It was supposed that Flamel had buried the philosopher's stone in the cellar; and the alchemists, for the space of two centuries, from Magistri to Father Pacifique, never ceased to worry the soil until the house, so cruelly ransacked and turned over, ended by falling into dust beneath their feet.
Archdeacon Claude had the credit also of having fathomed the mystery of the colossus of Saint Christopher, and of that lofty, enigmatical statue which then stood at the entrance of the vestibule, and which the people, in derision, called "Monsieur Legris." But, what every one might have noticed was the interminable hours which he often employed, seated upon the parapet of the area in front of the church, in contemplating the sculptures of the front; examining now the foolish virgins with their lamps reversed, now the wise virgins with their lamps upright; again, calculating the angle of vision of that raven which belongs to the left front, and which is looking at a mysterious point inside the church, where is concealed the philosopher's stone, if it be not in the cellar of Nicolas Flamel.
"From him we may expect no philosopher's stone
, but at least we will find a few robust tonic things to which to tie."
A profound knowledge of the occult sciences has persuaded the Baron that it is possible to solve the famous problem called the "Philosopher's Stone
." His own pecuniary resources have long since been exhausted by his costly experiments.
Under the guidance of my new preceptors I entered with the greatest diligence into the search of the philosopher's stone
and the elixir of life; but the latter soon obtained my undivided attention.
"After all, the mediaeval belief in the Philosopher's Stone
which could transmute metals, has its counterpart in the accepted theory of metabolism which changes living tissue.
A period wherein science was raped by the metaphysicians, wherein physics became a search for the Philosopher's Stone
, wherein chemistry became alchemy, and astronomy became astrology.
The marvels which were constantly being revealed as actual facts seemed no less wonderful than the extravagances of medieval romance; and it was scarcely more than a matter of course that men should search in the new strange lands for the fountain of perpetual youth and the philosopher's stone
. The supernatural beings and events of Spenser's 'Faerie Queene' could scarcely seem incredible to an age where incredulity was almost unknown because it was impossible to set a bound how far any one might reasonably believe.
I thought he was fit to die with shame, and there he sits grinning smiles, as good as to say, 'Let the world wag as it will, I've the philosopher's stone
in my waist-coat pocket, and the elixir of life in my cupboard; I'm independent of both Fate and Fortune'"
The general opinion, I believe, is, that I am seeking by unholy arts for the philosopher's stone
. Plain man, as you see me, I find myself getting quite the reputation of a Doctor Faustus in the popular mind.
'Why, pretty well, John,' he returned, with the distraught air of a man who was casting about for the Philosopher's stone
, at least.
I don't know what a quarry of philosopher's stones
is like, but if it's anything like Mr.