I have painstakingly translated the following text from the original sixteenth century French. It is contained in "Le Tableau des Riches Inventions Couvertes du voile des feintes Amoureuses, qui sont representees dans le Songe de Poliphile Desvoilees des ombres du Songe & subtilement exposees par Beroalde. A Paris Chez Matthieu Guillemot, au Palais en la galerie des prisonniers. Avec privilege du Roy. 1600 "
The duty of remaining completely faithful to the original text has compelled me to refrain from amending punctuation and modernizing the style to improve readability.
- Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
Steganographick Collection Containing the intelligence of the frontispiece.
It is not disagreeable to good minds to depict to them that which they know, & there is no wish that solicits the heart as much as the desire to know: & because of this we shall tell of past fortunes, & what traverses befell us, while we were transported with the delights of our affections, tending to replenish our heart with profitable science, in order that you who have provided your soul with perfection, should be joyous to see that there are some who follow your allures, leading to blessings, & that those who sigh for Philosophical encounters should have their fantasy enticed with perfect contentment.
Our Druids have left us by a happy cabala, a little ray of truth, which still remains in the order of the reminiscence practiced in a certain place. Having heard of it from the learned Hamuel, we ventured to go forth, & above all for the love of the excellent Olocliree, who is so beautiful, that Love always has triumphed through her eyes, thus is she the loves of Love, who too many times has forgotten his Psyche, to live in search of her, & not in order to commit adultery, but to recognize in an excess of perfection, how much chaste affection is excellent at the expense of lascivious cupidity. This beauty still childlike easily steals all hearts; young, she softly ravishes them; old, she possesses them chastely, & always modest she satisfies the souls exalted on her behalf; even absent she spurs them with vehement desires of seeing her; present she consumes them happily; disdainful she has always amiably consoled them; & favorable she has totally brought them to the sovereign degree of beatitude: Never has she caused jealousy between those who have sought her, but rather moving them by the impression of just & faithful thoughts of dissection, renders them united in the quest of her good graces. There is to be found a truth prophesized by the mouth of the wise oracle, & engraved in a southern Jasper which one sees in her dwelling, upon which are these words:
Olocliree, universal object of love, filling the world with her name, shall have such excellences, that even after she shall been withdrawn from mortals, still shall she be well beloved: so much so that several will come into this grotto, to have at least the good luck of breathing the same air as this miracle of Nature, this Marvel of the World.
Now our souls impassioned by her subject, enamoured by the report of that wise old man, venerable in presence, veritable in discourse, & profitable in conversation, we resolved to go and visit the place whence destinies had placed such perfect abundance. This place is precisely in the perfect temperature of that inferior globe (thus do we call the earth, although it rolls itself impetuously around the Sun, which seasons it according to its encounters with its heat) & this abode is found under the most felicitous climate in the world, at the place receiving in any given order all of heaven's precious gifts, which was established at the very time that the stellar harmonies made a part of century similar to the golden age. Having entered this holy Tabernacle, I think that it was the joy of obtaining our desires, we had our senses filled with an excellence which is not to be compared to any common delectation, & we no longer had any other care besides this meeting, so that our remembrance was ruled by the truth, that makes us judge that humans have memory, but very little in comparison with their hopes: Here is the point which must be called true, so that in order to judge of it exactly, & according to the truth of which we are votaries, which compels our innocence to declare it, I do not quite know what the instant was of this possible delectation, & to remove any diversity which might make one doubt of it, it was the hour when the delights of dreams are shaped, & that is where I lay claim to such felicity, as the least unhappy part of our life is that which is employed in necessary sleep, which is the image or perfect idea of the sweetness of sweetness itself: That if during the time of this blessed rest one enters into some difficult visions, & that the soul should be forced by unhappy apprehensions, one may easily withdraw, if by shaking loose this bad spot, one reintegrates oneself in the goodness of one's quietest respite: & if it should also happen, (as is most common as nature inclines to all contentment) the spirit is softly wrapped in the agreeable shades of the opportune sweetness of prosperous fantasies which conveniently relieve the heart, one diverts oneself, one dives therein, & dwelling prettily therein, one remains in this ease as long as one can, in order to savor at length the delicious pleasure which is perceived in such felicity. But before going further, I must pour forth my conceptions, & give vent to that fire which makes my soul boil. If I knew that any profaner should dare to extend his detestable hand toward this book in order to handle it, or that some unworthy person should come forth to peruse it, that some arrogant superstitious being gobbling the reputation of fair souls, should draw therefrom any pleasure, or that the clever spectator of sovereign profits with envy should seek therein the good that only belongs to the loving hearts, I would break the pen that traces such revolutions of fine mysteries, I would wish in forgetting myself to withdraw the whole memory there is to picture to oneself the contentment which is practiced in veiling prettily with the drapes of fine fictions, that which is rare, & sole expedient to wit to rise above all that is virtuous, & in frustrating myself of the life of my life, I would abstain from dealing with the fruitful baits that attract to sacred voluptuousness. It shall however occur according to the ordinance of the great Master.
