Preface 2, no date (1566/67), by Jacques Gohory (BP089)
|Date:||no date |
|Editor:||Edited by Julian Paulus|
|Source:||Jacques Gohory: Theophrasti Paracelsi philosophiae et medicinae utriusque universae compendium, Paris: Philippe Gaultier dit Rouillé no date , p. 161-178 [BP089]|
|Translation:||Raw translation see below|
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[p. 161] Præfatio Leonis Svavii I[acobus] G[ohory] P[arisiensis] In sua Scholia.
Qvum libellum hunc Theophrasti Paracelsi de vita longa Adamus à Bodenstein duplici præfatione exornauerit, vtrâque prolixissima: mirabitur fortasse lector cur prætermitti in hac editione iusserim, nostrámque hanc in locum illarum tanquam demortuarum suffecerim. Priorem attexuit libello edito anno M. D. LX. eo quidem puro puto de qua nos in Compendio nostro iam disseruimus. Posterior assuta est eidem libello typis excuso anno 1562. si eundem dicere fas est secundum Alphenum Iuriscinsultum,[m 1] cuius tanquam nauis, carina ipsa præcipuæ quæ partes sunt immutatæ adeò vt pristinam formam amiserit, vel si mauis nouam induerit. Consumpsit totam istam præfationem Adamus[m 2] (vir alioquin bonarum literarum haud expers) in deisceptationibus philosophiæ Aristotelicæ peruulgatis, nulla prorsus expositione interiecta vel sententiarum vel verborum Paracelsi difficillimorum. Pudeat deinceps tam verbosus ineptiis Ada- [p. 162] me lectorem à Theophrasti ipsius lectione retardare: ad cuius conceptiones nullam viam sternas, nihil obscuritatis explices, quo tandem aliquis fructus ex tanta loquacitate percipi possit. Hæc proba sunt (inquies) tria esse Paracelso principia quæ spectantur in dissolutione rerum naturalium, vt nos ligni exemplo, in compendio iam ostendimus, vnde constet ea fuisse in constructione: sed Aristotelis materia, forma, priuatio, non item: vt naturæ primordia non esse appareat, sed subtilis ingenii somia: quæ idcircò ab infinitis aliis philosophis (vt ex Diogene Laertio manifestum est)[m 3] in controuersiam haud temerè reuocantur: vt taceamus tanquam Christianæ sapientiæ circa æternitatem rerum contraria, esse explodenda. Addit, sed quod etiam ex Theophrasti nostri scriptis vt axioma illud principiorum, perspicuum est, Elementa non esse corpora simplicia sed matrices ortas ex tribus primis. Hæc quidem sunt clarissima nec quæ vllum iter patefaciant ad Paracelsi mentem eruendam: licet (vt subinde ipse admonuit) non tàm oculos lectioni oporteat quàm operi in his intelligendis manus admoliri. Spagiricorum (inquit)[m 4] vocabulorum cognitio ab opere non scripto expiscanda est. [p. 163] Libris autem his quatuor de vita longa, inseruit quartum vnum velut suppositium partum, quarto verò atque legitimo in quintum numerum vi quadam eiecto & iniustè de sua possessione deturbato: in reliquis libris facta quorundam verborum vel syllabarum immutatione penè ridicula vt opus vænalius prostaret quod nouum hac parte incrementi emptori esse videretur[m 5] (Magnæ enim sunt hodie ditésque librorum in Germania nundinæ) Adamum medicum non puduisse quartum istum librum nugis inanibus scatentem obtrudere qui nec seriè rerum vlla cum reliquis cohæreat nec sententiarum Paracelsi subtilitatem, nec dictionis grauitatem redoleat. Miror (inquam) illum lucri vel gloriolæ spe adeò fauisse Typographi imposturæ (qui more propolarum rei suffuratæ nouam dissuendo speciem induunt furti tegendi gradia. Non est verisimile ex ore docentis ita fuisse exceptum quòd paraphrasis amplior foret, verba sunt tantùm quædam pueriliter ineptßeque commutata vt lectori ea conferenti constabit. Cur non aliquas interdum difficultates publicè explicat omnibus, mysteriis solùm suppressis) quas vnitantùm pollicentur? nempe, quod sit illud duplex in vno homine corpus,[m 6] quorum vnum [p. 164] etiam (vt ait c[apitulo] vi. lib[ri] i.) inuisibile homini, quid hæc vita, quid mors quid vita mortalis, quid immortalis. Desine tandem fumos venditare & incipe de re agere subtilius vt te (Ciceronis[m 7] verbis de Demetrio Phalereo) Theophrasti non Atheniensis illius, sed Germani huius discipulum possimus agnoscere. Quis re ipsum germanum hominem, Asianum oratorem suspicatus esset? Quosum illa pauca, memorata de tribus primis,[m 8] de Laudano,[m 9] de Antimonio[m 10] quæ vnusquisque in autore ipso legere potest: quin ea potius attingis & enucleas, quorum ope quæ sunt in eo recondita & occulta lector possit intelligere. Quod siquis suscipere vellet aduersus te Aristotelis defensionem, de tribus principiis, quid tandem respondeas? Nónne philosophi omnes Spagyrici materiam constituêre & formam quorum instituta & præcepta Paracelsus noster est palàm insecutus. Nónne confessi sunt omnes, vetere formâ sublatâ nouam protinus induci, vbi inclusa[c 1] est tacitè priuationis necessitas.