The Chapter Of Putrefaction

Now we begin the chapter of Putrefaction,
Without which pole no seed may multiply,
Which must be done only by continual action,
Of heat in the body, moist not manually.
For bodies else may not be altered naturally,
Since Christ doth witness, unless the grain of wheat die in the ground,
Increase may thou not get.


And likewise unless the matter putrefy,
It may in no way truly be altered,
Neither may thy elements be divided kindly,
Nor the conjunction of them perfectly celebrated,
That thy labour therefore be not frustrated,
The privitie of our putrefying well understand,
Before ever you take this work in hand.



– Putrefaction, George Ripley, 1471, (first two verses)


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