Though generated in the process of digestion (as it was, too, for the Galenists), blood is primarily the work of the Archeus, who makes it the "proper habitation of the vital spirit, the immediate instrument of the Soul" (Aimatiasis, 2).
Assaults such as these from the "outside" put the Archeus into "a violent passion," an "extream displacency ...
Frequent "sangumissions," he explains, exhaust the Archeus, which in turn allows a multitude of "calamities of Body and Mind [to be] hatched up." The mind, he continues, then becomes "possessed with Melancholy, black, discontented thoughts, uncapable to receive truth, becomes forward, peevish, careless of virtuous Action, desperately bent to follow for diverstisement, a voluptuous sensual life, or to contrive Innovations, Heresies, Schisms, and factious Rebellions, and what not." (42) Thomson even sees "this Blood-sucking course" as a threat to the vitality of the nation iself:
(43) Moreover, the Helmontian reliance on quasi-mystical notions like the Archeus did not correspond to the more public, rationally-based medicine of the early eighteenth century.
(30) On van Helmont's concept of the Archeus and how it fits into his understanding of biology generally, see Pagel, Van Helmont, chap.
The Archeus, however, can be subverted by the Cagastrum.
Everything that one finds in it is at once struck with irrelevance , inconsistency, and potential inanity." (65) If it is the Archeus that "directs everything to its essential nature," then Beroalde asks if the Archeus is not being constantly foiled by the Cagastrum.
The Cagastrum's first reverse transmutation turns the Archeus' work of emulative imitation into deception.
Thi s is the duplicity forged by the Cagastrum that, by couching deception in similarity, deflects the Archeus' work of individuation.
If the function of the Archeus is to determine the proper growth and development of objects, then in Beroalde the Cagastrum appears constantly to thwart this objective by discontinuity and rupture.
This point is related to the third work of the Cagastrum, which is to embroil the Archeus' work of purifying and simplifying by mixing and conflating.
In Le Moyen de parvenir, the Archeus' goal of producing a quintessence is constantly satirized because the reality that Beroalde confronts is an everchanging irreducible mixture.