The idea of transmutation, in the country of its origin, had a philosophical basis, and was linked up with the Greek theories of matter there current; thus, by supplying a central philosophical principle, it to some extent unified and focussed chemical effort, which previously, so far as it existed at all, had been expended on acquiring empirical acquaintance with a mass of disconnected technical processes.
This measure obliged all the great dignitaries, and the principal towns also, according to their means, to maintain a banderium of five hundred horsemen, or a proportional part thereof, and hold it ready, at the first summons, thus supplying the crown with a standing army 76,875 strong.
The Geestlande comprise the suburban districts encircling the city on the north and west; the Marschlande includes various islands in the Elbe and the fertile tract of land lying between the northern and southern arms of the Elbe, and with its pastures and market gardens supplying Hamburg with large quantities of country produce.
Other forciers had been set up, and in 1609, on an act of 1605, Sir Hugh Myddelton undertook the task of supplying reservoirs at Clerkenwell through the New river from springs near Ware, Hertfordshire; and these were opened in 1613.
Here the efforts of Dr Alem succeeded in supplying a large body of rebels with arms and ammunition, and he was able, by a bold attack, to seize the town of Rosario and there establish the revolutionary headquarters.