrinth. In comparison of which al other Aucthorities in those matters are small or none 47 •. Thus Erastus hael accuseel hirn of "Heresie, conjurations, lacke of learning, as also hurt anel elanger of mynerall rneelicines anel obscuritie of writing"48. The reasons for the obscurity anel the true explanation of mineral remeelies have alreaely been dealt with, and as for the connection with the magical arts, Paraeelsus excludeth from the true, pure, anel auncient Magicke, and from his coelestiall medicine, all Nigromancie, Sorcery, Ceremonies, Coniurations, anel all maner of invocations of elevilles, Denlones & evill spirits: Anel he giveth an especiall charge tImt this Arte be onely used to eloe gooel, anel not to the prejuclice nor hurt of any bodie and that it be done without Ceremonies, Coniurations, invocations, Consecrations, Blessinges, and all maner superstytion whereby it becometh ungodly49. This is a not unusual elefence of natural magie. To those who complained that the works of Paracelsus laeked any logical method, Bostocke replied that this was a He in most cases, but that a lack of method was intentional in some other eases in which the great master had planneel to withholel his choicest seerets only for the initiated 50 • Anel to those 4(1 Ibid., Chap. 8, section 19. 47 Ibid., Chap. 8, section 6. 48 Ibid., Chap. 20. 40 Ibid., Chap. 24. 50 Ibid., Chap. 24. THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 83 who complained that Paracelsus wrote only in German and knew no Latin, he answered that this too was an untruth as some of his works were in Latin 51 . Although all other objections could be swept away, Paracelsus' reputation as a drunkard remained to trouble Bostocke's essentially Puritan mind. <;:om- promising by attributing this fault less to the man than to the habit of his country, he suggested that "the doctrine bee tried by the worke and successe, not by their fault es in their lives"52. And in a bid for arevision of the medical curriculum in the universities he complained that in the scholes nothing may be received nor allowed that savoreth not of Aristotle, Gallen, Avicen, and other Ethnikes, whereby the yong beginners are either not acquainted with this doctrine, or eIs it is brought into hatred with them ... likewise the Galenists be so armed and defended by the protection, priviledges and authoritie of Princes, that nothing can be allowed that they disalowe, and nothing may bee received that agreeth not with their pleasures and doctrine 53 . He conc1udes that if it were lawful for men to study both sides of the question, the Paracelsian doctrines would triumph. Bostocke was the only English author in the 16th century who was more interested in Paracelsian theory than its practice. Others might use Para- celsian backing for the introduction of chemical remedies, but even here the trend was more to seek precedent in the redpe books of Gesner and Fioravanti such as George Baker:, and later John Hester, edited. But with Bostocke we find a small compendium of Paracelsian doctrine much as the Swiss reformer oiiginally presented it, a mixture of grandiose theory and valuable reform. However, there is no indication that anyone was impressed or eveninterested in his work. In the following year (1586) Bostocke's work was referred to by the equally unknown LW. in a short defence of chemical medicines. This work too is an apology for the Paracelsists, but on a much lower level. LW. states that his only desire is to convert the reader to the Paracelsian medical prepara- tions and he implies that a discussion of the deeper aspects of their theory and their relation to the macrocosm and the microcosm will be offered in the author's forthcoming Anatomy 01 Death. I have been unable to find any reference to the existence of this laUer work. He passes over the question of the antiquity of the "new sect" and merely refers the reader to the recent work of "Master B." He insists on the need of chemistry to separate the pure from the gross parts 51 Ibicl., Chap. 24. 52 Ibicl., Chap. 24. 53 Ibicl., Chap. 9. ALLEN G. DEBUS of the medicines and explains that the Galenic remedies often cause harmful results because the impure parts of the medicine gain control of the body. In his defence of Paracelsus he shows that he did write in Latin as weH as German, and in regard to his supposed heresy and conjury he refers the reader to his De occulta Philosophia and De M agia. . The excessive drinking of his idol remained to trouble hirn and he decided that he had to spend so much time at his hot furnaces distilling and subliming that he had to drink to cool off. Many pages of this tract deal with a discussion of speciftc remedies, but the author's failure to discuss Paracelsian theory in detail is to be regretted 54 . There were no other treatises of English authorship devoted to Paracelsian theory in the 16th century except the work of Thomas MoffeU which will be mentioned later. Early in the next century, several works on mystical alchemy ,and iatrochemical theory were written by Thomas Tymme and Timothy Willis, and there were as weIl the voluminous writings of Robert Fludd, but these were all without exception ignored in England. Fludd alone gained recognition for his work, but only in Germany55. There was little interest in England in mystical or occult works in medicine or alchemy in the 16th century or even weIl into the 17th century. Although works dealing primarily with Paracelsian theory found little popularity until the mid-17th century in England, treatises devoted to the promotion of chemical medicines continued to be published in ever increasing numbers. The man chiefly responsible for this was a distiller by the name of John Hester whose shop was on Paul's Wharf in London. George Baker referred to hirn as a reputable purveyor of the new medicines in his preface to the Newe]ewell 56 , and as Thomas Hill had bequeathed to Baker the manuscript of that work, so too he had bequeathed to Hester the manuscript of a second work. This was a translation from the I talian chemieal physician, Leonardo Fioravanti, titled A IoyjuU Iewell (1579). From then until his death (c. 1593) Hester con- tinued to pour out a flood of translations. First he decided to concentrate on 54 LW., The copie oj a letter sent by a learnecl Physician to his jriencl, wherein are cletectecl the manijold errors used hitherto 0/ the A pothecaries, London, 1586. This short tract is eom- posed of some 15-201eaves and is non-paginateel. 