[m 11] Nónne hoc ipso libro approbat elementa quatuor & ex eorum temperamento 5. essentiam? At quæ videtur aliis in libris immutare, in alium sensum detorquet quam tute mentis illius & cogitationis expers, opineris. Non [p. 165] omittam quod in Compendio de accidente secundum Paracelsum[m 12] perstrinximus: non esse quidem capiendum ex peripatetica disciplina sed potius ex Platonica vel academica, cui, omnis forma quæ inest materiæ magis accedere videtur ad naturam accidentis quam veræ substantiæ: eámque melius dici fieri quàm esse. Arnaldus item Villanouanus[m 13] in paraphrasi Rosarii explicat tincturam esse accidens quod aduenit materiæ caducæ: ex quibus forma spagyrica resultat. Possunt autem lector in his mysticis libris[m 14] quædam impunè propalari ad odorem rei arcanæ velut frictione aut calore quodam excitandum, quamuis arcana præcepta detegi palàm nefas sit. ideò Sphinx[m 15] statuebatur olim ab Aegyptiis pro foribus templorum vt mysterioruum celandorum admoneremur. Ideò ferrum (videlicet forium & serarum hebræi dixerunt symbolum esse sapientum & inde Græci Pallada fingi armigeram.[m 16] Dionysius etiam Areopagita mysteria censuit scripto tegenda, voce recludenda. Ideò Expositores zoroastis Chaldæi sicut ipse ænigmaticè[c 2] loquuntur. Plato[m 17] verè diuinus de supremis substantiis Dioni scripsit sub ænigmate. Sic Pythagoras pauca tantum quædam scripta Da- [p. 166] mæ filiæ morien commendauit. Sic ex nouissimis philosophis sapientiam occultam olfecerunt Alchindus Arabs, Rogerius Bacho Anglus, & Gulielmus Parisiensis[c 3] filiis tantum doctrinæ scripserunt.[m 18] At multi Herculis more, vt ait Plutarchus[m 19], irrumpunt in sacra furiosè. Sic nostris propè temporibus scripsit Ioannes Tritemius Germanus Polygraphiam[m 20] licet clauibus quibusdam aperire simulauerit quæ tamen paucis aditum præbent ad mysteria: Sic idem Steganographiam (opus vt ipse profiteri audet mirandum & laboriosum) quæ occultam scripturam significat, vir recondita eruditione insignis vt eius monumenta testificantur: quemquidem Paracelsus noster lib[ro] Chirurgiæ minoris doctorem philosophiæ libenter agnoscit: quem nuper etiam Cornelius Agrippa velut parentem venerabatur: Ad quem idem Imperator. De quæstionibus arduis retulit quæ hodiè extant 8. doctrinæ omnis plenissimæ. Quo magis miror Carolum Bouillum: eúmque secutum Ioannes Vvierum lib[ro] de præstigiis dæmonum[m 21] tanto furore in hominem integerrimæ vitæ, eruditionísque summæ esse debacchatos: quòd scriptum simplex spectarent, in sententiam occultam mentis acie minimè penetrarent. Hæc Bouillus [p. 167] epistolâ ad Germanum Ganaium Regis Consiliarium.[m 22] Ad Tritemium diuerti, quem reperi magum nulla philosophiæ parte insignem, Eius Steganographiam euolui velitatim, nonnullorum capitum perlegens initia, vix horas duas librum in manibus habui, abieci eum ilico, quòd terrere cœperant me tantæ adiurationes, ac tam barbara atque insoleta spirituum (ne fortè dicam dæmonum) nomina, vniuersa verò huiusmodi nomina, quoad videre visus sum, ignotæ linguæ sunt. Aut enim Arabica aut Hebraica aut Chaldaica aut Græca: latina pauca aut fermè nulla. Innumeri autem sunt characteres, quibus adiurationes singulæ notantur: Angelus Dei secet eum medium &c. Cui Tritemius respondet in præfatione libri Polygraphiæ ad Maximil[ianum] Imperatorem.[m 23] Venit ad me hospitii gratîa Carolus Bouillus natione Picardus quem, quum omni humanitate tractauissem bibliothecam etiam aperui & inter alios libros, opus etiam Steganographiæ communicaui necdum eo tempore consummatum. Vidit Bouillus & obiter legit, se inuentum mirari dixit, laudauítque, nec quo intelligeretur modo, curauit. Vnde quum non peteret intelligentiæ clauem, nihil eorum quæ nostra [p. 168] lucubratione continebantur meruit audire vel percipere. Reuersus in Galliam pro beneficiis malefacta rependens Steganographiæ non intellectæ occasione, me magum & Necromanticum falso esse ad Ganayum scripsit. Ideò manet hactenus opus Steganographiæ in tenebris sepultum: ne causam videar pluribus dare similibus similia de me suspicandi. Malo enim inuenta mira perpetuo damnare silentio, quam Necromanticæ superstitionis notam falsa licet hominum æstimatione incurrere. Scripsit quoque Tritemius Apologeticon nominatim de hac re aduersus Bouillum istum seu potius bouem maximum ea quæ non intellexit, calumniantem, vt in indice Ioan[nis] Durallusii lucubrationum illius reperio: quod, quia iam non extat, aliud me debere sanctissimæ tanti viri memoriæ literarum nomine existimaui. Ne qui fortè hisce calumniis deterriti ab optimorum librorum lectione tanquam ab Vlpiano improbata abhorreant si in eorum manus inciderint.[m 24] Reperi ego tres huius Steganographiæ libros, tertium tamen imperfectum, quemadmodum se reliquisse inchoatum scripsit ipse ad Boscium amicum. Nescio an vir doctissimus D[ominus] Henricus Memmius[m 25] libellorum [p. 169] supplicum in regia magister plures habeat: quem fama est conquisitis vndique optimis quibusque in omni disciplinarum genere libris insignem bibliothecam instruere atque adornare: magnificum sanè opus, exemplóque Ptolemæi Philadelphi regium: cuius memoria nulla temporum vetustate exoleuit. Sed vt ad Tritemium redeam præfatus est ipse in Steganographiam suam his verbis:[m 26] Antiquissimos sapientes si qua vel naturæ vel artis arcana reperissent, ne in prauorum hominum notitiam deuenirent, variis modis ac figuris occultasse, eruditissimorum opinio est. Mosem quoque Israëliticæ gentis famosissimum ducem in descriptione creationis cœli & terræ ineffabilia mysteria verbis operuisse simplicibus, doctiores quidem Iudæorum affirmant. D[ivus] etiam Hieronymus tot penè in Apocalypsi D[ivi] Ioannis mysteria latere dicit quot verba. Græcorum philosophus & poëtas