The Comte de St. Germain, by Isabel Cooper-Oakley, , at sacred-texts.com
Passing now from France to Austria, let us see what Gräffer says in his interesting, though curiously written, sketches. To give, then, a few extracts out of many:
ST. GERMAIN AND MESMER
"An unknown man had come on a short visit to Vienna.
"But his sojourn there extended itself.
"His affairs had reference to a far-off time, namely, the twentieth century.
"He had really come to Vienna to see one person only.
"This person was Mesmer, still a very young man.
"Mesmer was struck by the appearance of the stranger. 'You must be the man,' said he, 'whose anonymous letter I received yesterday from the Hague?'
"'I am he.'
"'You wish to speak with me to-day, at this hour, on my ideas concerning magnetism?'
"'I wish to do so.'
"'It was the man who has just left me, who in a fatherly way has guided my ideas in this channel. He is the celebrated astronomer Hell." 1
"'I know it.'
"'My fundamental ideas, however, are still chaotic; who can give me light?'
"'I can do so.'
"'You would make me happy, sir.'
"'I have to do so.'
"The stranger motioned Mesmer to lock the door.
"They sat down.
"The kernel of their conversation centred round the theory of obtaining the elements of the elixir of life by the employment of magnetism in a series of permutations.
"The conference lasted three hours. . . .
"They arranged a further meeting in Paris. Then they parted." 2
That St. Germain and Mesmer were connected in the mystical work of the last century we know from other sources, 3 and that they again met and worked together in Paris, is verified by
research among the records of the Lodge meetings already mentioned. This meeting in Vienna must have taken place before Mesmer began his work in Paris judging by the context. Vienna was the great centre for the Rosicrucians and other allied Societies, such as the "Asiatische Brüder," the "Ritter des Lichts," etc. The former were the largest body who really occupied themselves deeply with alchemical researches and had their laboratory in the Landstrasse, behind the Hospital. Among them we find a group of St. Ger-main's followers.
To quote Franz Gräffer again:--
"One day the report was spread that the Comte de St. Germain, the most enigmatical of all incomprehensibles, was in Vienna. An electric shock passed through all who knew his name. Our Adept circle was thrilled through and through: St. Germain was in Vienna! . . .
"Barely had Gräffer [his brother Rudolph] recovered from the surprising news, than he flies to Hiniberg, his country seat, where he has his papers. Among these is to be found a letter of recommendation from Casanova, the genial adventurer whom he got to know in Amsterdam, addressed to St. Germain.
"He hurries back to his house of business; there he is informed by the clerk: 'An hour ago a gentleman has been here whose appearance
has astonished us all. This gentleman was neither tall nor short, his build was strikingly proportionate, everything about him had the stamp of nobility. . . . . . . . . . . . . He said in French, as it were to himself, not troubling about anyone's presence, the words: "I live in Fedalhofe, the room in which Leibnitz lodged in 1713." We were about to speak, when he was already gone. This last hour we have been, as you see, sir, petrified.' . . . . . . . . . . . . .
"In five minutes Fedalhofe is reached. Leibnitz's room is empty. Nobody knows when 'the American gentleman' will return home. As to luggage, nothing is to be seen but a small iron chest. It is almost dinner time. But who would think of dining! Gräffer is mechanically urged to go and find Baron Linden; he finds him at the 'Ente.' They drive to the Landstrasse, whither a certain something, an obscure presentiment, impels them to drive post haste.
"The laboratory is unlocked; a simultaneous cry of astonishment escapes both; at a table is seated St. Germain, calmly reading a folio, which is a work of Paracelsus. They stand dumb at the threshold; the mysterious intruder slowly closes the book, and slowly rises. Well know the two perplexed men that this apparition can be no other in the world than the man of wonders. The description of the clerk was as a shadow
against a reality. It was as if a bright splendour enveloped his whole form. Dignity and sovereignty declared themselves. The men were speechless. The Count steps forward to meet them; they enter. In measured tones, without formality, but in an indescribably ringing tenor, charming the innermost soul, he says in French to Gräffer: 'You have a letter of introduction from Herr von Seingalt; but it is not needed. This gentleman is Baron Linden. I knew that you would both be here at this moment. You have another letter for me from Brühl. But the painter is not to be saved; his lung is gone, he will die July 8th, 1805. A man who is still a child called Buonaparte will be indirectly to blame. And now, gentlemen, I know of your doings; can I be of any service to you? Speak.' But speech was not possible.