Having reached the sacred precinct, & casting the glances of our eyes upon the marvels of the place, there appeared before us a Nymph so beautiful, that I believe she is the archetype of beauty, & the formal idea upon which nature fashions the sovereign artifices of her works, the bafflement caused me to remain with one foot suspended as if I had been some antique figure balanced upon a pedestal, & remaining thus arrested I beheld her, because never had any object filled with such delight the capacity of my sight, beside this one. This beauty did not present herself to us in the revealed fashion which is customary with several of our ladies, who take more pleasure & esteem themselves of better grace in donning themselves with presumption, than to fashion themselves modestly with humility. In a fashion without artifice, & as devoid of any strange intention, she behaved in this encounter with the required naivete which contents the spirits with affection. If all of this is a dream, oh blessed dream, I take thee back to the most beautiful of dreams, & if thou wert some divine substance, I would hang up for thee a painting or any other desirable votive offering, in recognition of thy favors. But would it not be better still, would it not be a naively reported truth, in proportion of a quite perfectly agreeable essence ? For I still can picture to myself her beautiful eyes, bright sparks of affections causing infinite desires, I consign to the equitable term of my sight this beautiful mouth that proffered so many oracles, & in going over all the meetings of such beautiful gestures, I impress in my heart the same fashion of her who forever shall have all power upon my will. She was not the beautiful Olocliree, as she herself told us, but she was her dear friend the excellent Nephes, daughter of the great Archeus, the very one who converses with Olocliree, & who can cause her to be seen by the faithful Lovers of her beauties.
Having reached the first steps of the perron, which led to the interior conclave, she, while discoursing upon several topics continuing the thread of those with which she had kindly received us, led us into the hall telling us: It must be that your good destinies have prepared you for better than average fortunes, having met me to be received with primacy of gentle access, & familiar words, than you would have met on another occasion, because our servants rather rude & presumptuous, would not have had the regard to honor that one must show the wise inquirers, & what is all the more, is that you must take advantage of much good fortune in having found this place almost unknown to the world. I recognize that the sovereign Archeus (my father) has led you to it, after having introduced you into the legitimate paths, that make one find the way to reach this desirable den. And to speak truly, it is not easy to find oneself therein so propitiously, no matter how much care one takes. Thus truly holding propitious the will of my father, which I consent to strictly observe, I would communicate nothing to you without your most excellent fortune. Thus know that my father alone has given me the intelligence that I wish to communicate to you, & none may have access to the holy limits of the great secret, but by means of the ordinary tradition, which is now detained, as well as tied to the tongue of the wise Oboel, who today has his dwelling far remote from the countries where are to be found, & in which land the inquirers. He hides himself in the tortuous dens of the grotto of LITIE, & it is not easy to be able to accost him, & mainly in the mood that I know him to be in, being hard pressed by regret that malice reigns so much in the world that it has more credit & authority than goodness, which yesteryear was the nurse of fine hearts, who busied themselves with legitimate occupations.