55 The works of Robert Fludel are too numerous to be mentioned here. Other early 17th-century works of English authorship incluele the following: Thomas Tymme, A Dialogue Philosophieall, London, 1612. Tymme's views are also set fortIl in his prefaee to his translation of Joseph Duchesne's Tne Practise oj Chymicall, and Hermeticall Physicke, jor the p,'eseruation oj health, London, 1605. Timothy Willis wrote two alchemieal works, the Praepositiones Tentationum, London, 1615; and The Search jor Causes, London, 1616. Finally it might be mentioned that the bishop of Worcester, John Thornborough, com- posed an alchemical tract, the At8ofJ,'WptI<.6s, London, 1621. 56 See footnote 2:2. THE P ARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 85 Fioravanti's works and later he turned to other authors such as DuChesne , Hermann, spurious works by Paracelsus and others. Relatively uninterested in the deeper aspects of Paracelsism, he normally chose works to translate which were short on theory and long on lists of recipes. As long as the tracts had these recipe collections attached to them he cared little what other theoretical views they put forth. Actually his authors agreed on HUle more than two specific points in medical reform; the importance of chemical remedies and the need for experimentation. But aside from this, his translations put forth all sides of the views being expressed at that time by the eontinental spagyrists. For instanee, Duchesne praised both Paraeelsus and Galen 57 while Fioravanti praised hardly anyone but hirnself 58 • Another author, G. A. Portu Aquitans, in his preface to the Hundred and Fourteen Experim,ents 01 Paracelsus showed the bitter hatred of some continental Paraeelsians for the Galenists 59 • As Hester was no theorist, he made no mention of the three principles of Paracelsus hirnself, and his prefaees note no alarm when Duchesne and Fioravanti continue to use the old system of the four elements and their eorresponding humours. Duehesne had worked out an independent system in regard to the interrelation of the elements and the principles which was to be offered to English readers in a translation by Thomas Tymme in 1605, but there was no hint of this theory in Hester's translations 6o • In his bid for the new medicines, Hester partieularly stressed the fact that there were now new diseases which the aneient medieine had no eure for-and the most notorious of these were the venereal diseases 61 • Here his translations stressed the use of guaiac wood (actually opposed by Paraeelsus) and mereury compounds. 57 Josephus Quercetanus (Duchesne), A Breefe Aunswere of joseph Quereetanus ... to the exposition of Iaeobus Aubertus Vindonis, eoneerning the original, and eauses of Metalles, set forth against the Chimists, tr. J ohn Hester, London, 1591, 2, 4. 58 Leonardo Phioravanti, A Short Discourse uppon Chirurgerie, tr. J ohn Hester, London, 1580, Aiv. On Fioravanti's very few references to the "divino" Paracelsus see Davide Giordano, Leonardo Fioravanti Bolognese, Bologna, 1919, 14, note I. 59 Leonardo Phioravant, Three Exact Pieces (including) One Hundred and Fourteen Experiments and Cures of the Famous Physition Theophrastus Paracelsus. Whereunto is added certain e%cellent Works by B.G. (Londrada) A. Portu Aquitans ... , tr. John Hester, London, 1652; Preface. 60 Josephus Quercetanus (Duchesne), The Practise of Chymicall, and Hermeticall Physieke, tr. Thomas Tymme, London, 1605. For an excellent modern appraisal of Duchesne's views on the principles and elements see R. Hooykaas, "Die Elementenlehre der iatro- chemiker", janus, 41, 1937, 1-28. 61 Phillippus Herrnanus, An excellent Treatise teaehing howe to eure the Freneh-Pockes ... Dr.awen out oi the Bookes of that learned Doctor and Prince of Phisitions, Theophrastus Paracelsus, tt. J ohn Hester, London, 1590; Preface. 86 ALLEN G. DEBUS Although he denied the possibility of transmutation and insisted that the purpose of alchemy was to serve as a handmaiden to medicine 62 , he had no qualms about offering Duchesne's twelve steps leading to transmutation to the reader 63 . Hester's occasional referenees to theoretical problems are often contradietory since they are from other authors and he certainly did not consider thern the most important part of his translations. His emphasis was always placed on the actual eompositions, and he usually closed eaeh work with a notation that any of the remedies eould be purchased "at Paule's Wharfe, by one John Hester practisioner in the Art of distillation, at the signe of the Furnaises"64. No other apothecaries or distillers were as voeal in their praise of chemistry as Hester, but the early and non-controversial aeeeptance of chemical remedies may be seen in the works of the English surgeons and physicians 65 . George Baker, president of the College of Surgeons in 1597, had been one of the first to promote such rernedies in the 1570's, and although he had no love for Para- celsus, many of his colleagues borrowed freely from the specifically Paracelsian remedies. One of the most notable instanees of this is the Antidotarie of the famous English surgeon John Banister (1589). In this collection of eures for variol1s wounds, Banister cited Paraeelsl1s and his disciples Duehesne and Thurneisser no less than thirty-five times 66 . William Clowes was another noted. Elizabethan surgeon. In a work published by hirn in 1579, he lashed out against empiries of all sorts, but he did not make any reference to Paracelsus or the Paracelsians 67 . Only 'a few years 62 Jolm Hester (tr.), The Seerets of Physick and Philosophy ... First written in the German Tongue by ... Theophrastus Paracelsus and now published in the English Tongue by john Hester, Practitioner in the Art of Distillation, London, 1633, 107. B3 Quereetanus, B1'eefe Aunswere, fols. 17f. 64 Hester (tr.), Secrets of Physick, from the non-paginated "ta the Reader". 