D’Espagnet, Jean (ca. 1640)
A Hermetic philosopher who left two treatises, Enchiridion
Physicae Restitutae (1623) and Arcanum Philosophiae Hermitacae
(ca. 1623), which were also said to be the works of one who
called himself ‘‘the Chevalier Imperial.’’ The Secret of Hermetic
Philosophy embraces the practical side of the magnum opus, and
the Enchiridion explores the physical possibility of transmutation
of metals. D’Espagnet also wrote the preface to the Tableau
de l’inconstance des démons by Pierre De Lancre.
The Arcanum is better known as The Canons of Espagnet and
has been called a treatise on mystical alchemy. The author
states, however, that ‘‘the science of producing Nature’s grand
Secret is a perfect knowledge of nature universally and of Art,
concerning the realm of Metals; the practice whereof is conversant
in finding the principles of Metals by analysis.’’
The authorities cited by D’Espagnet were those who, like
Bernard Trévisan, are known to have devoted their lives to
practical alchemy. While much of the treatise discusses physical
objects, it may also be extended to the psychic side of the hermetic
or alchemical art.