done. But here, as I have aforesaid, I will describe only the most remarkable.
Up till now I have healed of persons of all conditions, bewitched unto death, no less than 8413, and belonging unto all religions, without making an exception in any case.
I gave unto mine Emperor SIGISMOND, 1 a very
clement Prince, a Familiar Spirit of the Second Hierarchy, even as he commanded me, and he availed himself of its services with prudence. He wished also to possess the secret of the whole operation, but as I was warned by the Lord that it was not His Will, he contented himself with what was permitted, not as Emperor, but as a private person; and I even by means of mine Art facilitated his marriage with his wife; and I caused him to overcome the great difficulties which opposed his marriage.
I delivered also the Count FREDERICK 1 by the means
of 2000 artificial cavalry (the which I by mine Art caused to appear according unto the tenor of the Twenty-ninth Chapter of the Third Book here following), free out of the hands of the Duke Leopold of Saxonia; the which Count Frederick without me would have lost both his own life, and his estate as well (which latter would not have descended) unto his heirs.
Unto the BISHOP OF OUR CITY also, I showed the betrayal of his government at Orembergh, one year before the same occurred; and I say no more concerning this because he is an Ecclesiastic 1 passing over in silence all that I have further done to render unto him service.
The COUNT OF VARVICH 2 was delivered by me from
prison in England the night before he was to have been beheaded.
I aided the flight of the DUKE, 1 and of his POPE JOHN, 2 from the Council of Constance, who would otherwise
have fallen into the hands of the enraged Emperor and the latter having asked me to predict unto him which one of the two Popes, John XXIII. and Martin V., should gain in the end, my prophecy was verified; that fortune befalling which I had predicted unto him at Ratisbon.
At the time when I was lodged at the house of the DUKE OF BAVARIA, 1 my Lord, for matters of the greatest importance; the door of my room was forced, and I had the value of 83,000 Hungarian pieces stolen from me in jewels and money. As soon as I returned, the thief (although he was a Bishop!) was forced to himself bring it back to me in person and to return with his own hands to me the money, jewels, and account books, and to give me the principal reasons which had forced him to commit the theft, rather than any other person.
Six months ago I did write unto the GRECIAN EMPEROR, 2 and I warned him that the affairs of his Empire were in a very bad condition, and that his Empire itself was on the brink of ruin, 3 unless he could appease the Anger of God. As there only remaineth unto me but a little while to live, those who remain after me will receive the news of the result of this prophecy.
The Operation of the thirteenth chapter 4 of the Second Book, I have twice performed; once in the house
of Savonia; 1 and another time in the MARQUISATE OF MAGDEBURGH, and I was the cause that their estates were handed down unto their children.
Now when once the faculty of being able to avail oneself of the Sacred Magic hath been obtained, it is permissible to demand from the Angel a sum of coined money proportionate unto thy birth, quality and capacity, the which without difficulty will be granted unto thee. Such money is taken from the Hidden Treasures. It is, however, necessary to note that in all Treasures one is allowed to take the fifth part, God permitting the same, although some braggart chatterers 2 do say that there be an infinitude hereof which be destined and reserved unto Anti-Christ, I do not for a moment say that this may not be true; but undoubtedly from the same Treasures one may also take the fifth part. There are yet more which be destined unto others. Mine own particular treasure was assigned unto me at Herbipolis; 3 and I performed the Operation of the eighth chapter 4 of the Third Book; it was not in any way guarded, and was very ancient. It was of gold, which had never been struck into ingots; and which I afterwards caused to be beaten out and converted into its equivalent weight of golden florins, by the Spirits; the which was done in a few hours; (and I did this operation seeing that) mine own possessions were
few and of little worth; and so poor was I that in order to marry a person who had a considerable dowry, I was forced to make use of mine Art, and I employed the Fourth Sign of the Third Book and the Third Sign 1 of the nineteenth chapter; and I married my cousin with 40,000 golden florins as a dowry, the which sum served as a cover to my fortune.
All the Signs which are in the Eighteenth Chapter 2 have been made use of by me so many times that I could not count them. However, they are all given in the Book 3 already mentioned.
I made great and wonderful experiments with the Signs of the second 4 and eighth 5 chapters of the Third Book. The First Sign 6 of the first chapter of the Third Book is the most perfect.
It is necessary to be prompt and adroit in all these operations, seeing that in the things which belong unto God we can easily commit still greater errors than those into which SOLOMON fell.
All these Signs have I worked with great ease and pleasure, and with very great utility (unto myself and others). All these operations and others in infinite number have I performed by the Signs which be in the Third Book, and never have I failed in attaining mine end, I have always been obeyed (by the Spirits), and everything hath succeeded with me because I have myself obeyed the Commandments of God. Also I have
from point to point followed out that which mine Angel hath counselled and prescribed unto me; following out also exactly that which ABRA-MELIN 1 had taught me, the which is the same that I shall write in the Two following Books, and which I shall exemplify and explain more clearly; because the instructions which I received, although in very obscure words and Hieroglyphics, have caused me to attain mine object, and have never permitted me to err and fall into pagan, strange, and superstitious idolatries; I being always kept in the Way of the Lord, Who is the True, the Only, the Infallible End, for arriving at the possession of this Sacred Magic.
