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Hermetic Triumph

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THE

PREFACE

Of the Author of the

COMMENTARY,

Translated from French.

A D V E R T I S E M E N T.

One is sufficiently persuaded, that there are already too many Books which treat of the Hermetick Philosophy; and that unless one would write of this Science plain, without Equivocation, and without Allegory, (which none of the sages will ever do,) it would be better to remain silent, than to fill the World with new Works, which rather serve to clog the spirit [or Minds] of those who apply themselves to penetrate into the Philosophick Mysteries, than to put them in the true Way, which leads to the desired End, to which they aspire. 'Tis for this Reason that it has been thought, that to interpret a good Author, who treats of this sublime Philosophy with Solidity, would be more useful to the Children of Science, than some new Philosophical Production, adorned with some of the most ingenious Expressions, which the Adepts know to {?} when they treat of this great Art, or rather, when they write only to make known, to those that seek it, that they have had the good Fortune to arrive to the Possession thereof. Indeed most part of the Philosophers which have wrote thereof, have done it rather to speak of the good Success wherewith God had blessed their Work, than to give the necessary Instruction to those who give themselves to the study of this sacred science. This is so true, that most of them don't so much as make any Difficulty of owning sincerely, that that has been their chief View, when they compared their Books to that Matter.

The little Treatise which bears the Title, The ANCIENT WAR OF THE KNIGHTS, has without any Contradiction deserved the Approbation of all the Sages [or Wise Men] and of those, who have any Knowledge of the Hermetic Philosophy. It is written by way of Dialogue, in a very plain and measured Style, which bears every Way the marks of Truth; Yet notwithstanding its Plainness, it is not wanting of Profundity, and to be solid in its Reasoning, as also convincing in its Proofs, in such a manner, as also convincing in its Proofs; in such a manner, that there is not one Word, but what carries its Sentence, and on which there might not be made a long Commentary.

This Works was composed in the German Tongue by a true philosopher, whose Name is unknown. It appeared in Print at Leipzig, in the Year of our Lord 1604. Faber of Montpellier translated it into Latin: And it was from this Latin [Edition] that the French Translation was taken, which was Printed at Paris by d'Houry, and put at the End of [the Book called] the French Turba, of the Word left behind [verbum dismissum] and of Drebelius, which together make up one Volume. But whether Faber did not well understand the German Tongue, or else did on Purpose falsify the Original: So it is, that there are in these two Translations corrupted Passages, which are so manifestly false, that they have occasioned, that many have condemned this little Work, although it seemed otherwise to be very much informed.

As Truth and Falsehood cannot dwell together in one Subject, and because it was easy to judge that Translations were not done faithfully, a Philosopher of extraordinary Knowledge and Merit, did, for to satisfy his Curiosity in this Point, give himself the Trouble, of seeking upwards of ten Tears for to find the German original of this little Treatise, and having at last found it, caus'd it to be exactly translated into Latin. This new Translation is taken from that Copy, and done with all possible Fidelity. The Goodness of the Original may be seen here, by the truth which evidently appears in divers Places which have been restored [to its former Sense,] which were not only alter'd but quite changed. One may judge of this by the Passage marked thirty four, where the first Translation says, like the Latin of Faber, Mercurium nostrum nemo assequi potest; nisi ex mollibus octo corporibus neque ullum absque altero parari potest. No body can attain to our Mercury, otherways than out of the eight soft Bodies, nor can the one be prepared without the other. This Treatise needed no other Thing, to be despised by those that have a sufficient knowledge of the beginning of the [Philosophick] Work, in order to distinguish what is true, from that which is false: The learned , however, did easily judge, that such a capital Fault as that could not come from a true Philosopher, who otherways gives sufficiently to know that he has perfectly understood the Magistery: But there was wanting a zealous learned Man, for to discover the Truth, an one that was as capable as the aforesaid, to make so great a search for to find the Original of this Work; without which it was impossible to re-establish true Sense thereof.

