The Philosophy of Natural Magic, by Henry Cornelius Agrippa, L. W. de Laurence ed. , at sacred-texts.com
In the last half of 1509 and the first months of 1510, Cornelius Agrippa, known in his day as a Magician, gathered together all the Mystic lore he had obtained by the energy and ardor of youth and compiled it into the elaborate system of Magic, in three books, known as Occult Philosophy, the first book of which—Natural Magic—constitutes the present volume. Agrippa published his Occult Philosophy, with additional chapters, in 1533. The only English translation appeared in London in 1651. It is a thoroughly edited and revised edition of this latter work that we produce. Some translating has been done and missing parts supplied. The reader is assured that while we have modified some of the very broad English of the seventeenth century, that he has a thoroughly valid work. Due care has been taken to preserve all the quaintness of the English text as far as consistent with plain reading. We have endeavored to do full justice to our author, the demands of those purely mystical, and the natural conservatism of the antiquary and collector. In this we believe we have fully succeeded.
The life of Agrippa, up to the time of writing his Occult Philosophy, is also given, drawn mostly from Henry Morley's excellent life of Cornelius Agrippa.
That part of the volume credited to Mr. Morley maybe designated as an honest skeptic's contribution to Mysticism, and his chapters are produced entire, as justice to both him and Agrippa cannot be done otherwise, and they are an especially valuable part of Mystic literature.
The table of the Cabala, newly compiled for this volume, will be found to possess superior features over all others.
Following the above we give a chapter on the Empyrean Heaven, which will explain much that our author has written. It is derived mainly from an old occult work on "Physic."
The Symbols of the Alchemists will be found both useful and instructive. The chapter on the Magic Mirror, which ends the work, is believed to be the best contribution on the subject extant.
All the original illustrations and some new and selected ones will be found, as also various etchings of characters. That one on the Empyrean Heaven contains, we have cause to believe, some of the very hidden knowledge relating to the Lost Word. It is a much older plate than the work it was taken from.
Some parts of the volume will interest those who love to work out hidden things.
The editor conveys his warmest thanks to those friends who have encouraged him in the work—on the Cabala table, the illustration of the Grand Solar Man and the translating—outside of which he has not asked or received any help. This being the case our friends will please excuse any particular thing that may not sound pleasantly to the ear.