"Linden laid a small table, took confectionery from a cupboard in the wall, placed it before him and went into the cellar.
"The Count signs to Gräffer to sit down, seats himself and says: 'I knew your friend Linden would retire, he was compelled. I will serve you alone. I know you through Angelo Soliman, to whom I was able to render service in Africa. If Linden comes I will send him away again.' Gräffer recovered himself; he was, however, too overwhelmed to respond more than with the
words: 'I understand you: I have a presentiment.'
"Meanwhile Linden returns and places two bottles on the table. St. Germain smiles thereat with an indescribable dignity. Linden offers him refreshment. The Count's smile increases to a laugh. 'I ask you,' said he, 'is there any soul on this earth who has ever seen me eat or drink?' He points to the bottles and remarks: 'This Tokay is not direct from Hungary. It comes from my friend Katherine of Russia. She was so well pleased with the sick man's paintings of the engagement at Mödling, that she sent a cask of the same.' Gräffer and Linden were astounded; the wine had been bought from Casanova.
"The Count asked for writing materials; Linden brought them. The 'Wundermann' cuts from a sheet of paper two quarters of the sheet, places them quite close to each other, and seizes a pen with either hand simultaneously. He writes with both, half a page, signs alike, and says: '[You collect autographs, sir; choose one of these sheets, it is a matter of indifference which; the content is the same.' 'No, it is magic,' exclaim both friends, 'stroke for stroke, both handwritings agree, no trace of difference, unheard of!'
"The writer smiles; places both sheets on one another; holds them up against the window-pane; it seems as if there were only one writing to be
seen, so exactly is one the facsimile of the other; they appear as if they were impressions from the same copper-plate. The witnesses were struck dumb.
"The Count then said: 'One of these sheets I wish delivered to Angelo as quickly as possible. In a quarter of an hour he is going out with Prince Lichtenstein; the bearer will receive a little box. . . .'
"St. Germain then gradually passed Into a solemn mood. For a few seconds he became rigid as a statue, his eyes, which were always expressive beyond words, became dull and colourless. Presently, however, his whole being became reanimated. He made a movement with his hand as if in signal of his departure, then said: 'I am leaving (ich scheide); do not visit me. Once again will you see me. To-morrow night I am off; I am much needed in Constantinople; then in England, there to prepare two inventions which you will have in the next century--trains and steamboats. These will be needed in Germany. The seasons will gradually change--first the spring, then the summer. It is the gradual cessation of time itself, as the announcement of the end of the cycle. I see it all; astrologers and meteorologists know nothing, believe me; one needs to have studied in the Pyramids as I have studied. Towards the end of this century I shall
disappear out of Europe, and betake myself to the region of the Himalayas. I will rest; I must rest. Exactly in eighty-five years will people again set eyes on me. Farewell, I love you.' After these solemnly uttered words, the Count repeated the sign with his hand. The two adepts, overpowered by the force of such unprecedented impressions, left the room in a condition of complete stupefaction. In the same moment there fell a sudden heavy shower, accompanied by a peal of thunder. Instinctively they return to the laboratory for shelter. They open the door. St. Germain is no more there. . . .
"Here," continues Gräffer, "my story ends. It is from memory throughout. A peculiar irresistible feeling has compelled me to set down these transactions in writing once more, after so long a time, just to-day, June 15th, 1843.
