Three Books of Occult Philosophy/To the Revernd Father in Christ

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To the Revernd Father in Christ, and most Illustrious Prince, Hermannus, Earl of Wyda, by the Grace of God Archbishop of the holy Church of Colonia, Prince Elector of the holy Romane Empire, and Chief Chancellor through Italy, Duke of Westphalia, and Angaria, and descended of the Legate of the holy Church of Rome, one of the Vicar Generals Court, Henry Cornelius Agrippa of Nettes-heym, sendeth greeting.

SUch is the greatness of your renowned fame (most reverend, and Illustrious Prince) such is the greatness of your vertues, and splendor of learning, and frequent exercise of the best learning, and grave oration, with solid prudence, and elegant readines of speaking, knowledge of many things, constant Religion, and commendable conditions, with which you are endowed beyond the common custom of others; I say nothing of those ancient monuments of your eminent nobility, the treasures of your riches, both old, and new, the largness of your dominion, the ornaments of the sacred dignities, with the excellency whereof you excel, together with the comely form, and strength of the body. Through all these things be very great, yet I esteem you far greater then all these, for those your Heroick, and superillustrious vertues, by which you truly have caused, that byhow much the more any one is learned, & loves vertue, so much the more he may desire to insinuate himself into your favor, whence I also am resolved that your favor shall be obtained by me, but after the manner of the people of Parthia, i.e. not without a present, which custom of saluting Princes, is indeed derived from the Ages of the Ancients, unto these very times, and still we see it observed. And when I see certain other very learned men to furnish you with fair, and great presents of their learning, least I only should be a neglecter of your worship and reverence, I durst not apply my self with empty hands to your greatness. Now being thoughtfull, and looking about in my study to see what present I should bestow upon such an Illustrious Prince, behold! amongst such things are were closely laid up, the books Of Occult Philosophy, or of Magick, presently offered themselves, such as I attempted to write whilest I was very yong, and now many yeers being past, as it were forgetting them, have neglected to perfect them; I presently made hast as it were to pay my vows, to present them to your honor to compleat them. Truly I was perswaded that I could give nothing more acceptable to you, then a new work of most ancient and abstruse learning; I say a work of my curious youth, but a doctrine of antiquity, by none I dare say hitherto attempted to be restored. Yet my works are not wrote to you, because they are worthy of you, but that they might make a way open for me to gain your favor. I beseech you, if it may be, let them be excused by you. I shall be devotedly yours, if these studies of my youth shall by the authority of your greatness come into knowledge, envy being chased away by the power of your worthiness, there remain the memory of them to me, as the fruit of a good conscience, seeing many things in them seemed to me, being older, as most profitable, so most necessary to be known. You have therefore the work, not only of my youth, but of my present Age, for I have corrected many Errataes of the work of my youth, I have inserted many things in many places, and have added many things to many Chapters, which may easily be perceived by the inequality of the stile; and so shall you know that I shall all my life be devoted to your pleasure. Farewell most happy Prince of happy Colonia.

From Mechlinia, Anno M.D.XXXI. In the moneth of January.