65 Prof. Kocher has followed in considerable detail the referenees to Paraeelsian remedies in the works of the main surgical authors of this period, Clowes, Banister, Baker, ete., and he has shown that there was a gradual aeceptance of chemical therapy by all of these men whom he calls "the most enterprising and enlightened group of surgeons, or indeed, medical praetieioners of any kind in England at that time" (Kocher, journal of the History of Medieine, 458). This reeonciliation of the English surgeons with chemical remedies eventually led them to even look on Paracelsus Idndly, but none of themever pretended to understand deeper Paracelsian thought. See Kocher, journal of the History of Medieine, 466-80 passim. BB For a fuller deseription of this work see Kocher, journal of the History of Medieine, 466-7. For speeifie references to Paracelsus see John Banester, An Antidotarie Chyrurgicall, London, 1589; 20,97-9, 103, 107, 135, 136, 296-9, 67 William Clowes, A Shot't and profitable Treatise touching the eure of the disease caUed l\1orb'tts Gallicus by Unetions, London, 1579; Cir. THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 87 later when he first took notice of the works of Paracelsus in his writings he was most careful to distinguish between the "proud prattling Paracelsian" and "the good workes of the right Paracelsian"68. In his last published work (1602), he complained that although he could not understand the theories of the Para- celsians, that he found many of their pIasters, balms and distilled waters of great surgical value. He wrote that if I finde (eyther by reason or experience) any thing that may be to the good of the Patients, and better increase of my knowledge & skil in the Arte of Chirurgery, be it eyther in Galen or Paraceisus; yea, Turke, Ieue, or any ether Infidell: I will not refuse it, but be thankfull to God for the same 69 • One might hardly expect that there would have been any real enthusiasm for the chemical remedies among the members of the Royal College of Physicians, since most of these men had been brought up in the traditional training based on the ancients, but here, too, a surprising moderation is evident. In 1585 the members proposed to publish an official Pharmacopoeia, and one of the sections of the work was to be devoted to chemical medicines. Although this work was never printed, it is interesting that four years later separate committees were set up to prepare the various sections 70 • Among the three physicians put in charge of the section on chemical medicines was Thomas Moffett, whose opinions on chemistry had been aired by him in a tract entitled De Jure et Praestantia Chemicorum Medicamentorum (1584). Thomas Moffett (1553-1604) had studied under John Caius and Thomas Lorkin at Caius College, and then went abroad where he studied medicine under Felix Plater and Zwinger at Basel, and obtained his M.D. in 1578. During these years when he studied at Basel, and in the following four years when he travelled through Italy and Germany, he adopted the Paracelsian system of medicine. On his return to England in 1582 he received an M.D. at Cambridge, and in the Summer of that year he journeyed to Denmark where he became acquainted with Peter Severinus and Tycho Brahe. He became a candidate of the Royal College of Physicians in December, 1585, and was elected a fellow and censor of that organizationin 1588. He was a man who moved in the highest court circles, and among his friends and patients were numbered such Elizabethan worthies as Sir Francis Drake, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Earl of Essex 71 • 68 William Clowes, op. eit., 1585 edition, fol. 59. 69 William Clowes, A Right FrutefuU and Approoved Treatise for the ArtijieiaZZ eure of that Malady eaUed in Latin Struma, London, 1602; Epistle to the Reader. 70 Pharmaeopoeia Londinensis ... with a Historieal Introduetion by George Urdang, :M'adison, 1944, I!. 71 Sidney Lee: "Thomas Moffett", Dietionary of National Biography (1949-50 edition), vol. 13, 54 8 -5°. 88 ALLEN G. DEBUS Although Moffett was a Paracelsian, it was not in the highly partisan sense of the word. In the course of his broad medical training he had learned to appreciate the works of the ancient Greek physicians to a somewhat greater extent than had R.B., but here again we may note one of the hallmarks of Paracelsism-if any of the Greek physicians should be studied, it should be Hippocrates and not Galen. Consequently, we find that Moffett published a digest entitled Nosomantica Hippocrates Prognostica (Frankfort, 1588). He also collected a work on entomology (largely from a manuscript started by Wotton, Gesner and Pennius in the 1550's) which was not published until thirty years after his death by his Paracelsian successor, Theodore Turquet de Mayerne 72 • He is credited with several other works, but the one which concems us here is his De Jure et Praestantia Chemicorum M edicamentorum which 'was completed in 1584 in London, and published first at Frankfort in the same year. Although no English edition appears to have been printed, it seems to have been fairly popular on the continent where it was reprinted at Nassau in 1602, and then included in the first volume