non paruæ apud suos existimationis præterio, qui fabulis conscribendis operam nauantes aliud imperitis atque aliud eruditis hominibus vnius narrationis serie sagaci inuentione tradiderunt. Hos ego &c. Idem epistola ad Boscium scribit: verba esse ibi plana, lucida, sine omni literarum aut vocabulorum trans- [p. 170] positione, ita vt omnes legant & intelligant: secretum tamen illius qualecunque erit, manere ignotum. Idem in claui ad lib[rum] 2 Polygraphiæ suæ: In Steganographia non dictio literam vt hîc sed quæque aliam integram ad mysterium conuenientem repræsentat dictionem:[m 27] cuius ibi ponit exemplum sententiæ cordis velatæ sub Steganographiæ limitibus dublici ratione: addens, per am penè infinits narrationibus, non vna aut duabus, doceri absondendi modum. Vbique profitetur se nihil impium nihil pharmaceutricum nihil religioni christinæ aduersarium tractare, omnia esse recta, syncera eáque à causis naturalibus emanare. Lib[ro] 2. damnat spiritus nefarios[m 28] qui homines transuersons rapiunt in scelera & flagitia, dicit Astronomiæ cognitionem requiri & doctorem pium & syncerum. Damnat in quæstionibus ad Imperatorem artes necromanticas & libro ad Ioachimum Marchionem Brandeburgensem de prænotionibus christiano licitis & illicitis. Item alio contra maleficos & omnes artes & superstitiones à religione damnatas. Vt verò ad Bouilli calumnias reuertar, animaduertamus paulisper eius mendacia atque ineptias. "Euoluit," ait, "velitatim nonnullorum capitum perlegens [p. 171] initia." An Bos opime libri abstrusi sunt velitatim euoluendi? an ex initiis capitum, sententia de vniuersa traditione ferenda est, nec est inciuile (vt apud Iurisconsultos) non tota lege perspecta iudicare? "Vix duas horas librum in manibus habui."[s 1] Tres libri quos habeo vix biduò aut triduò legi possunt, quo pacto horarum duarum spatio perpendi atque intelligi: spirituum (ne fortè dicam dæmonum) Audisti lector ex superioribus Tritemii dictis quantum abhorreat à spiritibus prauis ac nefariis cur ergò, adiicit iste dæmonum? Ignorat bos dæmonas bonos dici æquè ac malos, sicut ex Iuriconsulto: Qui venenum dicit, adiicere debet bonum an malum, idem de pharmaco: sic eudæmones dicuntur qui boni, cacodæmones qui mali sunt. Si verò de malis bestia mala sensit, cur fortè, adiecit, quæ ambigendi vox est, quum paulopost dicat, "angelus dei malus eum secet medium, dissoluatque fœdus iniquum quod cum nocentibus angelis iniisse ac sanxisse palàm ex ipso opere declaratur."[s 2] Addit verò etiam quod dignum sit animaduersione, si castigationem, lector, intelligas. Porrò, si rite memini, hunc ipsum in Steganographia[c 4] illa ordinem seruat. Non expendam hîc inscitiam sermonis, quum ego non ritè sed [p. 172] rectè meminerum à quodam grammatico Ciceroniano traditum, Porro, non melius præfigi initio periodi, quàm autem, enim, &c. Prætermittamus hos pueriles in deliro sene velut repuerascente errores, veniamus ad reni. "Si est orientis princeps, versus ad orientem literas in eam cœli plagam patentes expandit, & paulo post, spectansque in auroram profert, quæ ritè prolata &c."[s 3] hîc prodigium notemus: Bos locutus est sicut Iulius obsequens[m 29] de prodigiis scripsit Romæ quandoque accidisse: ritè prolata, dixit rectissimè scilicet cum ritu & cerimonia magica, quemadmodum Marsilius Ficinus[m 30] de Spiritu auri, qui si ritè secernatur secretusque conseruetur: maxima enim vis operis duplicis in his verbis consistit. Sed fœlicius (vt nostri loquuntur) quàm prudentius vox hæc Boui excidit, quam tam ineptè paulò antè vsurpauerat: si ritè memini. Rem verò iam (omissis verbis) tractemus Bouille: non "spectare in auroram"[s 4] diceres si diligentius verba Tritemii perpendisses in ipso capite primo: sic tu ridiculè in limine impegisti. Scribit enim ille "orientem hîc velim intelligi, non vbi sol quolibet die oritur, sed cum locum vbi à principio creatus fuit: quem æquinoctialem appellamus."[s 5] Præteribam [p. 173] ignotæ linguæ vocabula ab eo dici inserta adiurationibus Tritemii. Aut enim (ait) Arabica sunt, aut Hebræa, aut Chaldaica, aut Græca: Latina pauca aut fermè nulla. Age bos, hîc fige lassum pedem, aratro aptior tu quam stylo, ignotæ mihi linguæ, dicere debuisti, qui prorsus elinguis es. Nam linguæ illæ multis sunt notæ ignorabilia verba dicebat Apuleius: solam tibi latinam excœpisti, in qua tam fœdè paulò antè lapsus es: sed in iis quæ de ea dixisti fœdius multò ac turpius mentitus: quum dicis: pauca aut ferme nulla.[c 5] Nam sicut in superioribus ignarum te prodis dialecticæ in conceptione προς τι id est simplici vel relatiua enuntiatione, sic, quamuis[c 6] in propositione disiunctiua satis sit alterutram partem veram esse, hinc non potes te facile extricare: nam vel aliqua insunt latina vocabula Tritemii formulis adiuratoriis vel prorsus nulla. Sic ego tecum syllogismo contra disiunctiuum tuum enuntiatum certabo, fermè nulla: ineptus sermo est, vox enim, nulla, diminutionem non admittit[c 7]. Nulla enim prorsus quum insint, nec pauca sunt nec fermè nulla, vt perlegenti libros tres Steganographiæ perspicuum erit. Nunc ad te venio Vviere[m 31] qui Bouem secutus ducem, non potuisti non aber- [p. 174] rare à via & cœco cœcum ducente, vterque in foueam decidistis sic exemplo Ouidiano.
