Preface, no date (1568), Gerhard Dorn to the Reader (BP101)
|Date:||no date |
|Editor:||Edited by Julian Paulus|
|Source:||Paracelsus: Pyrophilia vexationumque liber, ed. Gerhard Dorn, Basel: Pietro Perna 1568, sig. a2r–a2v [BP101]|
|Translation:||Raw translation see below|
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[sig. a2r] Translator lectoribvs.
Non est quòd quispiam siue Theophrasto faueat, uel aduersetur, uitio mihi uertat, si libelli titulo, non prætermisso tamen, titulum adiunxerim: priusquam eius rei causam intelligat. Animaduerti plerosque Lectores, eos potißimum qui de rebus non introspectis, imò uix superficialiter uisis, iudicare solent, oblato Vexationis uacabulo, mox à lectura libelli faciem auertere: quòd fortaßis authorem illis inuisum, existiment ad eorum contumeliam id scripsisse. Falso quidem falsius id fore cognoscerent, si libellum inspicientes uel tantillum intelligerent. Ego ut illis in posterum, quum titulum nouum inspexerint, etiam inquirendi cur id à me factum sit, ac simul quod immerito contemserant, intellecta nunc tituli ratione proprij, diligendi præberem occasionem: ea sumpta, Paracelsi mentem aperire uolui lectoribus in unica dictione scilicet, præceptorem nostrum artis huius maximum inclusiße mysterium, quod etiam in omnibus eius operibus uidere licet, nec uerbulum unum arcano uacuum esse positum. Inde fit ut eorum traductiones, & potißimun interpretationes, quàm difficiles periculosæ magis existant: ut si tantillum ab authoris phrasi sermonem torqueas, etiam eius mentem prorsus, & arcanorum seriem peruerteris, uiamq́ue lectoribus obstruxeris ad ea capescenda, quæ prius erant faciliora. Cum tam in seipso fuisset expertus, quàm uarijs uexationibus alumnos, atque discipulos torquere soleat Alchimia suos, nullosque [sig. a2v] præter paucißimos, ac ualde patientes inter, uix unicum lætum, contentumq́ue reddere. Misertus eorum exhortari uoluit, ne uexationibus huiusmodi perterriti, uel tedio quopiam affecti desisterent: imo potius finem eius rei, donec artem ipsam, & naturam fessam reddidissent, patienter, & ea quæ suis pollicitationibus in dies offerunt expectarent. Istud est arcanum in hac arte scitu maximè necessarium ijs qui metam attingere cupiunt: quod quos latuerit perseuerareque (notatis tamen erroribus correctisq́ue) tedebit, eis & adire Corinthum negabitur. Cum itaque Paracelsus libellum hunc Pyrophilis tantum (ut ex eius præfatione luce clarius patet) ad eorum exhortationem scripserit, & non illis qui blandas canidasq́ue manus carbonibus tingere, facieiq́ue rugas ignibus contrahere fugiunt: nihilominus utilitatem artis ambiunt. Quid huic libello tituli conuenire magis potuit, quod adderetur proprio, non in supplementum (quo quidem non in diget) sed in contementium artem ignis resistentiam, quàm sit Pyrophilia? de qua totum etiam Compendium hic disserit. Hæc sunt quæ de titulo nouo lectorem absoluere possunt, ne propter priorem à lectura detorqueat animum: si prima facie non arriserint, repetat si libuerit, sin minus abstineat, nemo pro suo commodo cogendus est. Vale.
English Raw Translation
Generated by ChatGPT on 10 March 2023. Attention: This translation is a machine translation by artificial intelligence. The translation has not been checked and should not be cited without additional human verification.
To the readers:
It is not my intention to turn anyone, whether they favor or oppose Theophrastus, against me due to the title of my book, which I have nevertheless included, before they understand the reason for it. I have noticed that many readers, especially those who do not have an in-depth understanding of the subject matter, tend to judge hastily and turn away from reading a book as soon as they encounter a confusing term, thinking that the author wrote it with the intention of insulting them. This would be a false assumption, as they would realize if they took the time to examine the book.
In the future, when these readers come across a new title, I would like them to inquire about why I chose it and take the opportunity to appreciate it once they understand the reason for it. The title I have chosen is meant to reveal the mind of Paracelsus, our greatest teacher of this art, who has included the mystery of this subject in all his works, without leaving any word void of meaning. This makes translations and interpretations of his works difficult and even dangerous, as a slight deviation from his language can completely change the meaning and obstruct the reader's understanding of what was once clear.
Paracelsus was well aware of the difficulties that his subject matter posed to his students, and he used to torment them with various vexations and tests. He sympathized with their struggle but encouraged them not to give up, but rather to persevere until they had exhausted the art and nature itself. This is the great secret that those who wish to attain the goal of this art must know, and those who give up will never achieve it.
Therefore, Paracelsus wrote this book, Pyrophilia, for the encouragement of his students, not for those who shy away from the fiery trials of this art. The title of this book is particularly fitting because it speaks to the resistance of fire, which is the subject of this book's discussion. I hope this explanation of the title will put the reader's mind at ease and prevent them from turning away from reading my book prematurely. If the title does not immediately resonate, the reader may return to it later or choose to abstain, as they see fit. Farewell.