27:1 As this MS. bears the date of 1458, Abraham must have been born in 1362, and was consequently 47 years old in 1409.
28:1 Sigismond, Emperor of Germany, was born the 14th February, 1368, and died at Znaïm on the 9th December, 1437. Son of the Emperor Charles IV. and of Anne of Silesia, he received an excellent education. At ten years of age his father gave him the Margravate of Brandenburg, and two years later he was betrothed to Mary, the daughter of Louis the Great of Hungary, whom he afterwards married. He was nominated by his father-in-law his successor on the throne of Poland. But the nobles preferred Ladislaus, the nephew of Casimir the Great. However, in 1386, he took possession of Hungary, repulsed the Poles, overcame the rebellious nobles; and then marched against the Wallachians and Turks, but he was beaten, and later, notwithstanding the help of France and England, he lost the Battle of Nicopolis in 1396. He escaped on board a vessel in the Black Sea and for eighteen months was a fugitive from his Kingdom; and a; the moment of his re-entering Hungary he was made prisoner by the discontented nobles, and shut up in the citadel of Ziklos. Escaping thence into Bohemia, he, however, reconquered his throne, and in 1410 was raised to the Empire by one party among the Electors, while Josse, Marquis of Moravia, and Wenceslaus were elected by other factions. A remarkable coincidence, seeing that at this moment when three Emperors possessed the Empire, the Papacy had also three Popes, viz.: John XXIII. (Balthazar Cossa), a Neapolitan; Gregory XII. (Ange Conrario), a Venetian; and Benedict XIII. (Pierre de Lune), a Spaniard. The death of Josse, and the resignation of Wenceslaus, left Sigismond sole master of the Empire. After having received the Silver Crown at Aix-la-Chapelle in 1414, he went to preside at the Council of Constance, where John Huss was condemned, notwithstanding the safe conduct which he had obtained from the Emperor. He endeavoured to end the differences between the Roman and Greek Churches, visited France and England under pretext of reconciling Charles VI. and Henry V., but, as some say, in order to form a league with the latter against France, so as to recover the ancient Kingdom of Arles. The death of his brother, Wenceslaus, in 1419, rendered him Master of Bohemia, at the moment when the revolt of the Hussites was at its height. He commenced a war of extermination against them, but was defeated by Ziska in 1420, p. 29 and a war of fifteen years' duration ensued. In 1431, whilst he was being crowned King of Italy at Milan, his troops experienced such severe defeats that he was forced to concede advantageous terms to the rebels. But dissensions arose among them, and Sigismond profited by this to completely crush them at length and make Bohemia submit. He reigned twenty-seven years as Emperor of Germany, eighteen years as King of Bohemia, and fifty-one years as King of Hungary. His second wife, Barbe, has been called by some, the Messalina of Germany.
29:1 Frederick I., surnamed the Quarreller, Duke and Elector of Saxony, was born at Altenburg in 1369, and died in 1428. He was son of the Landgrave and Margrave Frederick the Severe, and of Catherine, Countess of Henneberg. At only four years of age, Frederick had been betrothed to Anne, daughter of the Emperor Charles IV.; later on he had serious disputes concerning this matter with the Emperor Wenceslaus (the brother of Anne), who had disposed of her hand to another, but who ultimately consented, in 1397, to pay Frederick a considerable sum by way of damages. In 1388 he fought as ally of the Burgrave of Nuremberg in the war of the German towns; and gained his knightly spurs in 1391, in the war which he, in concert with the Teutonic Knights, waged against the Lithuanians. Next, he fought against Wenceslaus. He married Catherine of Brunswick in 1402, and after various wars and quarrels, the University of Leipzig was founded in 1409. The indefatigable activity which this Prince displayed from 1420 against the movements of the Hussites, who were directly menacing his possessions, pointed him out as a valuable auxiliary to the Emperor Sigismond, who was then in a very critical position. In order to assure himself definitely of the alliance of Frederick the Quarreller, the Emperor conferred upon him the Electorate and Duchy of Saxony; but the former could not long enjoy his new found dignities in peace, for the Emperor shifted the whole weight of the war with the Hussites on to his shoulders. As the other German Princes did not respond readily to the Elector's appeal, the latter had the misfortune to lose the greater part of his p. 30 Army near Brux in 1425. But his wife, Catherine, summoned the whole of Catholic Germany to unite in a Crusade against the innovating Hussites; while 20,000 strange and foreign Warriors came unexpectedly to range themselves under the Standard of Frederick. It is to be noted that Abraham the Jew puts the Artificial Cavalry he supplied at 2000 (though this may easily be a slip for 20,000) and rumour would of course soon magnify the number. But the Elector was at length defeated at the disastrous battle of Aussig in 1426, where the élite of the German Warriors fell. The following year again witnessed a fresh defeat of the Elector, and the chagrin which this excited, ultimately led to his death. He was succeeded by his son, Frederick II., called "the Good" born in 1411, who began to reign in 1428, and died in 1464 (see Dict. Larousse).
