LEAD Action News

LEAD Action News Vol 2 no 1 Summer 1994.  ISSN 1324-6011
Incorporating Lead Aware Times ( ISSN 1440-4966) and Lead Advisory Service News ( ISSN 1440-0561)
The journal of The LEAD (Lead Education and Abatement Design) Group Inc.

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Lead in Literature

"The Alchemist" by Pablo Coelho

The following are brief extracts from the book "The Alchemist", English version copyright 1993 by Pablo Coelho and Alan R. Clarke, published by Harper Collins, NY. Reprinted with permission.

The next day, the boy returned to the well, hoping to see the girl. To his surprise, the Englishman was there, looking out to the desert. "I waited all afternoon and evening," he said. He appeared with the first stars of evening, I told him what I was seeking, and he asked me if I had ever transformed lead into gold. I told him that was what I had come here to learn. He told me I should try to do so. That's all he said. 'Go and try'. The boy didn't say anything. The poor Englishman had travelled all this way, only to be told that he should repeat what he had already done so many times. p99-100

"This is the first phase of the job", he said. "I have to separate out the sulfur. To do that successfully, I must have no fear of failure. It was my fear of failure that first kept me from attempting the Master Work." p 103

"And then there were the others, who were interested only in the gold. They never found the secret. They forgot that lead, copper, and iron have their own destinies to fulfil. And anyone who interferes with the destiny of another thing never will discover his own." p145

"This is why alchemy exists," the boy said. "so that everyone will search for his treasure, find it, and then want to be better than he was in his former life. Lead will play its role until the world has no further need for lead; and then lead will have to form itself into gold. That's what alchemists do. They show that, when we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too." p158

They went into the kitchen at the back of the monastery. The alchemist lighted the fire, and the monk brought him some lead, which the alchemist placed on an iron pan. When the lead had become liquid, the alchemist took from his pouch the strange yellow egg. p 162

When the pan had cooled, the monk and the boy looked at it, dazzled. The lead had dried into the shape of the pan, but it was no longer lead. It was gold. "Will I learn to do that someday?" the boy asked. "This was my destiny, not yours," the alchemist answered. "But I wanted to show you that it was possible". p l63

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