For this cause which I consider a most unsettled misfortune about to befall, & to cause untold damage, is should Oboel persist in his disastrous opinion as it seems that he will, this fine chain of cabala would be broken, to the detriment of all good intentions. Forecasting which, the great Archeus, who takes pity upon benign souls, has remedied it, so that by means of a new link it should still remain for the relief & consolation of faithful courages. For this reason he has allowed me to surprise him while he slept, & to steal his memory, which I have extracted from himself, & have read therein as in a picture the whole of his doctrine & remembrance, in that which concerns the affairs of the excellent Olocliree, who is as I know, oh dear ally, the unique object of your affection: I have therefore applied this memory to my intelligence, which having received the entire impression of that which is contained in this abundant memory; I set it back in its place before the decease of his sleep. Such is the means to restitute that which was going to be lost, for he would with life have extinguished what science he possessed, which (possibly) could never have been withdrawn from the recesses where oblivion might perchance have kept it eternally wrapped up. Having completed this salutary discourse, she led us further to the Palace of Prudence, & made us behold several symbols of the mysteries most admired by the laborious ones, who day & night sigh for philosophick sweetness: as much for the eternal memory due to the Father of the wise, than to attract the hearts capable of instruction. The figures that we saw had been preserved, according to the statute of the first Doctors.
On the left side is the effigy of the Patriarch, who first among mortals practiced the occult encounters of the science of perfection: the appearance that we shall deduce will render possible the remainder & the progress of the same true subjects that we have in mind. The seat of this great Philosopher was depicted with a beautiful marble elaborated with Mosaic, & speckled with mosaic gold, which in olden days Jupiter King of Crete invented. We shall see it according to its full design in the hermitage of the Maiden, if God grants us the grace that we may lead you to it. Therein resided peacefully the venerable figure of a fine old man, having an elongated beard in the Nazarene style, the rest followed with as many lineaments as grace, from his mouth proceeded forth a crescent, whose horns pointed Heavenwards: below between his feet we noticed the figure of the Sun. His robe was here and there spread out, according to the majesty of the draperies that serve as ornaments to his magnificence. This representation holds in his hands, upon his knees, the book of glory, sown with flames & tears, of which the whole book is written: & these Elements are the two exact intelligences, containing the two hieroglyphick designs of the fateful Bough, which naturally is the product of two substances. This mystery made us mindful to seek where the opening of the volume might be, which truly in this place was a real book, not portrayed as it is uniquely desirable. It was tied to the neck of the figure, hanging from a chain, made from the true golden blade of the foliated earth of the Wise: What incited us further in this first desire, is one of the principle Sophisms of the ancients, of which we were to learn a little, not quite enough however to be enlightened by truth, but to know that it was properly that such Sophisms, were by the good Nephtes interpreted for us, true Lies, or lying truths: & although we were mindful of those tears & flames, which we could not comprehend well, she told us this parable:
He who sometimes has seen the drop of putty change & by pressing it has caused a limpid tear to issue forth, should take care, & he will see at the time prescribed for the gentle pressure, fire proceeding from the philosophick subject, a similar substance: for as soon as its violet blackness shall be excited for the second time, it will give rise to something like a drop, or flower, or flame, or pearl, or other similitude of gem, which shall be diversified until it will flow as a whiteness most clear, which afterwards will be capable of dressing itself with the honor of beautiful rubies & ethereal stones which are the true fire of the soul & the light of the Philosophers. She still had those fine words upon her lips, when the great serpent Orthomandre darted from his water & causing a great noise compelled us to observe him, he was frolicking in his flowing waves, where we see him floating in the billows, & causing great tremors, with his flaming wings he was diversely mixing the contrary qualities, wherein we observed with pleasure the solace that he took in deducting his fiery tongue into the waters, a single object seemed to suffice, in as much as our root is unique, but accidents being in great number, & having the good luck & the convenience of seeing more, it would have been a criminal sin not to make use of such good fortune, & a testimony of wishing to wallow in ignorance, to refuse to our eyes the many delights that offered themselves in this Palace. And then as it behooved us to make a good provision of everything that might present itself, & to allow it to be garnered by the mind capable of it, we retraced all the places and spots where there were rarities. At the forefront of the hall below was the true na´ve and correct prototype of the veritable Chaos, upon which depends the subject of our hopes: there were reported the lands thrown indifferently hither & thither, & without art, amidst the running waters, gold in waves, & distilling