Dedication, 1566-08-06, Jacques Gohory to René Perrot
|Date:||6 August 1566|
|Editor:||Edited by Julian Paulus|
|Source:||Jacques Gohory: Theophrasti Paracelsi philosophiae et medicinae utriusque universae compendium, Paris: Philippe Gaultier dit Rouillé no date , p. 3-6 [BP089]|
|Translation:||Raw translation see below|
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[p. 3] Leo Suavius nobili viro Renato Peroto Cenomanensi, S[alutem].
Libros scholiorum in Paracelsum de Vita longa, tanquam liberos nuper ex me natos, cuius potiùs fidei commiterem, quàm tuæ? qui, quo iure mei sunt, tui sunt quoque mancipio & nexu, amice suauissime, quùm sint amicorum omnia communia: qua ratione autem Philosophiâ sunt imbuti, tibi Philosophiæ studiosissimo rectè dicantur, vt eorum velut initiationis arbiter eligaris.
Ambitiosis scriptoribus ætatis nostræ fastuosas Principibus consecrationes relinquamus, quibus tanquam ædium suarum frontispicia exornent: nos qui otio literarum delectati iam-dudum ab eorum comitatu recessimus, magis decet ad eos nostra de- [p. 4] ferre, qui virtute præditi sunt, quàm inanem gloriolam ex superba dicatione captare.
Sunt plærique omnis doctrinæ expertes: qua fronte speras munus excepturos, quod quidem quid sit prorsus ignorant? quorsum offers margaritas sui, quæ granum hordei Cleopatræ vnioni anteferret? Me miserum, qui tot infœlices noctes iis decorandis consumpsi: quos licet scientiarum imperitos agnoscerem, confidebam tamen virtutem, quæ sibi deesset, quam in aliis cernerent, veneratum iri. Ista verò tractatio rerum tam abstrusarum, ad quam perpauci hodiè animum conuertunt, maximè, ab iis aliena est, qui pervulgatas artes non sunt cognitione consecuti: te, Perote, digna est, cui quùm liceat per fortunas & opes in luxu & deliciis vitam transigere, nihil tamen habes optimarum quarumque rerum scientia charius, nihil antiquius. De hoc autem scriptore vt dicam quod sentio, nostro sæculo grauiorem Medicum, subtiliorem Philosophum vidi neminem. At quum pergratum tibi illum esse perspicerem, & tuo iudicio optimi cuiusque studium metirer: statui paucis obscuriores eius locos explicare: nunc [p. 5] scholiis, nunc paraphrasi, nonnunquam argumentis, quandoque nuda vocabulorum eius nouorum interpretatione. Nam diligentes homines, rereumq́ue reconditarum studiosi (quibus solis opus hoc cuditur) ex vno, vt Poëta dicit, discent omnia, & quod lumen in vnum locum inferetur, ad alia quoque eâdem caligine circumsepta transmittetur. Quod ad librorum Paracelsi copiam attinet, audio à Germanis propè trecentos recenseri.[m 1] Ô fœcunditas ingenii! Quod ad operam eius medicam & chirurgicam, præter quotidianarum ægritudinum curationes, Nurembergæ specimen præstantissimæ artis edere voluisse: oblatus è publico leprosos duodecim in pristinam valetudinem restituisse:[m 2] rem quidem multorum fide maiorem, iis tamen non incredibilem factu, qui considerant rara & inaudita illius remedia ex flore Cheiri & Anthos, arcano corallino, de essentia auri, mysterio Antimonii,[m 3] & quamplurimis huius generis, medicis vulgaribus ne nomine quidem adhuc notis. Quòd si Regibus nostris artes gratæ essent, eas enim (vt ait Cicero) alit honor, omnésque ad studia accendimur gloriâ: quemadmodum [p. 6] Francisco magno Regi fuere, nec natura effœta est, nec regio nostra adeò sterilis ingeniorum, quin spes esset rerum maximarum atque vtilissimarum (quas prisci Magi & Poëtæ tantis involucris texerant) cognitionem nostris quoque temporibus, & veritatem tanquàm è puteo Democriti erutam iri. Interea ego, vt tute scis, post longas peregrinationes scientiæ ergô susceptas, Philosophi illius exemplo consumptis opibus, in hortis tandem suburbanis ciuitatis meæ totus in rerum naturæ pulcherrimarum contemplatione conquiesco, quemadmodum & Iapix Virgilianus, quiquidem
Scire potestates herbarum vsúmque medendi
Maluit, & mutas agitare inglorius artes.
vel Menetes, cui
Ars fuerat, paupérque domus, nec nota potentum
Munera, conductáque herbas tellure serebat.
