Anyway, Orthelius wants us to know – first that the calcined marble powder will be added to the sea sponge; and second that the implement will rely on this odd combination for absorbing the humidity, as we will see further on. But he reserves to the title the necessary notion that the sponge has in this way become a “marble sponge”, being filled with pounds of calcium carbonate (after the calcination process, it is calcium oxide though).
In the next paragraph the author recommends to place the implement in the peculiar environment represented below, which he describes with the name Hypocaust, or “hot room” (of course what may appear as a huge caisson actually is a large tiled stove):
“The warmer the hypocaust where the implement has been placed, the colder outside of the window. Through the superior part of the implement, it can be collected little by little by its lowest part in the small orifice and narrow like the eye of a needle, it continues, in this drawing implement even more of water is gathered, and eventually through the sponge pressed by the burden marble (per spongiam à marmore gravante pressam), flows from it in the adjacent vessel. To satisfy the need, the drink of the same may be sufficient to horse and man.”
The hypocaust engraving doesn’t explain whether the glass of the window was removed in the adjacency of the container’s neck. Orthelius says nothing on the regard, so we don’t know whether there was an air turnover in the room, or not. Additionally he is unclear whether the water has to just pass through, or to be entirely gathered in the sponge (per quam superior instrumenti pars, ab infima sui parte paulatim in angustissimum & strictissimum orificium quod acus cupidem recipere queat, protenditur, tantò citius etiam & plus aquae in hoc instrumentum attractorium colligetur & tandem per spongiam à marmore gravante pressam, in vas suppositum defluet).
Has Orthelius ever put his scheme into operation? Or the impossible implement is just an allegory for something else the author cannot completely unravel? As for now he concludes the paragraph with a surprise:
” I saw similar round objects (globos) made of gold, silver, copper and aurichalco, with which cold water, even very cold, was pulled towards and applied as quickly as possible, and with which wonderful effects took place, which with no doubt was the intention of his opera. But to that will be reserved the right time and place.”
And in fact I was wondering where the copper part mentioned in the beginning was ended up, and soon disappeared from the description. Does the globe make the function of container, or is it the real implement hidden inside the flask we see in the drawing instead? Or is the same flask actually made of copper, gold and silver? Materials that act as powerful natural attractors for Spiritus Mundi/Secret Fire.
A moisture condensation forms on the less warm part of the implement, like on an underground cellar door during an hot summer. As for lime, it is an excellent absorbing moisture but must be handled carefully as it can damage skin and eyes ( above we have seen why) . In ancient times they placed a jar with quicklime to get rid of humidity in cellars and basements.
Previous chapter at Orthelius Commentary on Sendivogius. Chapter 4.
Next chapter at Orthelius Commentary on Sendivogius. Chapter 6.
- A suggestion of mine: start to consider the week before the official equinox peak, as the official day is often already too late;
- See for a comparison Bacstrom’s Apparatus to Attract Lunar Humididy.