gold in drops in the air, not quite distinguished from fires borne everywhere at random in this unmixed mixture, confused with respect to its proportion without symmetry. In this distinct confusion were all the Planets, the Moon toward the East, Mercury in the North, the Sun in the West, with most of the others inclined upon this strip. One saw Venus rolling in the South. Mars was placed between the Sun & Mercury. And below the Sun Mercury shone forth, & Jupiter had a more westerly intention: & as much in appearance as it seemed that those were the Planets, however there was nothing of them, but their sole powers or souls, which are the occult virtues which must be made manifest by the operations. In the middle of the Chaos is a little globe fortunately distinguished, which is the eminent place of the relationship of everything that is useful to this research. This little place more capable than the whole, this part comprising its whole: this accessory more abundant than its principal, opening the point of its treasures causes the two substances, which are but one single one, to appear, whose Mercurial form is a drop, or tear, & the Sulphurous as flame. From these two is mixed the unique perfection, the abundant simple, the composed without parts, the only indivisible, known to the Wise, whence proceeds the Bough of Destiny, which spreads evenly even beyond the Chaos, from which it proceeds without disorder toward his legitimate end, & this according to its fine union of unity that surpasses any equality of any other desirable work; this branch of perfection proceeding from the monuments of the Chaos is accompanied by the heat of the continuous fire, which by the vigor of its good flame quite abundant in exquisite heat, nourished by humid abundance, caused by the antiperistasis of its nourishing effect, & occult virtue, gives birth to a fine tree rising growing quite tall, & more than three times higher than the rising flames that nourish themselves within its foot, at the expense that its fires lengthen. The Demon Armostose happens by suddenly cutting the ripe branches, & making them fall into the fire to continue it & nourish it with its permanent radical substance, until the fairy torch has been lit therein that shall guide the Lovers in the obscure alley that leads to the residence of the fair Olocliree. Beyond the fire is the Duel of the two antique snakes, newly born, & so well nourished that already they are quite perfect, & so full of strength, that the sliding one not wishing to yield to the winged one, nor he to the other, they are joined in cruel battle. Malicious were those who of yore suggested that they swallowed one another, the one seizing with his mouth the tail of the other, & that thus they mutually caused each other to die: for we have seen the real figure, & discovering what the truth is upon which quite another discourse has been cast about these snakes, & we have known that they strangle one another: & the one & the other squeezing each other so strongly by the tail, tying it to each other in a rage, that they extinguish one another, the flying one having spread his wings upon the earth to receive their bodies which will be united in them in their putrefaction, from which they must come out again, not as two, but as one, as they are born from a mother at the same time, & this rebirth will be the pure substance, that threading itself in the Bough by the blood of the dismembered Lion, shall graft the tree from which will spring the worm from which shall be made the Phoenix, which growing perfectly, will become larger than his nest, & more widespread than the tree, which lacks a complexion of soul which in the Phoenix, is informed & informing, the Phoenix extends his wings upon all felicity, & grows by the hour in his perfection, those hours are determined by the animal nourished in Memphis, which unique in nature lets its waters flow two by two of our hours, which are the happy terms, comprising those of the wise. The perfect bird having become rare, because it is of pure qualities may fly to Heaven in the Planets, & even frolic at the center of the earth, & to him belongs a fine grandeur of strength : that is in being unique, he is by himself as strong as all the birds of a species, who might each be of the same size, & because of this, he holds in his claws on the left hand a magnificent horn of plenty, from which as a symbol of happiness falls a flowering rose, which blooms in perfumed petals, of which one falls upon an old tree stump, from which through its enlivening touch, & generative faculty, a little blade is born which becomes a light branch, from which drops a tear, which transforms itself into the fountain of youth, upon which presides Janus, become child, as he appears to us having two faces of plump children, joined inseparably above the point of the fountainhead. Here is one of the perfect goals of felicity, here is the beginning of rest after the terrible labors that one has suffered. For the one who will manage to recover one flowerlet from these flowers, shall obtain therefrom abundant fruits, & will have the sacred pledge & the holy deposit that must be offered to Olocliree to partake of her good graces. Who shall taste the liquor of this fountain, will be assured to be able to withstand all the ardent hardships, wherein one must be hardened following the tracks of love, & who from the ardent humor of this drop will be able to excite the lively flame that sometimes explodes from it like lightning, will be able to light his torch, that shall lead him into the secret cabinet wherein is received the contentment of the happy enjoyment of Olocliree.
