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The Englishman is a man that Santiago runs into on his journey to find treasure in the pyramids of Egypt. The Englishman studies alchemy, and he helps Santiago by introducing him to it. The Englishman believes in omens (p. 68). He is a scholar and philosopher.
All his life and all his studies were aimed at finding the one true language of the universe. (p. 68)
The alchemist is the man who understands the universal language, according to the Englishman. He imparts this wisdom to Santiago. When a caravan shows up going to Egypt, the Englishman says it is a good omen (p. 73), “there’s no such thing as coincidence” (p. 75).
Santiago is most interested in the book that tells the stories of the alchemists (p. 83) and he listens to the Englishman’s stories. The Englishman gives him another piece of the puzzle in finding his personal legend.
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