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* These instructions are adapted from Dennis Goldfarb's annotations on the Thames Papers which contain the epistolary exchange between two mononymous (or, possibly, acronymous) 17th century polymaths. The first letter of that exchange is reprinted hereunder in Goldfarb's 1994 translation of the original Latin:


I have found something. Caralitana, though beggarly beside your Cantabrigian treasury of quintessence suspended in delicate rinds of tender young trees, does indeed possess a few articles of worth secreted in obscure cupboards. Out of a parcel of epistles signed alternatingly by one Abram and one Flame (Decknamen of adepts, I surmised) and dated from Feb:1360 to Jun:1364, I deciphered a legend in which the philosopher's stone is interred (though the word used, curiously, is inundatus) in a Levantine queen's tomb. Naturally, I intend to assay the purity of this tale. I bring it to you, old friend, trusting that your love of light will attract you to my purpose. If the stone is indeed within our reach, let us grasp it, not so as to secrete it back into darkness, but rather to set it amid crystalline lenses and let it shine before men.

The complete correspondence of the adepts, I regret, is too ponderous to be enclosed. Until the appointed hour when God next delivers me (and, with me, this ponderous parcel) into your presence, you will have to have faith in the faithfulness of my decipherment. The pith of it, wherein the whereabouts of the stone is concealed, reads like a Donnean octave:

Our sacred stone, refracted by Saturn,
Lies inundated with 🜲 Kamilah
In holy 🜃 shaded by cedar boughs
Upon which doves of mother Venus light.
In darkness thus our divine elixir
Shall lose no 🝣 nor desiccate
In society with savorless 🜔
Until a son of man in time returns.
Recalling Isaiah, I extracted Lebanon from "cedar boughs" which sets our tomb in the heart of the Levant (our "holy 🜃"). The indices of my Levantine histories, however, tell of no queen named Kamilah. Perhaps inundation signifies a sunken monarchy, a tomb and its royal occupant descended into darkness. Darkness, at least, is clearly at play. The adepts feared that their stone would be brought to light by ungodly men in whose inept hands it would lose its purity, so they entombed it and drowned it in a double darkness that only the one true light should ever penetrate. This much I have picked out. I leave the subtler parts to you, the better dissector.

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