"Further, I make this remark, that these events have not been hitherto reported. So herewith do I take my leave." 1
The curious character of Franz Gräffer's sketches is striking. From other sources it can be learned that both of these Gräffers were personal
friends of St. Germain, both were also Rosicrucians. And though no date is given of the interview here recorded, we can deduce it approximately from another article in the same volume, where it is said: "St. Germain was in the year ’88, or ’89, or ’90, in Vienna, where we had the never-to-be-forgotten honour of meeting him." 1
That the Comte de St. Germain was also a Rosicrucian there is no doubt. Constantly, in the Masonic and Mystic literature of the last century the evidences are found of his intimacy with the prominent Rosicrucians in Hungary and Austria. This mystic body originally sprang up in the central European States; it has, at various times and through different organisations, spread the Sacred Science and Knowledge with which some of its Heads were entrusted--the same message from the one Great Lodge which guides the spiritual evolution of the human race. Traces of this teaching, as given by our mystic, are clearly found, and are quoted by Madame Blavatsky, who mentions a "Cypher Rosicrucian Manuscript" 2 as being in his possession. She emphasises also the entirely Eastern tone of the views held by M. de St. Germain.
The fact that M. de St. Germain possessed this rare work shows the position held by him. Turning
again to The Secret Doctrine, 1 we find his teaching on "Numbers" and their values, and this important passage links him again with the Pythagorean School, whose tenets were purely Eastern. Such passages are of deep interest to the student, for they prove the unity which underlies all the outward diversity of the many societies working under different names, yet with so much in common. On the surface it would appear that better results might have been attained had all these small bodies been welded into one large Society. But in studying the history of the eighteenth century, the reason is evident. In Austria, Italy and France, the Jesuits were all-powerful and crushed out any body of people who showed signs of occult knowledge. Germany was at war, England also at war; any large masses of students would certainly have been suspected of political designs. The various small organizations were safer, and it is evident that M. de St. Germain went from one society to another, guiding and teaching; of his constant connection with the Masonic circles we have other proofs; M. Björnstahl writes in his book of travels:--
"We were guests at the court of the Prince-Hereditary Wilhelm von Hessen-Cassel (brother of Karl von Hessen) at Hanau, near Frankfort.
"As we returned on the 21st of May 1774 to the Castle of Hanau, we found there Lord Cavendish and the Comte de St. Germain; they had come from Lausanne, and were travelling to Cassel and Berlin.
We had made the acquaintance of these gentlemen in Lausanne at the house of Broglio." 1
This is a most interesting statement, for it shows also the continued intercourse of M. de St. Germain with the Bentinck family, with whom he had so much intercourse in 1760 at the Hague.
A Masonic friend 2 sends me the following information and extracts of letters, drawn from Masonic sources in the Royal Library in Wolfenbüttel. He says:--
"With this post I send you a photo of the letter from Count de Welldone to the Duke Friedrich August of Braunschweig, nephew of Ferdinand of Braunschweig, and also from Frederick II. of Prussia, his uncle.
"Dr. K. Weber in 'From four Centuries' writes, vol. I., p. 317:--
"'In October 1776 he came to Leipzig as v. Welldone, where he offered many secrets for the use of the Town Council, that he had
gathered together during his travels in Egypt and Asia.'
"The letter from Welldone is in the Wolfenbüttel Library (not in the Archives). There I found various other remarkable letters. All are from and to Freemasons. Among others one from Dubosc, Chamberlain in Leipzig, who on the 15th of March 1777 wrote to Fr. August of Braunschweig:--
"'After a mysterious stay, the actual St. Germain, known at the time under the name of Comte Wethlone (Welldone), who took great care to give us to understand that he hid under this name his true quality of Prince Rákoczy, took a fancy to associate with me.'
"From the minister v. Wurmb (Dresden) on the 19th of May 1777 from Dresden:--
"'I employed the fortnight I spent in Leipzig to feel the pulse of the famous St. Germain who at the present time has taken the name of Comte de Woeldone and besides, at my request he came here to stay some time. I found him between 60 and 70 years old.'"
The original letter of M. de St. Germain has been photographed and the translation is as follows written from Leipzig: it has already been shown that by the Church Records he had a right to this name and was known and acknowledged as Comte de Welldone.
"Will your Highness kindly permit me that I open my heart to you; I am hurt that the Councillor, Mr. du Bosc, used means which could not be agreeable to me, to make me known the Orders You have entrusted him with, according to what he says in his letter, and which surely could by no means concern me; the Baron de Wurmb, as well as the Baron de Bishopswerder will always be honourable witnesses of the rectitude and uprightness of the step I have taken, which was rendered necessary by the respect and the zealous and faithful attachment which I have dedicated to you for my whole life, Monseigneur; the delicacy enjoined me at first to say nothing about my motive.