of Zetzner's Theatrum Chemicum of 1613 which was reprinted in 1659. This tract, which comprises only forty-four pages in the 1659 edition, is composed of some prefatory remarks, a dialogue between two physicians identified only as Philerastus (Phil-Erastus) and Chemista, and five appended letters dealing with various aspects of the new medicine. The work con- centrates on the defence of chemical remedies, but the author's knowledge of Paracelsian dogma is evident throughout. Evidently inspired to write it after his trip to Denmark, he dedicated it to his new-found friend Peter Severinus, the chief physician to King Frederick of Denmark and one of the most important of the continental Paracelsians. In the dedicatory letter he also sent his regards to Tycho Brahe. He begins by admitting that Many are beginning to hold chemistry in such distaste that they are horrified by the very name itself, ... while others praise chemical remedies loudly, but so often by their own negligence has Vulcan per- n1itted faults, that they must call forth the art anew or dishonour the demonstrator 73 • 72 Thomas Moffett, I nsectorum sive lVIinimorum Animalium Theatrum • . . ad vivum e%pressis iconibus super quingentis   London, 1634. 78 Thomas Moffett. liDe Jure et Praestantia Chemicorum Medicamentorum", Theatrum Chemicum ed. L. Zetzner (Argentorati, 1659). 1, 64 f. Nam illorumplurimi Chemiam tanto odio l1abere coeperunt, ut ipsius solo nomine audito inhorrescant. . .. AlU vero Cl1emica vehementer laudant remedia: sed quoties sua ipsorum negligentia Vulcanus vitium admisit toties artem denuo lacessunt, vel traducunt demonstratorem. THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 89 . Indeed, in the dialogue, Philerastus complains that the rumour has reached hirn that "chemical remedies are by far the most dangerous, and that various illnesses have been carried to excessive violence in applying them"74. Chemista replies by way of an explanation of where chemical remedies are being used and by whom. He cites the ancients, the Arabs and the men of his own day, among whom he singles out "that upright Gesner of blessed memory". After this imposing list of authorities, he speaks in awe of their "golden preparations of metals and minerals" and concludes that if you wish to stand your ground on the judgment of the ancients or of the more recent writers, it would have to be conceded the mineral and metallic remedies not only should merit their place with the doctors, but that they should even be preferred in many interna! disorders 75 . In regard to the relation of the heavenly bodies to earthly ones, Moffett is uncompromising, for when Philerastus wants to know what the Zodiac is, Chemista replies that the signs of animals are not preserved for those phantasms of the astrologers, but rather for true and vital matters; for I believe that there is a double life in animals; one of which is in them themselves, the other which operates in us; and when the first passes away, the second gains control; and the remedy of death offers nourishment for an alteration of the bod y 76. Indeed, all earthly matter is connected with the divine beings, For in truth there is as much virtue in us as there is God in us, as much wickedness as there is the devil; as much reason as there is the angels; as much motion and sense of choice as there is in us the brotes; as much growth as there is of plants; and there is as much salt, sulphur and mercury as there is of mineral matter. 77 74 Ibid., 82. Etenim ad nostras aures rumor non &. 8 a 7T 0 TOS pervenit, chemica remedia esse omnium longe periculosissima, variosque aegrotos prae nimia sua in agendo violentia abstulisse.... 75 Ibid., 83. Ha ut sive veterum judicio, sive recentiorum suffragio stare velis; Mineralia & metallica remedia non solum locum suum mereri apud medicos concessurus es, sed debere etiam in multis intemis affectibus cunctis medicamentis praeferri. 76 Ibid., 76. PH.... sed quam ob rem vocas Zodiacum? eH. Quia hic animalium signaturae non illae imaginariae Astrologorum, sed verae & vitales servantur; volo enim duplicem inesse vitam animalibus; unam quae in se ipsis, alteram quae in nobis operatur; prima evanescente, secunda obtinet imperium: necisque vel medicamentum praebet ad corporis alterationem alimentum. 77 Ibid., 65. Nam revera quantum in nobis virtutis habitat, tantum Dei inest: quantum sceleris, tantum diaboli: quantum rationis, tantum Angelorum: quantum motus sensusque arbitrarü tantum bruti: quantum auctionis, tantum plantae: quantum salis, sulphuris, mercum, tantum mineralium. 9° ALLEN G. DEBUS Paracelsus and other well-known chemists, who have drawn so much light from God, have shown that the principal matter of man has come forth from the earth where it was concealed; for they have disseeted its veins with continual and enormous labour, they have opened the viscera, they have broken the bones, they have dissolved the marrow, indeed, they have not moved a stone without at that very place examin- ing it. At length, with the benefit of Pyrotechny and Alchemy, and by their long and almost Herculean labours, they have found nothing simple in the earth except the vaporous, the inflammable, and the :fi.xed: nothing mixed which was not composed out of the same simples. On which account they are resolved that man also is of a doubly principled nature, the one being volatile, and the other fixed. The volatile in turn has a duplex nature: the first vaporous, which is called mercury, the second inflammable, which has obtained the name of sulphur. Mercury is the vaporous principle of the body: by itself a boundless, humid, liquid vehic1e of natural balsan1: sulphur with salt is like incorporating water' with sand to a calx. Sulphur is the inflammable principle of a body, fatty, light, uniform, a fomentation of vital balsam. Salt truly is the :fi.xed principle of a body, weighty, solid, and uniting the greatest strength, yielding neither to iron nor 79 • 78 Ibid., IOO. Hinc dicimus hominis corpus ex solo sulphure, Mercurio atque sale constare, non quia tam perfecte id noscimus atque Adamus, sed quia tarn naturalis quam artificiosa corporum omnigenorum resolutio, rem ita se habere ostendit. For a similar passage see also Ibid., 95. 