Page:Magician 1908.djvu/104

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steadily on the speaker. The immobility of that vast bulk was peculiar.

“His name is not so ridiculous as later associations have made it seem,” proceeded the doctor, “for he belonged to the celebrated family of Bombast, and they were called Hohenheim after their ancient residence, which was a castle near Stuttgart in Würtemberg. The most interesting part of his life is that which the absence of documents makes it impossible accurately to describe. He travelled in Germany, Italy, France, the Netherlands, in Denmark, Sweden, and Russia. He went even to India. He was taken prisoner by the Tartars and brought to the Great Khan, whose son he afterwards accompanied to Constantinople. The mind must be dull, indeed, that is not thrilled by the thought of this wandering genius traversing the lands of the earth at the most eventful date of the world’s history. It was at Constantinople that, according to a certain aureum vellus printed at Rorschach in the sixteenth century, he received the philosopher’s stone from Solomon Trismosinus. This person possessed also the Universal Panacea, and it is asserted that he was seen still alive by a French traveller at the end of the seventeenth century. Paracelsus then passed through the countries that border the Danube, and so reached Italy, where he served as a surgeon in the imperial army. I see no reason why he should not have been present at the battle of Pavia. He collected information from physicians, surgeons, and alchemists; from executioners, barbers, shepherds, Jews, gipsies, midwives, and fortune-