Visa est mihi digna relatu
Pompa: senem potum pota trahebat anus.
"Hactenus" (Vvierus ait) "Bouillus: quem licet mendacii & impietatis accuset Tritemius, se purgans: res tamen ipsa secus docebit, si quis Steganographiæ libros accuratè legerit: quorum partem scriptam cum figuris & spirituum nominibus apud Henricum Agrippam fœlicis memoriæ, ego ipse olim legi, atque eo inscio exscripsi."[s 6] Si damnas Vviere magiam in Tritemio qui negat eam se tractare nisi ænigmatis stylo, qua fronte potes in Agrippa probare qui ex professo tribus de occulta philosophia libris explicauit? cur eius fœlix memoria, Tritemii, execrabilis. At paulò antè nobis constat assentationis tuæ ratio in libris magicis quos cum Vlpiano corrumpendos memoras: inter quos quartum quendam recenses additum Agrippæ tribus, & falsò "tributum" (vt ais) "Henrico Cornelio Agrippæ tuo olim hospiti & præceptori honorando, circiter annos xxvii. iam mortuo, vt hinc falso. Manibus eius iam inscribi speres"[s 7]: putes, dicere voluisti die quæso (Vviere) quo ore criminaris Tritemium illum, quem tuus hospes & præceptor tan- [p. 175] topere laudat, vt æstimationem operis sui omnem ab illius iudicio aut testimonio aucupetur? de te vetus illud scitè vsurpari hîc potest: non est discipulus supra magistrum. Audi quanti Agrippa faciat Tritemium:[m 32] in præfatione: "fateor, iuuenis admodum hos libros scribere aggressus sum, spe tamen illos aliquando correctiores locupletiorésque emissurus, atque ea causa Ioanni Tritemio viro arcanarum rerum admodum industrio primùm illos[c 8] obtuli corrigendos."[s 8] Idem in epistola dedicatoria[c 9]: "Nunquam in hanc arenam restituendæ Magiæ descendere hactenus ausus fui, verùm post collatum inter nos de his rebus sermonem, tua præcellens peritia & doctrina tuáque ardens adhortatio audaciam mihi animúmque addidit."[s 9] Hos libros "nunc tuo examini, qui harum rerum plenissimam peritiam tenes, castigandos, censendos indicandósque[c 10] submitto, vt si quid in illis à me scriptum sit, quod aut in naturæ contumeliam aut cœlitum affensam religionísue iniuriuam vergere queat, condamnes errorem: sin autem dissoluta & purgata sint impietatis scandala, veritatis traditionem tueare: sícque cum his libris nostris atque cum ipsa magia agere velis, ne occultetur aliquid quod prodesse queat, nec probe- [p. 176] tur quod possit non nis nocere: quo sic tandem libri isti tuo examine probati, digni sint qui aliquando fœlicibus auspiciis in publicum egrediantur, nec timeant iudicium subire posteritatis. Vale & his audacibus parcito cœptis."[s 10] Hæc ego lector latius transcripsi vt iudicium audires Agrippæ de Tritemio, vt magiæ nomen quod mox à Paracelso nostro vsurpabitur, adhuc auribus nostris durum, vsus aliorum tibi molliret. De quo Marsilium Ficinum suo etiam loco audiemus. At quo velut extremis telis Bouillum istum confodiamus, accipe Tritemii eum tacitè perstringentis responsum ad Aggrippam.[m 33] Ne te retrahat à proposito quorumcunque consideratio nebulonum, de quibus verè dictum est: Bos lassus fortiter figit pedem. Te autem diuinitas ingenio donauit amplo & sublimi: non ergò boues imiteris, sed volucres. Vnum hoc tamen te monemus custodire præceptum, vt vulgaria vulgaribus, altiora verò & arcana altioribus & secretis tantùm communices amicis. Da fœnum boui sacrarum psitaco: intellige mentem, ne boum calcibus, vt plærísque contigit, subiiciaris. Animaduerte lector Tritemium non inopia sed de industria in hac bubula similitudine perstitisse vt aculeo Bouillum istum suum [p. 177] pungeret, à quo fuerat ab editione operis sui, paris argumenti retardatus. Cuius verba libenter adieci vt cautionem tibi mysteriorum cœlandorum exemplo libri huiusce Paracelsi nostri, parabolici atque enigmatici semper inculcarem. Nec verò inuidus medicus Vvierus à Theophrasti etiam ipsius fama violanda nominatim maledictis temperauit. Vt susceptum ab eo bellum aduersus doctissimum quenque ostentationis ergô fuisse videatur:[m 34] qui suo posteà loco in scholiis proximis insalutatus non abibit. Postremum nobis certamen est sustinendum ab Hieronymo Cardano (subtile dices ac varium) ab autore subtilitatis ac varietatis, imò futile ac vanum, nisi varium è Columella[m 35] de lupo vario, maculosum intelligas. "Fuit (inquit) vir paulò antè nostram ætatem mendacior Agrippa, inanior Raymundo Lullio, Ioannes Tritemius, qui totam librum satis grandem hoc vno scriptitandi solo somnio impleuit nec tamen expleuit: Et vt fidem fabulæ faceret, finxit se necromantiæ, quum potius stultitiæ deberet, accusatum: Impudens certè sycophanta si quis vnquam mortalium."[s 11] Et paulò post in Tritemii stultissimam inuentionem demiror virum egregium scripsisse expositionem. Sentis (lector) ineptis- [p. 178] simi homuncionis[v 1] in virum tantum maledicentiam: cuius scripta fatetur stolidus ab egregio viro commentariis illustrata. Est etiam Polygraphia nuper â Collangio in[c 11] gallicam linguam versa regique gallorum consecrata. Non est iste dignus ira Cæsaris (vt aiunt}} nisi Scaligeri Cæsaris qui styli vulneribus nugas eius procidit. Hoc tantùm addam: Tu verò doctor subtilis eruisti in Polygraphia reductionem tryadis in nonadem per dyadem? Tu ne in Steganographia euoluisti & intellexisti quæ latebant abdita? Sic in Agrippam in natiuitatibus tuis: sic in Artephium in vanitatibus temerè inueheris: & canum more ignotis adlatras[v 2]. His itaque calumniis confutatis & à capitibus summorum philosophorum in imperitissimos atque impudentissimos hostes literarum, detortis: solida[v 3] mihi videntur iacta fundamenta disciplinæ Paracelsi, in confirmatione institutorum Tritemii quem præceptorem agnoscit[v 4] cuiúsque more abstrusa naturæ rerum miracula[v 5], medicus sub humanæ vitæ prætextu sicut Tritemius velut Magus subspirituum euocatione obumbrauit.