The place just now mentioned, was not the only one, that wanted to be amended. If one takes the Pains to compare this new Translation with the former, there will appear a very great Difference, and many material Corrections. The passage thirty-five is not one of the least, and as this Translation has been from the new [or last] Latin copy, without ever looking upon that which was already printed in French, it has been a pleasure to remark in course, all what was not conform to the same.

The Words in and entire Phrases, that have been added in some places in the present, to make it join more natural, or render the Sense more perfect, are placed betwixt two Crotches ( ), in order to distinguish what is, and what is not in the Text, to which the Author of this Translation has kept himself extremely close: By Reason, that the least Addition, to a Matter of the Nature, may make a considerable Alteration [or Change] and Occasion great errors.

The Beauty an the Solidity of this Treatise, did very well deserve the Print which have been taken to make Commentary thereupon, to make it more intelligible to the Children of the Art; [or Science;] because it is a Treatise that may stand them instead of all others. And, as the Method of a Dialogue it the most proper for to explain, and for to make palpable the sublimest Truths, it has been made Use of here, and that with the more Reason, in that the Author, upon which the Commentary has been made, has written in the same manner. The Dialogue of Eudoxe and Pyrophile, which explains the [Dialogue] of the Stone, with Gold, and with Mercury, unfolds the chiefest Difficulties by its Question, and by the Answers which are made thereto about the most material [or essential] Points of the Hermetick Philosophy.

The Cyphers which are on the Margin of these two Dialogues, are to remark the places which are alike in the first Dialogue, and the second in which they are explained. There is to be seen in this work an entire Conformity of Sentiments with the first Masters of this Philosophy, as well as with the most learned that have written in the latter Ages, so that there may hardly be found a Treatise upon this Matter, (how great soever the Number thereof may be,) which is clearer, and more sincere than the present, and which in Course could be more useful to such as apply themselves to Study this Science, and who otherway have all the Qualifications both of the Mind, and of the Body, which our Philosophy requires of those who desire to make some Progress therein.

The Commentary, will doubtless, be allowed to be so much better in that it is not diffusedly, as almost all Commentaries are: That it does not touch upon any other Places than those which may be needed to be explained: and that it does in no way deviate from the Subject; but as these sort of Writings are not fit for those who have not yet gotten a Spark of the secret Philosophy, the clearest sighted will easily find, that it has been thought better to skip several Things, which perhaps might deserved an Interpretation, than to explain generally all what might yet cause some Difficulty to the young Beginner in the great Art.

As the first of these Dialogues tells the Victory of the Stone and the other explains the Reason,a nd shows the Foundation of its Triumph: It seemed that this Book could not appear under a more proper Title, than that of the Hermetical Triumph: Or, The Victorious Philosophical Stone. Nothing remains to be said, except that the Author of the Translation (who is likwise the same of the Commentary, and of the Letter which is at the End of this Book) has had no other Interest of View in this, but to manifest the Truth to those who aspire to the Knowledge of it, from such Motives as are proper to the true Children of the Science: He also declares, and protects sincerely, that he desires with all his Heart, that those who are so unfortunate as to lose their time in working with foreign or distant Matters, may find themselves enlightned by reading this Book, in order to know the true and only Matter of the Philosophers; and that those who know the same already, but are ignorant of the great Point, viz. the Solution of the Stone, and the Coagulation of the Water, and of the Spirit of the Body, which is the Term [or End] of the Universal Medicine, may here learn those secret Operations, which are distinctly enough described for them.

The Author has not thought proper to write in Latin, because he could not believe, like many others, that to treat of these high Mysteries in a vulgar Tongue, is to reveal them: He has followed the Example of several Philosophers, who were resolved, that their Work [or Treatise] should bear the [said] Character of their Country. His first Design has likewise been to be useful to his Countrymen, not doubting, but that if this Treatise should appear to the Disciples of Hermes to have any deserts, there would be found such as will translate it into such a Language as they please.


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