What is the Emerald Tablet in The Alchemist?

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John Henry of the University of Edingburgh explains the Emerald Tablet this way:

"The Emerald Tablet of Hermes Trismegistus, one of the most important alchemical texts. It should be noted that there is no obvious talk here of how to perform alchemical manipulations; we do not see instructions of the kind: "take some mercury and mix it with gold", or "heat mercury and copper together in a retort for an hour, then add sulphur…". There's nothing like this and yet it was assumed that the cryptic comments in the Tablet were meant to be interpreted as alchemical instructions the trick was not just to do the experiment correctly, but to work out what the experiment actually was.

http://www.sirbacon.org/henryalchemist.htm

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