We were going ever forward, devouring with gluttonous eyes everything that had the appearance or similitude of beauty, hiding secrets, when the fair Nephes my gentle sister (by alliance & by fact as she declared when we were alone) came to interrupt us, by which she made a manifest demonstration of the truth of our kinship, which cannot lie. Thus speaking to us with a fine kind of artifice, she gave everyone some manner of occupation, thus it was easy for us to part from the group, therefore having crossed a small portico, which was not noticed at all by the others, who went seeking us here and there in this den, where infinite pleasures made them almost forget our absence, we entered into the inner courtyard, all in polished glass by a surrounding lake: I followed my intentions casting my sight everywhere, when suddenly I saw coming out of the East the apparition of a venerable man magnificent in greatness, & excellent in form, I shivered a little, although with ease, in as much as what I saw was agreeable, & the goodness of my heart made my soul gently swarm with this suspense. My good Nephes informed me about what I was seeing, this is (said she) the notable & great Philosophick PHECEL, who comes by the leave of the great Archeus, to instruct you & inquire of the desires of your heart. Had you attempted this adventure without communicating yourself to so many people, you would long ago have been enlightened. But, oh simple one in affections, where have you learnt that the loving practice must be hazarded in a group? Do you not know that Love being unique, wants subjects who have no other intentions beside themselves? Thus, one had to hold oneself apart to make the right encounter, following your trial others will be instituted, time has flown, & you have remained until this hour without a good resolution, still poor creature you could not comprehend me, you were dying to bring the others here with you, & I was almost compelled to abandon you to the vain pleasure that you took in being with them, to make as if you knew full well how to be a Lover: let that never be, thus rather from this moment be true to yourself, then the secrets will flock to you, for they do not love the wind: the honors of the world are to them but profanation, & the fruits of our loves are ashamed by the presence of commoners who are profane for the most part: do you want that which is unique to belong to any others but the single-hearted? By this several, perhaps even all the wise hearts shall understand whether they are worthy of Heaven's benefits. The terror that this unexpected specter had caused me, did not touch my heart as much as this remonstrance, by which I was as if drawn from the depths of an idle sleep that the shame of sadness can bring about, I did not know if this discourse was a sentence to reject my claims, & I almost abandoned my courage to let it flow unbecomingly, without remembering that Love diversely exercises hearts who have assurance, & that despising the degenerate he benefits only the valiant, I turned everything to good account, assuring myself that my good Nephtes remonstrated with me to instruct me, & not to estrange me. Therefore approaching the great PHECEL, I felt a little fearful emotion from this mock scarecrow, however I resolved, remembering that I had learnt in the past that he only got along with those who knew him, & only familiarized himself with those who knew how to handle him with good grace. And to be among the latter I observed him in profile, & his face seemed to me so austere, that had I not withdrawn into myself in order to vanquish the disgrace that pressed about me with fear & defiance, I would have been so wrapped up in stupor, that I would have lost the desire to go beyond. I looked at him from a third vantage point, & I found his face to be but threats of discomfort, presence of troubles, & loss of hopes. Finally looking at him I saw him full on, & then all the fears leaving my previously astonished soul, I had the leisure & occasion to observe his grace, his proportions, his air, & everything that he had that was remarkable, & I recognized him to be possessed of a serene forehead & so gracious a gesture, that I was a lot more assured than when I had been afflicted before meeting him, which to me was an adventurous omen of prosperity, a happy assurance of consolation, & a sure certitude of constant felicity. Thus finding myself so well with the Prince of imaginations, I rendered myself attentive to notice him, & to hear the maxims that he proffered, as if in haste, all the more since he does not wish to communicate himself at length, considering it unworthy of his greatness to be prolix in discourse, & too much approaching profanation to volunteer a little more than very little; while speaking with grace he touched my hand, as if wishing to tell me that I might be welcome, & he left me with the debonair Nephes, who in an efficiency of prosperity, promised to rmake me happier than all the Lovers, servants of Olocliree, a name I cannot voice without all due reverence. It is to those who are well born, & have the state of felicity as their birth ascendant to rejoice. The great Phecel having retired in his vault, Nephes told me about several marvels of the place, of the ordinance of that which is practiced there, & of what is permitted to report