- homuncionis] hommncionis some copies
- adlatras] ad latras some copies
- solida] sol da some copies
- præceptorem agnoscit] præceptoremagnosciit some copies
- miracula] mracula some copies
- In margin: Alphenus.
- In margin: Contra Adamum à Bodenstein de principiis rerum.
- In margin: Diogenes Laertius.
- In margin: Parælsus lib[ro] de gradibus de cognitione vocabulorum artis.
- In margin: De iiii. lib[ris] quodam de vita longa suppositio.
- In margin: Corpus duplex in vno homine.
- In margin: Cicero.
- In margin: De tribus primis.
- In margin: De Laudano.
- In margin: De Antimonio.
- In margin: De materia forma & priuatione.
- In margin: Accidens Paracelsi.
- In margin: Arn. Vil.
- In margin: Mysteria cœlanda.
- In margin: Sphinx.
- In margin: Pallas cur armigera.
- In margin: Plato.
- In margin: Alchindus[.] Rog. Bach. Gul. Parisiensis.
- In margin: Plutarchus
- In margin: Tritemii Polygraphia & Steganographia. 8. ad Maximilianum Cæsarem libris vt in Pinace legitur.
- In margin: Ioan. Vvierus de præstigiis dæmonum.
- In margin: Car. Bouillus ad Germa. Ganium contra Steganograph[.]
- In margin: Io. Tritemius ad Maximil. Imperatorem Contrà Bouillum.
- In margin: Apologia Leonis Suauii pro Tritemio aduersus Bouillum.
- In margin: Memmii Bibliotheca.
- In margin: Io. Tritemius in præfatione Steganog. de priscorum parabolis.
- In margin: Summa methodus Steganograph[.]
- In margin: Contra magiam nefariam.
- In margin: Iulius obsequens.
- In margin: Marsilius Ficinus.
- In margin: Aduersus Vvierum.
- In margin: Cornelii agrippæ de Tritemio testimonium[.]
- In margin: Tritemii ad Agrippam consilium de cautione secretorum.
- In margin: Aduersus Hiero. Cardani Calumnias.
- In margin: Columella[.]
- Source: Charles de Bouelles, 'Philosophic[a]e epistol[a]e ad varios compluresque viros conscript[a]e', in: Que hoc hoc volumine continentur. Liber de intellectu [...], Paris: Henricus Stephanus & Ioannes Parvus 1510, f. 172r: "Vix horas duas..."; https://books.google.de/books?id=DzlRAAAAcAAJ&pg=PA164
- Source: Bouelles, ibid.
- Source: Bouelles, ibid., 172v
- Source: Bouelles, ibid., 172v
- Source: Johannes Trithemius, 'Steganographia', Frankfurt am Main: Matthias Becker for Johannes Berner 1606, p. 6
- Source: Johann Weyer, 'De præstigiis dæmonum', 1564, p. 130; https://books.google.de/books?id=ZBQ6AAAAcAAJ&pg=PA130
- Source: Weyer, ibid. p. 124
- Source: Heinrich Cornelius Agrippa von Nettesheim, 'De occulta philosophia', Paris: Christian Wechel 1531, sig. a3r
- Source: ibid., sig. a5r
- Source: ibid., sig. a5r-a5v
- Source: Hieronymus Cardanus, 'De rerum varietate libri XVII', Basel: Heinrich Petri 1557, p. 457; https://books.google.de/books?id=eOTKUAP_inwC&pg=PA457
- inclusa] corrected from: iuclusa
- ænigmaticè] corrected from: ægnimaticè
- Parisiensis] corrected from: parisiensis
- Steganographia] corrected from: Steganophia
- nulla.] corrected from: nulla
- quamuis] corrected from: quanuis
- admittit] corrected from: admttit
- illos] corrected from: illis
- dedicatoria] corrected from: dicatoria
- indicandósque] corrected from: iudicandósque
- in] corrected from: in in
English Raw Translation
Generated by ChatGPT on 15 April 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.
The Preface of Leonis Svavii by Jacques Gohory of Paris in his Scholia.
