and another while travelling in the world, and also of the measure and understanding of their various sciences; while, in the Sixth Chapter following, I will recount the things which I have learned and seen with some among them, and whether in actual practice I found them true or false. I have already before told you that my first Master had been the RABBIN MOSES at MAYENCE, who was indeed a good man, but entirely ignorant of the True Mystery and of the Veritable Magic. He only devoted himself to certain superstitious secrets which he had collected from various infidels, and which were full of the nonsense and foolishness of Pagans and Idolaters; to such an extent that the Good Angels and Holy Spirits judged him unworthy of their visits and conversation; and the Evil Spirits mocked him to a ridiculous extent. At times, indeed, they spake to him voluntarily and by caprice, and obeyed him in matters vile, profane, and of no account, in order the better to entrap, deceive and hinder him from searching further for the true and certain Foundation of this Great Science.
At ARGENTINE I found a Christian called JAMES, who was reputed as a learned and very skilful man; but his Art was the Art of the Juggler, or Cup and Balls Player; and not that of the Magician.
In the town of PRAGUE I found a wicked man named ANTONY, aged twenty-five years, who in truth showed me wonderful and supernatural things, but may God preserve us from falling into so great an error, for the infamous wretch avowed to me that he had made a Pact with the DEMON, and had given himself over to him in body and in soul, and that he had renounced God and all the Saints; while, on the other hand, the deceitful LEVIATHAN had promised him forty years of life to do his pleasure. He made every effort, as he was obliged to by the Pact, to persuade me and drag me to the precipice of the same error and misery; but at first I kept myself
apart from him, and at last I took flight. Unto this day do they sing in the streets of the terrible end which befel him, may the Lord God of His Mercy preserve us from such a misfortune. This should serve us as a mirror of warning to keep far from us all evil undertakings and pernicious curiosity.
In AUSTRIA I found an infinitude, but all were either ignorant, or like unto the Bohemians.
In the Kingdom of HUNGARY I found but persons knowing neither God nor Devil, and who were worse than the beasts.
In GREECE I found many wise and prudent men, but, however, all of them were infidels, among whom there were three who principally dwelt in desert places, who showed unto me great things, such as how to raise tempests in a moment, how to make the Sun appear in the night, how to stop the course of rivers, and how to make night appear at mid-day, the whole by the power of their enchantments, and by applying superstitious ceremonies.
Near CONSTANTINOPLE, in a place called EPHIHA, there was a certain man, who, instead of Enchantments, made use of certain numbers which he wrote upon the earth; and by means of these he caused certain extravagant and terrifying visions to appear; but in all these Arts there was no practical use, but only the loss of soul and of body, because all these only worked by particular Pacts, which, had no true foundation; also all these Arts demanded a very long space of time, and they were very false, and when these men were unsuccessful they had always ready a thousand lies and excuses.
In the same city Of CONSTANTINOPLE I found two men of our Law, namely, SIMON and the RABBIN ABRAHAME, whom we may class with RABBIN MOSES of Mayence.
In EGYPT the first time I found five persons who
were esteemed and reputed as wise men, among whom were four, namely, HORAY, ABIMECH, ALCAON, and ORILACH, who performed their operations by the means of the course of the Stars and of the Constellations, adding many Diabolical Conjurations and impious and profane prayers, and performing the whole with great difficulty. The fifth, named ABIMELU, operated by the means and aid of Demons, to whom he prepared statues, and sacrificed, and thus they served him with their abominable arts.
In ARABIA they made use of plants, of herbs, and of stones as well precious as common. The Divine Mercy inspired me to return thence, and led me to ABRAMELIN, who was he who declared unto me the Secret, and opened unto me the fountain and true source of the Sacred Mystery, and of the Veritable and Ancient Magic which God had given unto our forefathers.
Also at PARIS I found a wise man called JOSEPH, who, having denied the Christian faith, had made himself a Jew. This man truly practised Magic in the same manner as ABRAMELIN, but he was very far from arriving at perfection therein; because God, Who is just, never granteth the perfect, veritable and fundamental treasure unto those who deny Him; notwithstanding that in the rest of their life they might be the most holy and perfect men in the world. I am astonished when I consider the blindness of many persons who let themselves be led by Evil Masters, who take pleasure in falsehood, and, we may rather say, in the DEMON himself; giving themselves over unto Sorceries and Idolatries, one in one manner, another in another manner, with the result of losing their souls. But the Truth is so great, the Devil is so deceitful and malicious, and the World so frail and so infamous that I must admit that things cannot be otherwise. Let us then open our eyes, and follow that which I shall lay down in the following chapters; and let us not walk
In another Path, whether of the Devil, or of men, or of Books which boast of their Magic; for in truth I declare unto thee that I had so great a quantity of such matters written out with so much Art, that had I not had these of ABRAMELIN, I could herein have given thee those. However, it is true that just as there is only one God, that not one of these Books is worth an obolus. 1 Yet with all this there are men so blind that they buy them at exorbitant prices, and they lose their money, their time, and their pains, and which is worse, very often their souls as well.
15:3 Mistères, evidently a slip for Maistres, Masters.
19:1 A coin of base money formerly in use, its value being about a halfpenny.