to the nearest route, by which walking upon fine sand during the space of three days and a half without seeing any human habitation I at length arrived at the foot of a hill of no great height, and which was entirely surrounded by trees. My Guide then said "In this small wood dwelleth the man whom you seek;" and having showed me the direction to take he wished to accompany me no further, and having taken his leave of me he returned home by the same route by which we had come, together with his mule which had served to carry our food. Finding myself in this situation I could think of no other thing to do than to submit myself to the help of the Divine Providence by invoking His very holy Name, Who then granted unto me His most holy Grace, for in turning my eyes in the aforementioned direction, I beheld coining towards me a venerable aged Man, who saluted me in the Chaldean language in a loving manner, inviting me to go with him into his habitation; the which courtesy I accepted with an extreme pleasure, realising in that moment how great is the Providence of the Lord. The good old Man was very courteous to me and treated me very kindly, and during an infinitude of days he never spake unto me of any other matter than of the Fear of God, exhorting me to lead ever a well-regulated life, and from time to time warned me of certain errors which man commits through human frailty, and, further, he made me understand that he detested the acquisition of riches and goods which we were constantly employed in gaining in our towns through so severe usury exacted from, and harm wrought to, our neighbour. He required from me a very solemn and precise promise to change my manner of life, and to live not according to our false dogmas, but in the Way and Law of the Lord. The which promise I having ever after inviolably observed, and being later on again among my relatives and other Jews, I passed among them for a wicked and foolish man;
but I said in myself Let the Will of God be done, and let not respect of persons turn us aside from the right path, seeing that man is a deceiver".
The aforesaid ABRAMELIN, knowing the ardent desire which I had to learn, he gave me two manuscript books, very similar in form unto these which I now bequeath unto thee, O Lamech, my son; but very obscure: and he told me to copy them for myself with care, which I did, and carefully examined both the one and the other. And he asked me if I had any money, I answered unto him "Yes". He said unto me that he required ten golden florins, which he must himself, according to the order which the Lord had given unto him, distribute by way of alms among seventy-two poor persons, who were obliged to repeat certain Psalms; 1 and having kept the feast of Saturday, which is the day of the Sabbath, he set out to go to ARACHI, because it was requisite that he
should himself distribute the money. And he ordered me to fast for three days, that is to say, the Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday following; contenting myself with only a single repast in the day, wherein was to be neither blood nor dead things; 1 also he commanded me to make this commencement with exactness, and not to fail in the least thing, for in order to operate well it is very necessary to begin well, and be instructed me to repeat all the seven 2 psalms of David one single time in these three days; and not to do or practise any servile operation. The day being come he set out, and took with him the money which I had given him. I faithfully obeyed him, executing from point to point that which he had ordered me to do. His return was fifteen days later, and being at last arrived he ordered me the day following (which was a Tuesday), before the rising of the Sun, to make with great humility and devotion a general confession of all my life unto the Lord, with a true and firm proposal and resolution to serve and fear Him otherwise than I had done in the past, and to wish to live and die in His most Holy Law, and in obedience unto Him. I performed my confession with all the attention and exactitude necessary. It lasted until the going down of the Sun; and the day following I presented myself unto ABRAMELIN, who with a smiling countenance said unto me: "It is thus I would ever have you". He then conducted me into his own apartment where I took the two little manuscripts which I had copied; and he asked of me whether truly, and without fear, I wished for the Divine Science and for the True Magic. I answered unto him that it was the only end and unique motive which had induced me to undertake a so long and troublesome voyage, with the view of receiving this
special grace from the Lord. "And I," said ABRAMELIN, "trusting in the mercy of the Lord, I grant and accord unto thee this Holy Science, which thou must acquire in the manner which is prescribed unto thee in the two little manuscript books, without omitting the least imaginable thing of their contents; and not in any way to gloss or comment upon that which may be or may not be, seeing that the Artist who hath made that work is the same God Who from Nothingness hath created all things. Thou shalt in no way use this Sacred Science to offend the Great God, and to work ill unto thy neighbour; thou shalt communicate it unto no living person whom thou dost not thoroughly know by long practice and conversation, examining well whether such a person really intendeth to work for the Good or for the Evil. And if thou shalt wish to grant it unto him, thou shalt well observe and punctually, the same fashion and manner, which I have made use of with thee. And if thou doest otherwise, he who shall receive it shall draw no fruit therefrom. Keep thyself as thou wouldst from a Serpent from selling this Science, and from making merchandise of it; because the Grace of the Lord is given unto us free and gratis, and we ought in no wise to sell the same. This Veritable Science shall remain in thee and thy generation for the space of seventy-two 1 years, and will not remain longer in our Sect. Let not thy curiosity push thee on to understand the cause of this, but figure to thyself that we are so good 2 that our Sect hath become insupportable not only to the whole human race, but even to God Himself!" I wished in receiving these two small manuscript books to throw myself on my knees before him, but be rebuked me, saying that we ought only to bend the knee before God.
I avow that these two books 1 were so exactly written, that thou, O Lamech my son, mayest see them after my death, and thou shalt thus recognise how much respect I have for thee. 2 It is true that before my departure I well read and studied them, and when I found anything difficult or obscure I had recourse unto ABRAMELIN, who with charity and patience explained it unto me. Being thoroughly instructed, I took leave of him, and having received his paternal blessing; a symbol which is not only in use among the Christians, but which was also the custom with our forefathers; I also departed, and I took the route to Constantinople, whither having arrived I fell sick, and my malady lasted for the space of two months; but the Lord in His Mercy delivered me therefrom, so that I soon regained my strength, and finding a vessel ready to depart for Venice I embarked thereon, and I arrived there, and having rested some days I set out to go unto Trieste, where having landed, I took the road through the country of Dalmatia, and arrived at length at my paternal home, where I lived among my relatives and my brothers.
10:1 Thus spelt here.
10:2 Aaron the Jew.
12:1 The Qabalistical reader will at once remark the symbolism of the numbers "ten" and "seventy-two," the first being the Number of the Sephiroth, and the second that of the Schemahamphorasch. But as many readers may be ignorant of the meaning and reference of these terms, I will briefly explain them. The Ten Sephiroth are the most abstract ideas and conceptions of the ten numbers of the ordinary Decimal Scale, and are employed in the Qabalah as an ideal means of explaining the different Emanations or Attributes of the Deity. It was thus that Pythagoras employed the abstract ideas of Numbers as a means of metaphysical instruction. The Schemahamphorasch or "Divided Name" is a Qabalistical method of investigating the natures of the Name of four letters I H V H (Jehovah), which is considered to contain all the Forces of Nature. There are in the Book of Exodus three verses in the fourteenth chapter, describing the pillars of fire and of cloud forming a defence unto the children of Israel against the Egyptians. Each of these three verses consists in the Hebrew of seventy-two letters, and by writing them in a certain manner one above another, seventy-two columns of three letters each are obtained; each column is then treated as a Name of Three Letters, and the explanation of these is sought for in certain verses of the Psalms which contain these Names; and these latter would be the verses of the Psalms alluded to in the text, which the seventy-two poor persons were told to recite.
13:1 This would not necessarily exclude eggs or milk.
13:2 So in the MS.
14:1 Note again the number of seventy-two.
14:2 This is evidently said ironically.
15:1 He probably means the copies he himself had been ordered by Abramelin to make, and not the originals.
15:2 "Et tu connoiteras la deference dont je me sers avec toy."