isis unveiled: xiii (alchemy)

“Dr. Peisse, of Paris, wrote in 1863, the following:

“One word, a propos, of alchemy. What must we think of the Hermetic art? Is it lawful to believe that we can transmute metals, make gold? Well, positive men, esprits forts of the nineteenth century, know that Mr. Figuier, doctor of science and medicine, chemical analyst in the School of Pharmacy, of Paris, does not wish to express himself upon the subject. He doubts, he hesitates.

He knows several alchemists (for there are such) who, basing themselves upon chemical discoveries, and especially on the singular circumstance of the equivalents demonstrated by M. Dumas, pretend that metals are not simple bodies, true elements in the absolute sense, and that in consequence they may be produced by the process of decomposition. This encourages me to take a step further, and candidly avow that I would be only moderately surprised to see some one make gold.

I have only one reason to give, but sufficient it seems; which is, that gold has not always existed; it has been made by some chemical travail or other in the bosom of the fused matter of our globe; perhaps some of it may be even now in process of formation. The pretended simple bodies of our chemistry are very probably secondary products, in the formation of the terrestrial mass. It has been proved so with water, one of the most respectable elements of ancient physics.

Today, we create water. Why should we not make gold? An eminent experimentalist, Mr. Desprez, has made the diamond. True, this diamond is only a scientific diamond, a philosophical diamond, which would be worth nothing; but, no matter, my position holds good. Besides, we are not left to simple conjectures.

There is a man living, who, in a paper addressed to the scientific bodies, in 1853, has underscored these words — I have discovered the method of producing artificial gold, I have made gold. This adept is Mr. Theodore Tiffereau, ex-preparator of chemistry in the Ecole Professionelle et Superieure of Nantes.”

Cardinal de Rohan, the famous victim of the diamond necklace conspiracy, testified that he had seen the Count Cagliostro make both gold and diamonds. We presume that those who agree with Professor T. Sterry Hunt, F.R.S., will have no patience with the theory of Dr. Peisse, for they believe that all of our metalliferous deposits are due to the action of organic life.

And so, until they do come to some composition of their differences, so as to let us know for a certainty the nature of gold, and whether it is the product of interior volcanic alchemy, or surface segregation and filtration, we will leave them to settle their quarrel between themselves, and give credit meanwhile to the old philosophers.”

H. P. Blavatsky

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