Preface, no date (1614), Johann Bringer to the Reader (BP.Alchemica.1614-01)

From Theatrum Paracelsicum
Author: Johann Bringer
Recipient: Reader
Type: Preface
Date: no date [1614]
Place: no place
Pages: 3
Language: Latin
Quote as:
Editor: Edited by Julian Paulus
Opuscula quaedam Chemica, Frankfurt am Main: Johann Bringer 1614, sig. A2r-A3r [BP.Alchemica.1614-01]
Abstract: In this preface, the publisher highlights the inherent challenges and dangers in the practice of alchemy, a field characterized by its complexity and the shortness of human life compared to the vastness of alchemical knowledge. Bringer refers to Johannes Pontanus, an esteemed figure in alchemy, who confessed to making numerous errors before achieving success, underscoring the trial-and-error nature of the discipline. Emphasizing the value of ancient and reliable sources, Bringer argues that these seasoned authors, having witnessed and directly engaged with alchemical processes, offer more credible and less deceptive insights, despite sometimes being intentionally obscure. He mentions several key works and authors, noting their significance and rarity. Bringer proudly announces the restoration and revival of these texts, making them accessible and understandable to a broader audience. This preface serves as an introduction to a collection of important alchemical manuscripts, underscoring their historical and practical value in the field. (generated by Chat-GPT)
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[sig. A2r] Typographvs lectori salvtem.

Si errare in ulla arte periculosum, certè in Chemia est, qua hæc ars lo#nga est & obscura experientia difficilis, vita brevis, unde Johannes Pontanus in epistola sua brevi sed præleganti fatetur, sè ducenteis in praxi errasse antequam ad scopum pervenisset. Quod ne fiat, inhærendum est autoribus veteribus & probatis, qui rem oculis viderunt, manibus palparunt & meliori fide [sig. A2v] scripserunt, teque adeo minus fallere possunt, etsi quandoque obscurius loquantur, remque, quantum possunt propter invidos, studiose occultent. Inter hos tales sunt hi ipsi, qui nobis aliunde communicati sunt, unde non abs re me facturum existimavi, si eorum te participem facerem, idque eo magis, quod fere nu#nqum sint visi hactenus. Riplei enim medulla, Decem Canones Incerti autoris, Heliæ Monachi speculum & Augurelli compendium ex vetustis Manuscriptis bona fide exscripta sunt. Artefium quidem, facile inter cæteros principem, ante quadriennium Parisiensis editionis beneficio posteritas accepit, verum [sig. A3r] ita mendosum, ut vix genuinus autor, quem nobis Ioannes Pontanus tantopere commendaverat, agnosceretur. Prodit itaque, quantum fieri potuit, pristinæ integritati restitutus, à sexcentis mendis repurgatus, & si vis uno verbo, redivivus, ita ut qui antea ob Oedipo vix intelligeretur, jam vel à Davo quovis, modo eum patienter & judiciose legat, capi possit. Vale, & ei qui bono publico tibique favet, fave.

English Raw Translation

Generated by ChatGPT-4 on 3 January 2024. 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.

Typographer to the reader, greetings.

If to err in any art is dangerous, it is certainly so in Chemistry, which is a long and obscure art with difficult experience, and life is short. Hence, Johannes Pontanus admits in his brief but elegant letter that he erred two hundred times in practice before he reached his goal. To avoid this, one must adhere to the old and proven authors, who have seen the matter with their own eyes, touched it with their hands, and wrote with better faith. They can deceive you less, even if they sometimes speak obscurely and hide the matter as much as possible due to envy. Among such authors are these very ones, who have been communicated to us from elsewhere, and I thought it not out of place to make you a partaker of them, especially since they have hardly ever been seen until now. For the marrow of Ripley, The Ten Canons of an Unknown Author, the Mirror of Monk Helias, and the Compendium of Augurellus have been faithfully transcribed from ancient manuscripts. Artephius, indeed easily the chief among others, was received by posterity four years ago thanks to the Parisian edition, but it was so flawed that the genuine author, whom Johannes Pontanus had so highly recommended to us, could hardly be recognized. Therefore, it has been restored as much as possible to its original integrity, purged of six hundred errors, and if you want it in a word, revived, so that what was previously barely intelligible due to Oedipus, can now be understood by any Dave, provided he reads it patiently and judiciously. Farewell, and favor him who favors the public good and you.