79 Ibid., 101. Paracelsus contra aliique insignes Chemici, cum a Deo tantum luminis hausissent, materialia hominis principia in terra unde provenerat abscondi; continuo atque improbo labore venas ejus dissecuerunt, viscera apuerunt, ossa fregerunt, medullam colliquarunt, nullum non lapidem moverunt, ut quae illic habentur corpora diligenter examinarent. Tandem vero Pyrotechniae Alchemiaeque beneficio, longisque suis & plus quam Herculeis laboribus, nihil simplex in terra deprehenderunt, praeter vaporosum, inflammabile, fixum: nihil mixtum, quod non ex iisdem simplicibus componeretur. Quare hominis quoque principium duplex esse eonstituunt, alterum volatile, alterum vero fixum. Volatile vicissim duplex est: primum vapord'sum, quod Mercurius dicitur, secundum inflammabile, quod sulphuris nomen obtinuit. Mereurius est corporls principium vaporo- sum: per se ipsum illterminabile, humidum, liquidum, naturalis balsami vehiculum: sulphur cum sale, ceu aqua eum arena caleemineorporans. Sulphur est corporis principium inflammabile, pingue, leve, aequale, vitalis balsami fomentum. Sal vero est fixum corporis principium, pondus, solidatatem, roburque maximum coneilians, neque ferro neque igni cedellS per se. The Paracelsian three principles playaprominent role in Moffett's tract, and he appeals for their acceptance not through blind belief, but rather through experiment, for Henceforth let us say that the body of man consists of sulphur, mercury, and salt alone, not because we know this as perfectly as Adam, but because the resolution of all kinds of natural as wen as artificial bodies shows it to be S078. The theory of the principles is gone into in far more detail when Moffett avers that: THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 9 1 At the end of this dialogue Philerastus admitted bis defeat and Chemista christened hirn Philalethes. The final part of the tract consists of five letters from Chemista, four of which are to his disciple Philalethes the German in which he takes up various aspects of the new medicine in somewhat more detail. The one of most interest to us is the letter to Philalethes dated from London on the 4th Cal. of February, 1583, in which he refers to a letter from his imaginary (?) friend complaining about the arguments which were being raised against hirn by a certain Galenist and his cronies. He is asked for help in replying to these charges, and he is glad to be helpful. As this letter inc1udes specific attacks on Paracelsus it is perhaps worth while to quote it at some length. He begins by quoting Philalethes' antagonist to the effect that "Chemists depart completely from the authority of the medical fathers:" but I say that if they should do this in some things, I judge it to be a fair charge: but if truly in all things (as he imagines perfidiously) I consider it to be very unfair.... And he says that chemists are ignorant of all the more refined remedies: that they have not chosen from the Greek authors, that they have scarcely respected the Arabs, but that they have chosen from Paracelsus alone, a drunkard, magician, impostor, beggar, market attender, worker of the hidden arts of heaven and earth, in short, a man hated to the learned ... I call forth that braggart (the least of all the chemists) into their own arena, and I should fear not at all to debate with hirn on the subject of the Greeks or Arabs ... in regard to the faults of Paracelsus ... Natural cabala, pYrotechny, the exaltation of medicines, the contemplation of physical matters, miraeulous invention, the singular ingenuity of Paraeelsus; these things delight, eaptivate, allure and attract ehemists; non-natural magie, drunkenness, abusive language, eontempt of method, all these things are repudiated by chemists not only in those Greeks and Ethnics, but also in that same Paraeelsus.... "Paraeelsus was obscure." I confess this and for the sake of it rejoice. But Hippocrates was also most obscure, nor was there ever understanding from Galen unless it was only partly from the words and the rest from feeling. "He did not know the method." But Hippocrates also did not know it, or at least spurned it. . . . . "Paraeelsus often placed eontraries as principles and Proteus himself did not differ from hirnself as mueh as Paracelsus does from Paracelsus." Aetually, unless indulgenee be given to this mistaken recollection we shall be foreed to admit that Hippocrates differed from hirnself an infinite number of times. I eall to aceount Cardanus and Rorarius, and even Erastus, who have notieed various contradictions of his. "But Paracelsus was also a magieian and an impostor who had dealings with demons. He so indulged in drunkenness that he drank for whole days and nights with farmers, porters and the lowest type of hangrnen." Which things I might concede to be all true: however, the 9 2 ALLEN G. DEBUS defenders of Galenic Inedicine have similar faults and even worse ones by far ... (atthis point he goes into the details of an abortion Hippocrates performed on a dancing girl and the impiety of Galen). . .. Now I come to the ignorance of Paracelsus in learned and humane letters: and although I might stain him somewhat, stilll cannot concede as much as this man wishes. For he knew the Galenic doctrine, he has commented on Hippocrates: he examined the Arabs, he delivered a book on tartar with a surgery to some schools in Latin letters, and he lectured publicly in the Academy at Basel. 