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that is usually determined, when we remember, it is with human faculties as with liquors, the lightest will be ever at the top.

There is in this famous island of Britain, a certain paultry scribler, very voluminous, whose character the reader cannot wholly be a stranger

He deals in a pernicious kind of writings, called second parts, and usually passes under the name of the author of the firft. I easily foresee, that as soon as I lay down my pen, this nimble operator will have stolen it, and treat me as inhumanely as he hath already done Dr Blackmore, L'Estrange, and many others who shall here be nameless. I therefore fly for justice and relief, into the hands of that great rectifier of faddles *, and lover of mankind; Dr Bentley, begging he will take this enormous grievance into his most modern confideration : And if it should so happen, that the furniture of an ass, in the shape of a second part, must for my sins be clapped by a mistake upon my back ; that he will immediately please, in the presence of the world. to lighten me of the burthen, and take it home to his own house, till the true beast thinks fit to call for it.

In the mean time, I do here give this public notice, that my resolutions are to circumscribe within this discourse, the whole stock of matter I have been so many years providing. Since my vein is once opened, I am content to exhaust it Vol. I. Нh

all

* Alluding to the trite phrase, Place the saddle on the right horse. Hawkes.

all at a running, for the peculiar advantage of my dear country, and for the universal benefit of mankind. Therefore hospitably considering the number of my guests, they thall have my whole entertainment at a meal; and I fcorn to set up the lavings in the cup-board. What the guest cannot eat, may be given to the poor; and the dogs under the table may gnaw the bones *. This I understand for a more generous proceeding, than to turn the company's stomach, by inviting them again to-morrow to a fcurvy meal of scraps.

If the reader fairly considers the strength of what I have advanced in tbe foregoing section, I an convinced it will produce a wonderful revolution in his notions and opinions; and he will be abundantly better prepared to receive and to relith the concluding part of this miraculous treatise. Readers my be divided into three clasies; the superficial, the ignorant, and the learned : And I have with much felicity fitted my pen to the genius and advantage of each. The fuperficial reader will be ftrangely provoked to laughter ; which clears the breast and the lungs, is sovereign against the spleen, and the most innocent of all diuretics. The ignorant reader, between whom and the former the distinction is extremely nice, will find himfelf difpofed to fare; which is an admirable remedy for ill eyes, ferves to raise and enliven the spirits, and wonderfully helps perspira

tion.

* By dog's the author means common injudicious critics, as he explains it himself before, in bis Digrofion upon Criiics, p. 28;.

tion. But the reader truly learned, chiefly for whose benefit I wake when others sleep, and sleep when others wake, will here find sufficient matter to employ his fpeculations for the rest of his life. It were much to be withed, and I do hereby humbly propose for an experiment, that every prince in Christendom will take seven of the deepeft scholars in his dominions, and shut them up close for seven years, in seven chambers, with a command to write seven ample commentaries on this comprehensive discourse. I shall venture to affirm, that whatever difference may be found in their several conjectures, they will be all, without the least distortion, manifestly deducible from the text. Mean time, it is my earnest request, that fo useful an undertaking may be entered upon, if their Majesties please, with all convenient fpeed; because I have a strong inclination, before I leave the world, to taste a blessing, which we mysterious writers can seldom reach, till we have gotten into our graves ; whether it is, that Fame, being 2 fruit grafted on the body, can hardly grow, and much less ripen, till the stock is in the earth ; or whether she be a bird of prey, and is lured among the rest to pursue after the scent of a care case; or whether the conceives her trumpet founds best and fartheft, when the stands on a tomb, by the advantage of a rifing ground, and the echo of a hollow vault.

It is true, indeed, the republic of dark authors, after they once found out this excellent expediH h 2

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i dying, have been peculiarly happy in the ety, as well as extent of their reputation. For ight being the universal mother of things, wise philosophers hold all writings to be fruitful in the proportion they are dark; and therefore the true illuminated * (that is to say, the darkest of all) have met with such numberless commentators, whose scholastic midwifery hath delivered them of meanings that the authors themselves perhaps never conceived, and yet may very justly be allowed the lawful parents of them; the words of such writers being like seed, which, however scattered at random, when they light upon a fruitful ground, will multiply far beyond either the hopes or imagination of the fower t.

And therefore, in order to promote so useful a work, I will here take leave to glance a few innuendo's, that may be of great aslistance to those sublime spirits, who shall be appointed to labour in a universal comment upon this wonderful difcourse. And, first, I have couched a very profound mystery in the number of O’s multiplied by seven, and divided by nine f. Also, if a devout

brother

* A name of the Rofycrucians.--These were fanatic alchymilts, who, in search after the great secret, had invented a means altogether proportioned to their end. It was a kind of theological philosophy, made up of almost equal mixtures of Pagan Platonism, Christian Quietism, aud the Jewish Cabala. Ware burton on the Rape of the Lock.

† Nothing is more frequent, than for commentators to force interpretations which the author never meant.

# This is what the Cabalists among the Jews have done with the Bible, and pretend to find wonderful mysteries by it.

brother of the Rosy Cross will pray fervently for fixty-three mornings, with a lively faith, and then tranfpofe certain letters and fyllables according to prescription, in the second and fifth section; they will certainly reveal into a full receipt of the opus magnum. Lastly, whoever will be at the pains to calculate the whole number of each letter in this treatise, and sum up the difference exactly between the several numbers, affigning the true natural cause for every such difference; the difcoveries in the product will plentifully reward his labour. But then he must beware of Bythus and Sige *, and be sure not to forget the qualities of Achamoth; a cujus lacrymnis humecta prodit fubftantia, a risu lucida, a tristitia solida, et a timore incbilis ; wherein Eugenius Philalethes + hath committed an unpardonable inistake.

SECT.

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I was told by an eminent divine, whom I consulted on this point, that these two barbarous words, with that of Achamoth, and its qualities, as here set down, are quoted from Irenæus. This he discovered by searching that ancient writer for another quotation of our author; which he has placed in the title page, and refers to the book and chapter. The curious were very inquisitive, whether those barbarous words, basyma cacabafa, &c. are really in Irenæus; and upon inquiry, it was found they were a sort of cant or jargon of certain heretics, and therefore very properly prefixed to such a book as this of our author.

+ Vid. Anima magica abfcondita.

To tlre above-mentioned treatise, called Anthroposophia Theomagica, there is another annexed, called Anima magica abscondita, written by the same author, Vaughan, under the name of Eugenius Philalethes; but in neither of those treatises, is there any mention of Achamoth, or its qualities: So that this is nothing but

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