In the narrow sense of the word, alchemy is the pretended art of making gold and silver, or transmuting the base metals into the noble ones.
The author of these receipts is not under any delusion that he is transmuting metals; the MS. is merely a workshop manual in which are described processes in daily use for preparing metals for false jewellery, but it argues considerable knowledge of methods of making alloys and colouring metals.
Already, only eighty years after More's execution, hagiography had taken possession of the facts and was transmuting them into an edifying legend.
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