1t is true that "Paracelsus spoke a great deal in German", but in the same manner Hippocrates spoke Greek as naturally both of them spoke their native tongues. Is this worthy of reprehension in Paracelsus and to be passed over in Hippocrates, Aetius, Actuarius, Galen and Moschion ? ... "Paracelsus was ignorant of Logic, Physics, Astrology, and Geo- metry." And what might I say of those Galenic sectarians of whom no one could define their art so that either it might satisfy others or themselves? For this one contends it to be an art, that one a science: a third, both of these and neither: the fourth defines it from its end: the fifth from the work: the sixth from the occurrences: the seventh says that «Medicine is an art of curing and bringing health": but he adds to it "in the human body", as if truly the nature and name of medicine was more fitting to this end than to the curing of plants, or even cattle . . . (he concludes by ridiculing the predictions of the astrologers and the) ... ignorance of the Geometers is so marked that they assert their defence of the revolution of the earth and seas with preciseness, however, as to how much distance separates London from the Httle town of Iselinus, they know equally as Httle. But although that Galenist was not ashamed to call Paracelsus the objeet of hatred of heaven and earth, it would now seem that the shame has lept across from one party to the other BO • 80 Ibid., 89-93. . .. Chemistas a paiTum auctoritatibus omnino recedere: id quod in aliquibus si faciant, probum honestum judico: si vero in omnibus (ut is malitiose fingit) censeo periniquum. . .. Dicit chemistas omnis politioris doctrinae ignaros esse: graecos non legisse auctores, Arabes vix a limine salutasse, a solo Paracelso, ebrio, mago, impostore, agyrta, circumforaneo, obscuritatum, artifice, coeli, terraeque odio edoctos. . .. in sua ipsius arena provoco, & secum in Graeca Arabicave planitie confligere, neutiquam timesco solus. . .. Ad Paracelsi vitia. . .. Cabala naturalis, Pyrotechnia, Medicamentorum exaltatio, Physices contemplatio, festivitas, mirabilis inventio, ingenium singulare Para- celsi; Haec Chemicos delectant, capiunt, alliciunt, attrahunt; Magia non naturalis, ebrietas, maledicentia, methodi contemtus, ea quidem omnia a Chernicis non solurn in Graeds illis & Ethnicis, sed etiam in ipso Paraceiso reprehenduntur. . .. "Fuit obscurus Paracelsus": fateor & causa jubet. Sed quoque obscurissimus Hippocrates, neque a Galeno qua verba, qua sententias, intellectus. "Methodum ignoravit." Eandem quoque nescivit, vel saliem sprevit Hippocrates . . . "Paracelsum contraria quandoque ponere principia: tam Proteum a seipso, quain Paracelsum a Paraceiso differe." Verum nisi huic JLv1JJLOVUCW errato venia detur, educemus denuo Hippocratem infinities a seipso dissentientem. Testor Cardanum, Rorarium, ipsumque adeo Erastu, qui varias ipsius contradictiones continued on opposite page THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 93 There can be little doubt from the known intentions of the College in 1585 and 15 8 9 in regard to the Pharrnacopoeia, that the members were a forward looking group of men. Like the surgeons they were ready and willing to accept any new remedies which might prove fruitful, and it is unfortunate that this proposed Pharmacopoeia was never cornpleted. However, the first London Pharmacopoeia that was issued by the College (r618) did contain seetions on chemical remedies. This can be seen to be hardly a revolutionary advance at that time, since the rnernbers were on record as having approved of these remedies over thirty years earlier. The Paracelsian influence mayaiso be seen in the extension of chemical methods to urinalysis and the analysis of mineral waters. In both these fields Leonard Thurneisser had written authoritative works in the 157 0 's81, and their influence seems to have been feIt in England. Paracelsus, also, had ridiculed the traditional uroscopy, and he had emphasized that urine sampies should be distilled for an analysis. Following these men R. Bostocke echoed that The folowers of ye Ethnikes in judgement of Urin (most of thern) take upon thern to pronounce of al diseases in any part of mans body, 81 On Paraeelsian urinalysis see Pagel, Paracelsus, 189-200. Thumeisser's mineral water analyses are diseussed by Gemot Rath in his article "Die Anfänge der 11ineral- quellenanalyse", Medizinischen Monatsschrift, 7, 1949, 539-41. 80 continued animadverterunt. "Sed fuit Paraeelsus queq' magus, impostor, habuitq' eum daemonibue eommercium. Ebriatati ita indulsit, ut integros dies noetesq' eum rusticis, bajulis & faeee earnifieum eompotaret." Quae si vera esse omnia eoneederem: habent tament Galenieas medieinae patroni similes naevos, vel multo turpiores quidem.. " Nune venio ad ignorantiam Paraeelsi in literis scientüsque humanioribus: quam uti non infieior fuisse aliquam, ita nec eoneedo tantam, quantam is esse vult. Nam Galenieam novit doctrinam: in Hippocratem eommentatus est: Arabes examinavit: librum de tartaro una eum Chirurgicis aliquot seholiis latinis mandavit literis, & publice in Aeademia Basiliensi dietavit. Verum esto, "Paracelsum germanice tantum Ioeutum esse", quin & tantum graeee Hippocrates; uterque seilieet patriam tantum linguam Hoecine in Paraeelso reprehensione dignum, & praetereundum in Hippoerate, Aetio, Aetuario, Galeno, Moschione? . .. "Paraeelsus Logices, Physiees, Astrologiae, Geometriae fuit ignarus." Et quales illius Galenici eonsectatores dicam, quorum nemo ita suam artem definivit, ut vel aliis vel sibi satisfaciat. Hic enim artem esse contendit: ille scientiam: tertius utramque & neutram, sed quodam mode: quartus a fine: quintus ab opere: sextus ab eventu definit: septimus "Medieinam artem esse dicit curandae sanitatis": sed illud etiam adjungit, "in eorpore humano". Quasi vero natura nomenque medieinae plus huie, quam plantarum eurationi, vel etiam KT1JV,O,Tp,1d] conveniat. . .. Geometrarum quoque tanta deprehenditur inseitia, ut terrae marisque ambitum se exaete tenere autumant, quantum tamen Londinum ab Iselini distat oppidulo, juxta eum ingnarissimis seiunt. Quod vero Galenicus ille Paraeelsum eoeliterraeque odium vocare non erubeseit, pudoris eaneellos data opera tI:ansilüsse videatur. 