C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


I have always looked upon alchemy in natural philosophy to be like enthusiasm in divinity, and to have troubled the world much to the same purpose.

Sir W. Temple.

It is an art without art, which has its beginning in falsehood, its middle in toil, and its end in poverty.

From the Latin.

  • If by fire
  • Of sooty coal th’ empiric alchymist
  • Can turn, or holds it possible to turn,
  • Metals of drossest ore to perfect gold.
  • Milton.

  • The glorious sun
  • Stays in his course and plays the alchemist,
  • Turning with splendor of his precious eye
  • The meager cloddy earth to glittering gold.
  • Shakespeare.

    Alchemy may be compared to the man who told his sons he had left them gold buried somewhere in his vineyard; where they by digging found no gold, but by turning up the mould, about the roots of their vines, procured a plentiful vintage. So the search and endeavors to make gold have brought many useful inventions und instructive experiments to light.