"I will hasten as much as possible to carry out the affairs both important and indispensable for the locality I am in, in order that I may immediately afterwards have the inexpressible joy of paying my court to you, the best of Princes; when I shall have the honour of being well known to you, Monseigneur, I expect with full certitude from your fine discernment all that justice which is due to me and which will be extremely appreciated by me, coming from your part.
"I am, in duty bound,
"Your respectful, faithful and humble servant
"LE C. DE WELLDONE.
"Leipzig, May 8th, 1777."
More evidence of this visit is found in a letter from the Saxon Minister von Wurmb, who was himself an earnest Mason and a Rosicrucian.
"Correspondence of the Prior El, with the Minister Wurmb, o.d. Fr. a Sepulcro,
"Gimmern, June 3rd, 1777.
"The 'a Cygne tr' (Gugomos) has most certainly not gone to Cyprus, but to England. . . . M. de St. Germain chiefly on my account has come to Dresden. If he does not disguise himself in an extraordinary manner, then he will not suit us, altho’ he is a very wise man." 1
Evidently a visit was expected which had to be disguised; this gives a clue to the reason why M. de St. Germain was travelling in Leipzig and Dresden under that name of Comte Weldon. According to Cadet de Gassicourt, he was travelling member for the "Templars," going from Lodge to Lodge to establish communication between them. M. de St. Germain is said 2 to have done this work for the Paris Chapter of the "Knights Templar." Investigation proves him to have been connected with the "Asiatische Brüder," or the "Knights of St. John the Evangelist from the East in Europe," also with the
[paragraph continues] "Ritter des Lichts," or "Knights of Light," and with various other Rosicrucian bodies in Austria and Hungary; and also with the "Martinists" in Paris.
He founded, according to Éliphas Lévi, the Order of St. Joachim, but this statement is not supported by any historical evidence at present forthcoming, though many of his students and friends were members of this body. Everywhere, in every Order where real mystic teaching is to be found, can we trace the influence of this mysterious teacher. A letter of his to the Graf Görtz at Weimar is quoted, saying that he had "promised a visit to Hanau to meet the Landgraf Karl at his brother's house in order to work out with him the system of 'Strict Observance'--the regeneration of the Order of Freemasons in the aristocratic mind--for which you also so earnestly interest yourself."
A summarised account from the "Gartenlaube " 1 fits in here; the letters are said to be authentic; and from internal evidence there is little doubt about it; for the information has to do with the Masonic work on which the Comte de St. Germain was engaged:--
"Karl-August went to the Landgrave Adolf von Hessen-Philippsthal-Barchfeld. St. Germain was there and was duly presented to the Duke,
was charming in conversation and the latter asked, after supper, his host about the count.
"'How old is he?'"
"'We do not know, anything sure about it. It is a fact that the count knows details which only contemporains could tell in the same way. It is fashion now in Cassel to listen respectfully to his stories and to be astonished about nothing. The count does not praise himself, neither is he an importune talk-teller, he is a man of good society, whom every one is glad to have. He is not much liked by the head of our house, Landgraf Frederick II., who calls him a tiresome moralist. But he is in connection with many remarkable men and has an extraordinary influence upon others. My cousin, Landgrave Karl of Hesse, is much attached to him, they work together in Freemasonry and other dark sciences. Lavater sends him chosen men. He can speak in different voices and from different distances, can copy any hand he sees once, perfectly--he is said to be in connection with spirits who obey him, he is physician and geognost and is reported to have means to lengthen life.'
. . . . . .
"The Duke went to Görtz, whom he knew well to be an enemy and opponent of Goethe. Therefore in this moment of excitement he took the part of the marshal.
"Görtz received the rare visit in a submissive way; when from slight hints he could notice that the duke was not desirous to speak about Goethe, his countenance was still more brightened.
"'At the beginning of May, dear Marshal, I made a highly interesting acquaintance at the Landgraves in Barchfeld,' said finally the duke, not without embarrassment. 'An acquaintance which I wish to keep up. It was a certain Comte Saint Germain, who is staying at Cassel; please write to this gentleman and invite him courteously to come over here.'