94 ALLEN G. DEBUS by looking on the water, . .. The Chymicall Phisition affirmeth that ., t 82 such judgement of urme lS mons rous.... He too suggested that true results might be obtained if the distillation pro- cedure was applied 83 • Unfortunately he ignored the 'description of specific gravity tests in Paracelsus, which was the only significant advance made by him in this field. Bostocke's treatise was ignored by his contemporaries and only forty years later, in James Hart's rejeetion of the chemical analysis of urine, was there any later indication of interest in this odd extension of chemistry84. Far more significant is the growth of analytical knowledge seen in the works on spa waters. William Turner, through whom Paracelsus was first mentiolled in an English book, told of his own examination of the waters at Bath (I557). In essence, he merely scooped up some of the slime from the bottom of the sprillg-noted its odour and then concluded that the chief mineral present was brimstone 85 • This is such a primitive procedure that it certainly does not deserve to be cOllsidered an analysis, but there were striking changes in method toward the end of the celltury. In I572, Thurneisser had published his Pison, which described chemical allalyses of all the more importallt German baths. Here he stressed that an sampies analysed should be of a standard weight. In the aetual analysis the sampie was to be filtered, reweighed, and then dis- tilled to drylless. The resulting precipitate was then weighed, dissolved in clear water and crystallized. The purified crystals were then subjected to a series of tests for their identification 86 • In the late I6th century little was known of colour indicators, although the juice of Gall was used for the deter- mination of vitriol. The Pison was followed up with' many other similar treatises on the continent, and, although this was not a very popular topic in England, its influence was soon feIt there as wen. In I587, Walter Bailey, a physician to the Queen, published an account of the medicinal waters at Newnam Regis in the county of Warwick 87 • Bailey 82 R.B., Esq., op. cU., Chap. 8, section I7. 83 Ibid. 84. For alueid analysis of Hart's work in this field see Pagel, ParaeeZsus, I96-8. Hart's work on urinalysis is best set forth in his The Anatomie 0/ Urine, London, I625, where he diseussed the Paraeelsian approach to this problem on pages I I9-2I. However, he had in I623 translated a similar work by Feter Forrest entitled The Arraignment 0/ Urines. In his preface tothis latter work he also attacked the chemical analysis of urine (see folio A2). eil William Turner, op. eit. (I568 ed.), f. I. 8G Rath, op. cit., 540. Leonhart Thuneisser zum Thurn, Pison (Frankfurt an der Oder), 30-8. 87Walter Bailey, ABriefe Discours of eertain bathes or Medicinall Waters in the Countie 0/ Warwick neere unto a viZlage eaUed Newnam Regis, Landon, I587, Io-I3. THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 95 feIt there was a need to identify the minerals in the spring, and he proceeded to distill and evaporate his sampie. \\Then a sufficient amount of saUs had precipitated, he then filtered them and analvsed them bv their taste, colour, and their reaction when added to fire. He the mineral matter present consisted of limestone, nitre, alum and iron. Another work published in 1600 suggested that the trade in mineral waters be stopped, and that the minerals themselves should be isolated and shipped to cut down the transporation costs 88 • Then in 1626 and 1631, descriptions of the baths in Yorkshire and Bath, for the first time in England, describe colour indicators for vitriol determinations and for acid-alkali determinations, as weIl as giving detailed directions for the identification of salts by their crystal form 89 • There was, then, no sincere attempt among English medical men to prevent the application of chemistry to medicine. Fe\v if any of them would have approved of Bostocke's assertion that true medicine is nothing but chemistry, but most of them were willing to accept anything valuable which might come from the use of this art. Nothing shows this intensified interest better than the increased knowledge displayed in the works on mineral water analysis. As far as the chemical medicines were concerned, they were accepted by surgeons and physicians alike with no significant Galenist opposition. Adefinite compromise had been reached in England in regard to this new medicine. The occult aspects of Paracelsian theory were rejected, while the new remedies were eagerIy accepted provided that they proved their worth. This was the compromise position set forth by William CIO\ves and most other surgeons. It is seen also in the London physician Stephen Bredwell who fought the "pernicious impostures and sophistications" of the Paracelsians, but who at the same time wanted to establish a chemicallectureship at the Royal College of Physicians 90 . Another member of the College, Francis Herring, was willing to commend Paracelsus as "a skilfull Chymicall writer and worker", but, he continued, 88 Anon., ABriefe Discourse of the Hypostasis, or substance of the water of Spaw (tr. from the French by G.T., London, c. 1600), 3· 89 On the analyses to the Yorkshire spa at Knaresborough (Harrogate), see Michael Stanhope, Newes out of York-Shire: Or, An Account of a Journey in the True Discovery of a Souveraigne Minerall, MedicinaU Water, London, 1626,6; Michael Stanhope, Gare or a Summons to aU Such Who Find Little or no helpe by the use of ordznary Physzck to   to the N ortherne Spaw, London, 1632, "To the Reader". For the tests at Bath see Edward Jorden, A Discourse of NaturaU Bathes, and Minerall Waters, London, 16 3 1 , 73-6· 90 John Gerarde The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes, London, 1597, introductory non-paginated leaf' entitled "To the weil affected Reader and peruser of this booke" by Stephen Bredweil. 