Nam quum fortasse habuissem aliqua ab ingenio fortunaq́ue adiumenta rerum gerendarum, conditionis tamen humanæ memor, me à Principum consectatione & obsequio libenter abdicaui. Vale. Lutetiæ Viii. Idus Sext[embris] Anno M. D. LXVI.[c 1]
- ↑ M. D. LXVI.] corrected from: M. LXVI.
English Raw Translation
Generated by ChatGPT on 6 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 noble man Renatus Perotus from Cenomanensis, greetings.
I entrust to you the books of commentaries on Paracelsus' "De Vita Longa" as if they were children recently born of me, to whom should I entrust their fidelity if not to you? Since they are equally mine and yours by right, my dear friend, bound together by the common bond of friendship. Because of their immersion in philosophy, they are rightly called upon you, who are most devoted to philosophy, to be chosen as their arbiter of initiation.
Let us leave the pompous dedications to the ambitious writers of our time for the haughty princes, who adorn their facades like the frontispieces of their buildings. As for us, who have long since retired from their company, enjoying the leisure of literature, it is more fitting to dedicate our works to those who are endowed with virtue than to seek empty glory through a proud dedication.
Most people are ignorant of all learning. With what face do you expect them to accept a gift, when they are completely ignorant of what it is? Why offer pearls to those who would prefer a grain of barley to Cleopatra's pearl? Alas, I have spent so many sleepless nights embellishing my works, though I recognized that they were unskilled in the sciences, I still trusted that they would respect virtue, which they lacked and which they would revere in others. However, this handling of such obscure subjects, to which only a few today direct their minds, is particularly alien to those who have not achieved a knowledge of the popular arts. Peroto, you are worthy of this, as you are permitted to live a life of luxury and pleasure through fortune and wealth, yet you hold nothing more precious than the knowledge of all the best things, nothing more ancient. Regarding this writer, I must say that I have not seen a more serious physician or subtle philosopher in our time. However, since I realized that you were pleased with him, and I measured the zeal of every noble thing according to your judgment, I decided to explain a few of his more obscure passages, now with commentaries, now with paraphrase, sometimes with arguments, and at times with a bare interpretation of his new vocabulary. Diligent people and those who are eager for the hidden things (for whom this work is intended alone) will learn everything from one, as the poet says, and the light that is brought to one place will be transmitted to others that are surrounded by the same darkness. As for the abundance of Paracelsus' books, I hear that they number nearly three hundred in German. Oh, the fertility of his genius! As for his medical and surgical work, in addition to the daily care of illnesses, he wished to provide an example of the most excellent art at Nuremberg. He has restored twelve lepers to their former health from public service. Indeed, it is a fact that is more incredible to many, but not unbelievable for those who consider his rare and unusual remedies made from the flower of Cheir and Anthos, coral essence, gold mystery, antimony mystery, and many other similar remedies that are not even known by name to common physicians. If the arts were pleasing to our kings, for, as Cicero says, honor nourishes them, and we are all motivated by glory to study, just as they were to King Francis the Great, then our nature would not be effete, nor would our royal family be so barren of genius that there would be no hope of knowledge of the greatest and most useful things (which the ancient Magi and poets had woven in such great covers) being discovered in our time, as if from Democritus' well. Meanwhile, as you know, after long travels undertaken for the sake of science, following the example of that philosopher, and with all my wealth spent, I finally rest in the contemplation of the most beautiful things in nature, in the gardens of the suburbs of my city, just like Iapix Virgilianus.
He preferred to know the powers of herbs and the practice of healing,
And to exercise the silent and inglorious arts.
Or Menetes, for whom
Art was a calling, and his house was poor, and the gifts of the powerful
Were unknown to him, and he would sow herbs on leased land.
For even though I may have had some assistance from talent and fortune in the conduct of affairs, being mindful of the condition of humanity, I gladly withdrew from the pursuit and obedience of princes. Farewell. In Paris, on the 8th day before the Ides of August in the year 1566.