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“agonized remorse on the implied assumption that sufficiently

prolonged pain will transfigure his soul and he will become

worthy of the restoration that waits in redeeming time”

(Stockholder, 1992: 161). This “redeeming time” is, for

Paulina, the time needed for the king’s wound to heal, and also

for his abandoned child and persecuted queen to heal: it will

include his return to himself as well as their return to him. For

Paulina, this healing stage involves a restoration following a

period of


, each in a particular, separate, and

healthful environment, and time is necessary at this stage to

complete the healing process.

Separation, in Paracelsian iatrochemistry, is crucial to the

obtaining of the quintessence, that is, to achieving the purest

distillation. “Paracelsean pharmacy,”


according to Walter

Pagel, an influential scholar in the field of Paracelsian medical

theory, “is based on


. By this is meant the isolation

of the specific virtue


which has a specific action

on one or several diseases. . . . What medicine needs is ‘to

extract, not to compose’” (1982: 144). For Paracelsus,

separation is thus, in the words of Pagel, “the greatest miracle

in nature

it is the model and original pattern of all birth”

(1982: 91). It is through separation, rather than composition,

that new life is possible.

Every particle initially present will come into being

and to its proper form. This takes place through

separation accompanied by condensation whereby

invisible prime matter is converted into a visible


matter in the ordinary sense. This process

is comparable to the separation and condensation of

soot from hardly visible smoke and air. (Pagel, 1982:



Pagel chooses to use “Paracelsean” while contemporary critics tend to use

“Paracelsian,” as does the author of this study.