30:1 The same ambiguity exists in the French as in the translation, as to whether it is Abraham or the Bishop who passes over the matter in silence. Et je n'en dis pas davantage acause quil est un eclesiastique passant sous silence ceque joy fait deplus pour luy rendre service. (I preserve the orthography of the French original.)
30:2 By "Count of Varvich," Abraham evidently means "Count of Warwick," as throughout the MS. a w is never used, but always a v, wherever the former occurs in a proper name. This Count of Warwick is probably Henri de Beauchamp, the brother-in-law of Warwick the "King-Maker," and son of that Richard de Beauchamp, so infamous for his instrumentality in bringing about the torture and burning of the heroic Joan of Arc. Henri de Beauchamp was at first deprived of his goods by Henry VI.; but in 1444 that Monarch created him Duke of Warwick, and later, King of the islands of Wight, Jersey, and Guernsey. He did not long survive to enjoy these honours (Dict. Larousse).
31:1 Probably Albert V. of Austria.
31:2 Pope John XXIII. (Balthazar Cossa), Pope from 1410 to 1415, was born at Naples. He had been a corsair in his youth, and at first, after his entry into holy orders, was only notable for his debauches, his exactions, and his violence, Pope Boniface IX. nevertheless appointed him Cardinal in 1402, and afterwards Legate of Bologna, where he is said to have given himself up to such excesses that Gregory XII. thought it necessary to excommunicate him. Notwithstanding this Cossa was elected to the Papacy at the time when the Church was shaken by internal dissension. He promised at first to renounce the Pontificate, if on their side Gregory XII. and Benedict XIII. would abandon their claims. However, he mounted the Papal Throne, and declared for the side of Louis d'Anjou in the war between the latter and Ladislaus regarding the Throne of Naples. At length, after the taking of Rome by Ladislaus, he was forced to implore the support of the Emperor Sigismond. The latter consented to grant him his protection, but on the sole condition of the convocation of the Council of Constance. After much hesitation, and after having taken every possible precaution to ensure his personal safety, John XXIII. consented to the assembling of the Council, which he opened 7th November, 1414. Being then summoned to lay aside the Papal Mitre, he judged it prudent to consent; but a few days later, he succeeded in escaping in disguise, during a tournament given by the Duke of Austria. He retired to Lauffembourg, and protested against the abdication, which he declared to have been obtained from him by force. The Council was for a moment struck with fear and consternation, but the firmness of the Emperor Sigismond, coupled with the effect of the declaration of J. Gerson that the General Councils had higher authority than the Papacy, prevailed. John XXIII. was summoned to appear before the Council, but refused; and soon after, being abandoned by the Duke of Austria, who was too weak to resist the power of the Emperor, he was arrested at Fribourg, and conducted to Rudolfcell. On the 29th May, 1415, this Pontiff was solemnly deposed by the Council of Constance as being given to simony, impudent, a secret poisoner, and a spendthrift of the wealth of the Church; and was imprisoned in the Castle of Heidelberg. At the end of four years he recovered his liberty, on payment of 30,000 golden crowns, and went to Rome, where he made his submission to Martin V., and was by him appointed Cardinal-Bishop of Frascati, and Senior of the Sacred College. He died a few months later at Florence, either of anxiety or by poison.
32:1 Either Ernest or William I. of Bavaria. They were brothers, and reigned conjointly. From his calling the Duke of Bavaria, his Lord, it would appear that he was living under his dominion, but it is curious that up to this point Abraham has never mentioned the name of his own town.
32:2 Constantine Palæologos, who was the thirteenth and last Greek Emperor. He was killed, and Constantinople taken by the Turks under Mahomet II. The direct descendant of Constantine Palæologos to-day, is the Princess Eugénie di Cristoforo-Palæologæ-Nicephoræ-Comnenæ.
32:3 A deux doigts de sa perte.
32:4 This chapter is entitled: "Concerning the Convocation of the Good Spirits".
33:1 Thus in MS.--? Saxonia.
33:2 Quelques hableurs.
33:3 Herbipolis is the Latin mediaeval name of the town of Wurtzbourg in Bavaria. It seems from this passage that it was probably the city of Abraham the Jew, and therefore the one intended a few paragraphs before where he speaks of the "Bishop of our town". Wurzbourg and the surrounding district formed a Bishopric, and in the time of Abraham it was the scene of constant struggles between the Bishop and his party, and the burghers. Later, formidable persecutions against the Jews took place there, and many edicts were promulgated against witchcraft.
33:4 This is evidently an error for either the sixth, the sixteenth, or the twenty-eighth chapter; probably the latter.
34:1 To make oneself loved by a relation.
34:2 The Eighteenth Chapter is entitled: "How to heal divers maladies".
34:3 I.e. the Third Book.
34:4 The Second Chapter is entitled: "How to obtain information and be enlightened concerning every kind of proposition and all doubtful sciences".
34:5 The Eighth Chapter is entitled: "How to excite Tempests".
34:6 "To know all sorts of matters past and to come, which are, however, not opposed to God and to His Holy Will."
35:1 Thus spelt here.