"Görtz promised to meet this request within the shortest time and to the best of his ability.
"When the duke had gone away, he sat down to his writing table and wrote as follows:
"Letter of Count Görtz:--
"'Triumph, dear count. Your knowledge of men, your addresses conquer. You have foretold well: our gracious master is enchanted with you and asks you hereby, in due form through me to come to his court.
"'You are really a wonder-worker, for his detested, plebeian favourite now totters . . . a little help, one stroke of your genius and the advocate of Frankfurt, who intrudes upon us, is checkmated. Will you fight him openly now, or do you prefer to make first an incognito personal survey of the territory? put down one or two
mines for him and show yourself only when he is totally beaten out of the field? and then take his place with far more right and power?
I leave all this to your sagacity. Rely upon me as before, entirely, and a small élite of faithful aristocrats, one or two of which you may wish to bind closer to you if you think it good.
"'Always yours truly'
"'Count Görtz, marshal of court.'"
St. Germain's answer:
"'I am quite ready to associate further with you and your companions in opinion, very grateful for the complaisant invitation. I will follow it later on.
"'In the present moment I have promised to visit Hanau, to meet the Landgrave Karl at his brother's and work out with him the system of the "Strict Observance"--the regeneration of the order of freemasons in an aristocratic sense--which interests you too so much.
"'The Landgrave is to me a dear and sympathetic protector, and if not a prince regnant, his position in Schleswig attached to Danish service, is very princely. I will, by all means, before I decide quite for the Landgrave, come to Weimar, liberate you from the hated intruder, and recognise
the field there. Maybe I will prefer to do incognito at first.
"'Recommend me faithfully to your master, and promise my visit for some time to come.
"'In the name of prudence, silence and wisdom I salute you
From internal evidence this is an authentic letter, for the Comte de St. Germain would certainly have been helping in this body, based as it was on the old "Order of the Temple" which will be treated at length later on. It was, moreover, to save themselves from persecution that these members called themselves "Free and Adopted Masons," and adopted the signs and words of Masonry. Undoubtedly the "Strict Observance" sprang from the most secret "Order of the Temple," a truly occult organisation in the olden time.
At the suggestion of the Comte de St. Martin and M. Willermoz the name was changed because of the suspicions of the police; the new one chosen was "The Beneficent Knights of the Holy City."
Baron von Hund was the first Grand-Master; on his death the general leadership was vested in the Grand Duke of Brunswick, an intimate
friend of M. de St. Germain. All these various organisations will be dealt with in order; at present they are merely mentioned to show the connecting link formed by M. de St. Germain between the separate bodies, with whom M. de St. Germain had work to do; an Austrian writer in a recent article says:--
"In the Masonic and Rosicrucian literature one often finds hints as to the relations of St. Germain to the secret societies of Austria. One of St. Germain's adherents in Vienna was Count J. F. von Kufstein, in whose Lodge (in the house of Prince Auersberg) magical meetings were held which generally lasted from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. St. Germain was present at one such meeting and expressed his satisfaction with the workings.
. . . St. Germain collected old pictures and portraits; he was addicted to alchemy, believed in universal medicine and made studies as to animal magnetism. He impressed people, especially the higher classes, by his French manners, his wide knowledge and his talkativeness. This 'Bohemian' so much attacked by historians, played the part of a political agent during the peace negotiations between France and Austria. Again, he is said to have distinguished himself in the year 1792 in the revolution.
"He was the 'Obermohr' of many mystic brotherhoods, where he was worshipped as a
superior being and where every one believed in his 'sudden' appearances and equally 'sudden' disappearances. He belongs to the picture of 'Old Vienna' with its social mysteriousness; where it was swarming with Rosicrucians, Asiatics, Illuminates, Alchemists, Magnetopaths, Thaumaturgs, Templars, who all of them had many and willing adherents.