When Adam von Bodenstein adorned this book by Theophrastus Paracelsus on long life with two lengthy prefaces, the reader may wonder why I ordered them to be omitted in this edition and substituted our own as if they were dead. The first was attached to the book published in the year 1560, which I consider pure and have already discussed in our Compendium. The second was added to the same book printed in 1562, if it is permissible to call it the work of Alphene Juriscinsultus, whose ship has undergone such changes in its essential parts that it has lost its original form or, if you prefer, has assumed a new one. Adam, otherwise a man of good learning, consumed all of this preface in criticism of Aristotelian philosophy, without any explanation of Paracelsus' difficult ideas, neither of the sentences nor the words. It is shameful that Adam's verbosity should retard the reader from reading Paracelsus himself, and that you do not pave the way for understanding, nor do you explain any obscurities, so that someone may finally derive some benefit from so much talk. These are proofs (you will say) that there are three principles in Paracelsus that concern the dissolution of natural things, as we have already shown in our Compendium by the example of wood, from which it is clear that they were used in construction. But not Aristotle's matter, form, and privation, for it is evident that they are not the beginnings of nature, but subtle imaginings of the mind, which for this reason are not rashly called into question by infinite other philosophers (as is evident from Diogenes Laertius), not to mention the contradictions to Christian wisdom about the eternity of things that should be rejected. He adds, but it is also clear from the writings of our Theophrastus, as if it were an axiom of the principles, that the elements are not simple bodies, but matrices derived from the three primaries. These are indeed very clear, but they do not open up any way to excavate Paracelsus' mind, although, as he frequently reminds us, we should not only read but also apply our hands to understanding these things. The knowledge of spagyric terms, he says, must be extracted from unwritten works. In these four books on long life, he inserted a fifth as an added part, but unjustly removed it from its proper place in the fourth, as if it were a supposititious part, and in the remaining books, he made some ridiculous changes to some words or syllables, so that the work would appear more marketable and the buyer would perceive it as a new part of the increase (for there are now great riches of books in Germany). Adam, the physician, did not hesitate to impose this fourth book, which abounds in vain trifles and does not agree with the others in any serious matter, nor does it smell of the subtlety of Paracelsus' ideas or the gravity of his diction. I wonder (I say) that the printer has so willingly succumbed to the deception (which is like the masks worn by thieves to cover their theft). It is not likely that such an expanded paraphrase was received from the teacher's mouth, but only some words that are childishly and ineptly changed, as the reader will find out when comparing them. Why not explain some of the difficulties publicly to everyone, instead of only offering those that promise to unite mysteries? Namely, what is that dual body in one person, one of which is even invisible to humans, what is this life, what is death, what is mortal life, what is immortal? Finally, stop selling smoke and start discussing the subject more subtly so that we can recognize you as a disciple of Theophrastus, not of that Athenian, but of this German. Who would have suspected that he was a German man and an Asian orator? What about those few things mentioned about the three primaries, about Laudanum, about Antimony, which everyone can read in the author himself? Why not touch upon them and elucidate them, so that the reader can understand what is hidden and concealed in him by means of them? But if someone were to defend Aristotle's view of the three principles against you, what would you say in response? Did not all philosophers establish spagyric matter and form, whose principles and teachings our Paracelsus followed openly? Did they not all confess that, when the old form was removed, a new one was immediately introduced, in which the necessity of privation is implicitly included? Does not this very book approve of the four elements and their combination to form the fifth essence? But do you think that what seems to change in other books and twist into another sense than that which is devoid of his own mind and thought, is to be overlooked? I will not forget what we mentioned in the Compendium about accident according to Paracelsus: that it should not be taken from the peripatetic discipline, but rather from the Platonic or Academic, to which any form that inheres in matter seems to be more related to the nature of accident than true substance, and that it is better to say that it is done rather than to say that it is. Arnaldus Villanouanus also explains in his paraphrase of the Rosarium that tincture is an accident that befalls perishable matter, from which spagyric form results. However, readers can safely disclose some things in these mystical books to evoke the smell of the arcane thing, as if by rubbing or some kind of heat, although it is wrong to reveal secret teachings openly. Therefore, the Sphinx was once erected by the Egyptians as a reminder to keep the mysteries hidden behind the doors of the temples. Therefore, the Hebrews called iron (namely the symbol of doors and locks) the symbol of wise men, and hence the Greeks portrayed Athena as a shield-bearer. Dionysius the Areopagite also believed that mysteries should be concealed in writing and revealed by voice. Therefore, the interpreters of Zoroaster and the Chaldeans speak enigmatically themselves. Plato, truly divine in matters of supreme substance, wrote to Dionysius in an enigma. Thus, Pythagoras left only a few written words to his dying daughter, Damo. Thus, among the latest philosophers, Alchindus the Arab, Roger Bacon the Englishman, and William of Paris caught a whiff of hidden wisdom, but they only wrote their teachings for their disciples. But many, like Hercules, as Plutarch says, rush into sacred things furiously. Thus, in our own time, Johannes Tritemius, a German, pretended to unlock the secrets of the Polygraphia with certain keys, which, however, only grant access to mysteries to a few. The same with the Steganographia (an incredible and laborious work, as he himself admits), which signifies hidden writing, and its author, a man of profound erudition, as his writings testify. Paracelsus, our own philosopher and author of the Chirurgia Minor, is pleased to recognize him as a doctor of philosophy, and even Cornelius Agrippa recently venerated him as a father. The Emperor himself referred to him regarding difficult questions, and there are 8 volumes of comprehensive doctrines that still exist today. That is why I am even more amazed at Charles Bouilly, whom Johannes Wierus followed in his book on demonology with such fury, even though they only saw the simple script and did not penetrate the hidden meaning of his thoughts. These are the words of Bouilly in his letter to Germanus Ganaius, the King's counselor. I went to Tritemius, whom I found to be a sorcerer with no noteworthy philosophy. I leafed through his Steganographia, reading only the beginnings of a few chapters. After holding the book for just two hours, I immediately threw it away because the numerous conjurations and the barbaric and obsolete names of spirits (not to say demons) terrified me. All of these names, as far as I could see, were in unknown languages, either Arabic, Hebrew, Chaldean, or Greek, with few, if any, in Latin. Innumerable characters indicate each conjuration: "May the Angel of God cut him down the middle," etc. Tritemius responded to him in the preface of the Polygraphia addressed to Maximilian the Emperor. Charles Bouilly, a Picardian, came to me as a