Three Books of Occult Philosophy/John Tritemius to Henry Cornelius Agrippa
John Tritemius, Abbot of Saint James of Herbipolis, formerly of Spanhemia, to his Henry Cornelius Agrippa of Nettes-heym, health and love.
Our work (most renowned Agrippa) Entituled Of Occult Phylosophy, which you have sent by this bearer, to me to be examined, with how much pleasure I received it, no mortall tongue can ever express, nor the pen of any write; I woundred at your more then vulgar learning, That you being so yong should penetrate into such secrets as have been hide from most learned men, and not only cleerly, and truly, but also properly, and elegantly set them forth. Whence first I give you thanks for your good will to me, and if I shall ever be able, I shall return you thanks to the utmost of my power; Your work, which no learned man can sufficiently commend, I approve of. Now that you may proceed toward higher things, as you have begun, and not suffer such excellent parts of wit to be idle, I do with as much earnestness as I can advise, intreat, and beseech you, that you would exercise your self in laboring after better things, and demonstrate the light of true wisdom to the ignorant, according as you your self are divinely enlightened; neither let the consideration of idle vain fellows withdraw you from your purpose; I say of them, of whom it said, The wearyed Ox treads hard, Whereas no man, to the judgement of the wise, can be truly learned, who is sworn to the rudiments of one only faculty; But you hath God gifted with a large, and sublime wit, not that you should imitate Oxen, but birds; neither think it sufficient that you stay about particulars, but bend your minde confidently to universals; for by so much the more learned any one is thought, by how much fewer things he is ignorant of. Moreover your wit is fully apt to all things, and to be rationally employed, not in a few, or low things, but many, and sublimer. Yet this one rule I advise you to observe, that you communicate vulgar secrets to vulgar friends, but higher and secret to higher, and secret friends only. Give Hey to an Ox, Sugar to a Parret only; understand my meaning, least you be trod under the Oxens feet, as oftentimes it fals out. Farewell my happy friend, and if it lye in my power to serve you, command me, and according to your pleasure it shall without delay be done; also, let our friendship increase daily; write often to me, and send me some of your labors I earnestly pray you. Again farewell.