"Dr. Mesmer who knew the Comte St. Germain well from his stay in Paris, requested him to come to Vienna in order that he might pursue his study of animal magnetism with him. St. Germain stayed secretly here and was then known as the 'American of the Felderhof' which latter became later on 'Laszia House' in the Lugeck N. 3. Dr. Mesmer was much helped by the Count and here in Vienna his (Mesmer's) teaching was written down. Soon Mesmer gained followers but he was obliged to leave the town. He went to Paris where his 'Harmonious Society'--a secret society of savants--continued to exist. In Vienna St. Germain came in touch with many mystagogues. He visited the famous laboratory of the Rosicrucians in the Landstrasse behind the hospital where he instructed for some time his brethren in the sciences of Solomon. The Landstrasse, situated on the outskirts of Vienna, was for many centuries a region of spooks.
"Below in the Erdberg the Templars and the estates of their order and outside town in the Simmering there was in the times of Rudolf II. the gold kitchen where the eccentric fraternity endeavoured to make gold. It is certain that the Comte de St. Germain has been in Vienna in the year 1735, and also later. The arrival of the Count (who enjoyed at that time a great prestige) at once created a great sensation in the initiated circles." 1
The following is a list of some of the societies, more or less connected with Masonry, which had "Unknown Heads." Translated they are as follows:
The Canons of the Holy Sepulchre.
The Canons of the Holy Temple of Jerusalem.
The Beneficent Knights of the Holy City.
The Clergy of Nicosia in the Island of Cyprus. 2
The Clergy of Auvergne.
The Knights of Providence.
The Asiatic Brothers; Knights of St. John the Evangelist.
The Knights of Light.
The African Brothers.
Then there are groups of various Rosicrucian bodies widely spread in Hungary and Bohemia.
[paragraph continues] In all of these bodies enumerated can be traced clearly the guiding hand of that "messenger" of the eighteenth century, or of some of his immediate friends and followers. Again in all of these groups can be found, more or less clearly, those fundamental principles which all the true messengers of the Great Lodge are bound to teach: such, for instance, as the evolution of the spiritual nature of man; reincarnation; the hidden powers of nature; purity of life; nobleness of ideal; the Divine power that is behind all and guides all. These are the clues which show without possibility of doubt to those who search for truth, that Lodge whence came the Comte de St. Germain, the messenger whose life is here but roughly sketched.
His work was to lead a portion of the eighteenth century humanity to that same goal which now, at the end of the nineteenth century, again stands clear before the eyes of some Theosophists. From his message many turned away in scorn, and from the present leaders the blind ones will to-day turn away also in scorn. But the few whose eyes are opening to the glad light of a spiritual knowledge, look back to him who bore the burden in the last century with gratitude profound.
139:1 Maximilian Hell (Imperial Court Astronomer). To this highly respected scholar are due thanks for having given the impulse to take up magnetism scientifically and practically. See Oesterr. National Encyclopädie, art. "Mesmer."
139:2 Kleine Wiener Memoiren, i., 81. Wien, 1846.
139:3 H. P. BLAVATSKY, Theos. Gloss., p. 214. London, 1892.
145:1 Op. cit., ii., pp. 136-162. It is to be regretted that Gräffer's florid account opens the door to a slight suspicion of charlatanry in the mind of the modern student of occultism. It is probably, however, his way of looking at the matter which is at fault. A more experienced student would probably have described the interview far otherwise, although he might have testified as strongly to precisely the same facts.
146:1 Op. cit., iii., p. 89.
146:2 The Secret Doctrine, ii., p. 212, 3rd ed.
147:1 ii., pp. 616, 617.
148:1 BJÖRNSTAHL, J. J. Reise in Europa in 1774, vol. v., PP. 229, 237.
148:2 LANGVELD, L. A.--The Hague.
151:1 Der Signatstern, oder die enthüllten sämmtlichen sieben Grade der mystischen Freimaurerei, iii., pt. s. Berlin, 1804.
151:2 CADET DE GASSICOURT, Le Tombeau de Jacques de Molay, p. 34. Paris, 1795.
152:1 Brause Jahre Bilder in Gartenlaube, 1884, n. 38, 39.
159:1 MAILLY, A. de--Der Zirkel, March 1st, 1908.
159:2 This is the Society mentioned by the Minister Wurmb in the letter quoted.