guest, whom I treated with all kindness and even opened the library for him, showing him among other books my unfinished Steganographia. Bouilly saw and read it in passing, and he said that he was amazed and praised it, but he did not care to know how to understand it. Since he did not seek the key to understanding, he did not deserve to hear or comprehend any of our writings. Upon returning to France, he falsely accused me of being a sorcerer and necromancer to Ganaius due to his failure to understand the Steganographia. Therefore, the Steganographia remains buried in darkness to this day, so as not to give cause for many to suspect me of similar things. For I would rather keep amazing discoveries forever buried in silence than to incur a false reputation for necromantic superstition through the estimation of men. Tritemius also wrote an Apologeticon specifically on this matter against that Bouillus, or rather, that great ox, who falsely accused him of things he did not understand, as I found in the index of Ioannis Durallusii's works, which, since it no longer exists, I thought I owed to the memory of that most sacred and great man. Let those who may be deterred by such slanders from reading the best books not shy away from them as if they were disapproved by Ulpian, if they come across them. I found three books on this steganography, but the third one was incomplete, as he himself wrote to his friend Boscium that he had only started it. I do not know if the very learned Henry Memmius, the master of the royal petitions, has more of them; he is reputed to have gathered the best books from all disciplines to build and adorn a great library, a magnificent work, a model of the royal library of Ptolemy Philadelphus, whose memory has not been forgotten by the passage of time. But to return to Tritemius himself, he stated in his steganography: the wisest ancient sages, if they discovered any secrets of nature or art, are thought to have hidden them in various ways and figures so as not to come to the knowledge of wicked men. Even Moses, the famous leader of the Israelite people, is said by the more learned Jews to have covered ineffable mysteries in the description of the creation of heaven and earth with simple words. The divine Jerome also says that as many mysteries in the Apocalypse of St. John are hidden as there are words. I pass over the Greek philosophers and poets, who, while devoting themselves to writing fables, handed down to ignorant and learned men alike the same narrative by skillful invention. These I [have found]...He also writes in his letter to Boscium that the words in the steganography are plain, clear, without any transposition of letters or words, so that all can read and understand them; however, whatever the secret may be, it remains unknown. The same is true in the key to his book 2 of the Polygraphia: in the steganography, each word represents not a letter as it does here, but a complete expression appropriate to the mystery; he gives an example of a veiled sentence under the limits of the steganography by a double method. By almost infinite narratives, not one or two, he adds that the way of concealing can be taught. He professes everywhere that he treats nothing impious, nothing pharmaceutical, nothing adverse to the Christian religion; everything is right, sincere, and emanates from natural causes. In book 2, he condemns nefarious spirits that lead men to wickedness and debauchery, saying that the knowledge of astronomy requires a pious and sincere teacher. He condemns necromantic arts in his questions to the Emperor and in his book to Joachim, Margrave of Brandenburg, on the premonitions of Christians, both lawful and unlawful. Also in another work, he condemns sorcery and all arts and superstitions condemned by religion. As for returning to Bouilli's slanders, we notice for a moment his lies and foolishness. "He read through the beginnings of some chapters little by little." Are the richly intricate books to be unfolded little by little? Is it proper to pass judgment on the whole tradition without having examined the entire law, as it is with the jurists? "I had the book in my hands for barely two hours." The three books that I have can hardly be read in two or three days, so how can they be weighed and understood within a span of two hours? You have heard, reader, from Tritemius' previous statements how far it is from evil and nefarious spirits, so why does he add "demons"? Does Bouilli not know that demons are called both good and bad, just as the jurist says, "If one says poison, he should add whether it is good or bad; the same with medicine." Likewise, "eudaimons" are called the good ones, and "cakodaimons" the bad ones. If he indeed spoke of evil spirits, why did he perhaps add "which is a word that could cause ambiguity," when he soon after says, "May a bad angel of God cut him in half and dissolve the wicked covenant that he openly admits to having made and sanctioned with harmful angels, as is evident from the work itself." Furthermore, he also adds that it is worth noting if the reader understands it as punishment. Furthermore, if I remember correctly, he observes this same order in that Steganography. I will not dwell on the ignorance of his speech, as I do not remember it properly but correctly, as it was passed down from a Ciceronian grammarian: "Furthermore, is it not better to place 'initio periodi' at the beginning of the sentence rather than 'enim'?" Let us skip these childish errors of an insane old man acting like a child, and move on to his kidneys. "If he is the prince of the East, he opens the letters facing eastward towards that part of the sky and then, looking towards the dawn, he produces them correctly," etc. Let us note this prodigy here: Bouilli spoke as if Julius Obsequens wrote about prodigies occurring in Rome; he said "correctly produced," which means precisely with magic ritual and ceremony, just as Marsilio Ficino wrote about the Spirit of Gold, which, if properly separated and kept secret, has great power in a double operation in these words. But this word that Bouilli used slipped out more fortunately than prudently than the one he so foolishly used just before: "if I remember correctly." Let us now discuss Bouilli's matter (omitting his words). You would not have said "looking towards the dawn" if you had carefully considered Tritemius' words in the very first chapter: "I wish to be understood here by the east, not where the sun rises every day, but where he was created from the beginning, which we call the equinoxial." I overlooked Tritemius' use of words in an unknown language inserted into his adjurations. For he says, "They are either Arabic, Hebrew, Chaldaic, or Greek: Latin is hardly ever used." So, come on, Bouilli, fix your tired foot here; you are better suited to the plow than the pen. You should have said in an unknown language to me, who is completely tongue-tied. For those languages have many known words," as Apuleius said, "and you spoke only of Latin, in which you stumbled so shamefully just now, but in what you said about it, you lied even more shamefully and disgracefully when you said 'few or almost no' Latin words were used in Tritemius's formulas of conjuration. For just as in the earlier passages you reveal your ignorance of dialectic by not understanding the difference between a simple and a relative statement, so here you cannot easily extricate yourself, for either some Latin words are present in Tritemius's formulas of conjuration or there are none at all. So I will now demonstrate to you with a syllogism against your disjunctive proposition "few or almost none": it is an inept expression, for the word "none" does not allow for a diminution, for when there are none, they are not "few" or "almost none," as anyone who reads the three books of the Steganographia thoroughly will see. Now I come to you, Viere, who, following the lead of Bouill, could not help but stray from the path and, both blind, fell into the pit, as in Ovid's example:
"The procession seemed to me worthy of mention.