9 6 ALLEN G. DEBUS I have often marvelled how any man of wisdome and modestie, seeing the incredible insolencie and impudencie, the intolerable vanitie and follie, the ridiculous and childish crakings and vantings of Paracelsus should once commend him without noting his contrary vices, and giving him a dash with a blacke coale0 1 • The role played by Paracelsus in this Renaissance transformation of pharmacy was ignored by most Elizabethans. Although the works of Paracelsus and his followers had been primarily responsible for this new interest in chemical medicines, Paracelsus was at best listed as one of many who approved of these remedies, and most of the credit went to Conrad Gesner anel those of the ancients who had been in favonr of these cures. Therefore, in Englancl, chemical therapy had WOll acceptance not by over- turning the Galenic system, but by allying itself to it. On the continent the conservatives, who had been shocked at the desire of Paracelsus to discard the whole ancient meclical corpus, began to band together as a faction shortly after the midclle of the century. '1'here were two clearly defined groups, the one wishing to discard much of the old medicine, while the other, in defence, clearly being forced to aclhere to its a.uthorities rigidly. When Conrad Gesner came along at a later date--he 'was only eleven when Paracelsus had burned the Canon of Avicenna-and as a compiler put together a group of chemical remedies from various authors, his proeluction was not to cause any \videspread controversy. Hut in England tbc situation was reversed. Outside of the translation of Bnmschwig's work on distillation which had appeared in 1527, anel the trans- lation of one of Arnold of Villanova's works (I540), the first work of chemical remcclies, both organic a.nel inorganic, was the Treasttre 01 Eu,ony,nttS of Gesner. '1'hi8 was not a theoretical volume, but it dicl make available a great mImber of useful remedies. Most important, \:vas the fact that although the author hacl IlO rccourse tn Ga.Ien 01' Hippocrates in its compilation, he sought no quarrel with them. In the 1560'S and 1570'S the English physician's had no ca.use to believe tImt these remedies implied any conflict with the existing system. vVhen thc first comments on Panlcelsus and the Paracelsian theories were printed in EngIancl in the monographs of Jülm Jones and George Baker in the seventies, they were based not on the works of Paracelsus himself, but rather based on the refutation ()f his theori($ by Thomas Erastus. When R. Bostocke triecl to present a more accurate summary of the Paracelsian system, his work attracted very littlc intcrest. T'he other outstanding Paracelsian treatise of this period by an Englisiunan was thc tract by Thomas Moffett, but although 91 Francis Herring, A Jl.1odest Deftmce 0/ '"e Caveat given to the Wearers 0/ impoisonea Amukts asPrescrvativcs}t'o1n fhe Plagt4e, 1.on<1011, 16°4,32 f. THE PARACELSIAN COMPROMISE IN ELIZABETHAN ENGLAND 97 he appears to have read widely in the Paracelsian corpus, his problem was primarily to aid in the acceptance of the new medicines, and, in any case, his work was never printed in England and it seems to have attracted little atten- tion there. It is safe to assume, however, that his views were known to his colleagues in the Royal College of Physicians. The rest of the chief supporters of the new medicine in England were interested less in theory than in practice, and thus John Hester and the members of the College of Surgeons can be placed in the Gesnerian raiher than the Paracelsian tradition. While on the continent a physician often was in a position where he could only choose between an almost complete overthrow, or an equally complete dominance of the Galenic medicine, in England the physician had not only these choices, but also a third, the acceptance of the Galenic system with the addition of whatever was found valuable in chemical therapy. Logically enough it was this third solution which found almost immediate acceptance, even in the supposedly conservative Royal College of Physicians. The more complete exposition of Paracelsian thought which appeared with the Duchesne translation of Thomas Tymme in 1605, and Tymme's own defence of it in 1612, as well as the Fluddean system of the world which began to be published in 1617, did nothing to reverse this trend. Paracelsus and his theoretical reforms were very unpopular .even before they were really explained, and the view toward them which was taken in the first ten years after their introduction, was basically the same as that expressed in the Pharmacopoeia of 1618. The chief translator of works on spagyrical medicine had been John Hester, and it is significant that he was far more interested in the recipe books of Duchesne and Fioravanti than in Paracelsus. His two short translations from works falsely attributed to Paracelsus were composed of chemical recipes, not of iatrochemical theory, and that which is even more important is the fact that they were the only translations attributed to Paracelsus until the 1650's, when the work of van Helmont and others brought renewed interest in the Paracelsian corpus. The conflict which developed at that time was far more violent than that which led to the Eliza- bethan compromise in medidne, and it resulted in the translation of many more works of Paracelsus in the decade of the 1650'S plus a reprintof the Hester translations, but its final result was to confirm the stand first taken by the Elizabethans.