An old man was being led by a drunken old woman."
"So far," Viere says, "concerning Bouill, whom Tritemius accuses of lying and impiety while defending himself. But the matter itself will prove otherwise if anyone reads the Steganographia books carefully, part of which, written with figures and the names of spirits, I myself once read in the works of the blessed memory of Henry Cornelius Agrippa, and I copied them without his knowledge." If you condemn magic in Tritemius, who claims to deal with it only in enigmatic style, how can you, with what face, prove it in Agrippa, who openly explained the three books of occult philosophy? Why is the memory of Agrippa blessed while that of Tritemius is execrable? But a little while ago, it is known that your reason for assentation was in the magical books you mentioned as being corrupt with Ulpian, among which you enumerate a certain fourth added to Agrippa's three, and falsely "attributed" (as you say) "to Henry Cornelius Agrippa, your former guest and teacher, who has been dead for about twenty-seven years now, so falsely. You might as well have said on what day, Viere, do you accuse that Tritemius, whom your host and teacher so highly praises, so that the esteem of his work can be gleaned from his judgment or testimony? The old adage can be aptly applied to you here: the disciple is not above the master. Listen to how highly Agrippa regards Tritemius: in the preface: "I confess, as a very young man, I undertook to write these books, but with the hope of someday making them more correct and enriched, and for that reason I first offered them to Johann Tritemius, a man very industrious in secret matters, to correct them." The same in the dedication: "Until now, I have never dared to descend into this arena of restoring Magic, but after our conversation about these things, your excellent expertise and your fervent encouragement gave me courage and spirit." "I now submit these books for your examination, as you possess the fullest knowledge of these matters, to be corrected, evaluated, and judged, so that if there is anything in them that may tend towards insult to nature or affront to the heavens or religion, you may condemn the error. But if they have been purged of the scandals of impiety and have upheld the tradition of truth, then defend them. And when you deal with these books of ours and with Magic itself, do not conceal anything that may be of use, nor approve of anything that may only do harm, so that these books, tested by your examination, may eventually be worthy of auspicious beginnings and not fear the judgment of posterity. Farewell and spare these bold undertakings." I have transcribed these words at length, so that you may hear Agrippa's opinion of Tritemius and that the name of Magic, which will soon be used by our own Paracelsus, is still harsh to our ears, to soften the use of others for you. We will also hear from Marsilio Ficino on this subject in his own place. But to pierce this Bouilli with our last arrows, take Tritemius' response to Agrippa, which tacitly stings him: "Don't let the consideration of any rascals distract you from your purpose, about whom it is truly said: a tired ox still plants its foot firmly. But divinity has endowed you with a rich and lofty mind, so do not imitate oxen, but birds. However, we advise you to keep this one precept in mind, that you communicate vulgar things to vulgar people, but higher and secret things only to those who are higher and more secret. Give hay to the sacred ox, not to the parrot; understand the meaning so that you do not submit to the ox's hooves, as happens to many. Note, reader, that Tritemius persisted in this bovine metaphor not out of poverty, but out of industry, to sting his Bouilli with a sting, who was delayed from publishing his work of similar argument. I gladly added his words to impress upon you the caution of concealing mysteries, as an example of this book of ours, Paracelsus', which is always parabolic and enigmatic. Nor did the envious doctor Vvierus refrain from naming and cursing Theophrastus himself's reputation to be violated. It seems that he waged a war against the most learned simply for the sake of showing off, as he will not leave even those who have not greeted him in the recent scholia. Our final battle to endure is from Hieronymo Cardano (you will say subtle and varied), from an author of subtlety and variety, indeed futile and vain, unless you understand varied from Columella's de lupo vario, meaning spotted. "There was," he says, "a man a little before our time, Agrippa, more of a liar than Raymond Lull, John Tritemius, who filled a whole large book with this one dream of writing, yet did not complete it. And to give credibility to the fable, he pretended to be accused of necromancy, when he should have been accused of foolishness: certainly an impudent sycophant, if ever there was one among mortals." And shortly after, I admire the excellent man for writing an exposition on Tritemius's most foolish invention. You feel the malice of the most foolish little man against such a great man whose writings even the foolish admits were illustrated by an excellent man's commentaries. There is also Polygraphia recently translated into the French language by Collangio and dedicated to the King of the French. This man is not worthy of Caesar's anger (as they say), unless it is the anger of Scaliger, Caesar, who fell by the wounds of his pen. I will add only this: Did you, O learned doctor, extract the reduction of tryads into nonads by dyads in Polygraphia? Did you unravel and understand the hidden things in Steganographia? You act recklessly like a dog by barking at unknown things in Agrippa's natal astrology and in Artephius's vanity. These calumnies, therefore, being refuted and the solid foundations of Paracelsus's discipline being laid down, the miracles of the obscure things of nature, like Tritemius, whose instructor he acknowledges, a physician, under the pretext of human life, also shadows himself like a Magus under the evocation of spirits.
Jacques Gohory, Parisian,
Led by nature and accompanied by industry.