thereof. I fancy that I still see this precious monument of disjointed coral whereby precious airs were gathered in distinguished forms, & this pleasure was so na´ve, that I persuade myself to be at the same instant that I heard & saw her discoursing thus. Heaven being just, returning everything to us as the price of our labor, does not wish that fine souls should be incessantly frustrated of the fruits of their works, & for that reason allowing that love should impress his forces in fine hearts, causes desirable things to have a feeling of gratitude for the passions excited upon their occasion, & therefore our beautiful Olocliree is no less desirous to be sought, than her faithful Lovers are passionate about her: if it were otherwise, she would do wrong to her beauty, which is the fairest object of the affectionate courages. She takes pleasure in being loved, & all her desires inclines her to the soft solicitude of perfect Lovers: but she will admit only the one who can judge what perfectly legitimate love is. And because of this the intellective power animating the angel presiding over her affections, has set in curious souls all the pure intentions of love, to which any heart of desires reduces itself for all subjects. By which as is it evident, all the sages have practiced the art under the shadow of the most beautiful folds of love. Love has been, & still is the gracious brush that has traced all that is rare & destined, as much between the superior powers, than with the inferior ones, & that which is of their subject. That is why the Chaos of our ordinance rests upon the stem of Myrtle, which is the symbol of love, & as love spreads happily everywhere: one sees here, Myrtle, growing in infinite branches on all sides of this place, & this stem thus dilated, demonstrates that all our diligence lays claims to nothing other than love. Know, see, & hear, & you will prudently observe that all the most precious, magnificent & good mysteries, have been hidden & retraced under the beauties of love, for love is the soul happy with everything: there is in old French an equivocalness, containing the derivation of love, written in capital letters, L'AME-HEUR (Soul Fortune), as if one meant that love was the good fortune of the soul, & as the terms have changed, as formerly one said doulour for douleur (pain), one used to say AMEUR, & now AMOUR (love), & then for a correct intelligence of what it is, the love of every one is one's prettiest & most intimate desires, & to enjoy one's loves is properly speaking to abound in the fruition of hoped for excellence, not in effects that cause sadness by their perception, or danger by their accomplishment, or sin by their meeting; but permanent joy in finding them; accomplished security in receiving them; & durable glory with the advent of their legitimate end. The profane have set a veil upon the eyes of love, because they did not dare to cast their sight upon his divinities, whose rays they could not withstand: but the sages who live according to equity, & behave themselves according to the spirit of the sentences proposed by truth, represent him unbound, as he actually is: if some have left him with such a blindfold, it was to frustrate the unworthy: for in fact Love is brother to the light, & her true guide illuminating everything that is capable of so being: & there are but those who are in misery of ignorance to whom he is blind, not that he is, but it is they who believe they see, when they have no eyes, as opposed to the children of light, whom love guides by the paths of correct knowledge: or if by chance there should be darkness, then by the sincerity of his magnificent operations he removes all shadows, & dissipates the difficulties that would detour the intentions: & is also truly the torch of souls & the broom casting to the wind the straws of ignorance, thus ignorance in our subject is a manifest fault, & a notable sin: for this reason, so that you should not be among those who are rebellious to the order of innocence, to which all true Philosophers, & perfect Lovers belong, I shall equip you with certain maxims, which often ruminated in your heart, will render you capable of enjoying your blessed loves & of the enjoyment of your object: to attain which there is but one way in which he who finds himself therein encounters every felicity, as being the only one truly blessed: & I am often sad to hear that some whom I would like to help, ignore my advice & although they have one of my sisters as a guide, & sometimes either myself, or our great universal, they still hold this path in horror, & they disdain this way, as it seems vulgar to them, because it is quite frequented: but be advised that it is only chosen by those most in tune, & that those who are distracted thereby have troubles with their imaginations, not that they obtained them from the great Phecel, but from the trouble in their understanding, which judges without science. Then my brother, believe me, I beg thee, that what is easy is the most beautiful. Secrets wrapped in difficult returns, & that are coiled in devices of apparent excellences, are in reality so secret, that they remain so eternally, & in such a way, that never does one discover them: & the knowledge that they suppose remains so secretly dead in such labyrinths that none is enlightened thereby: be advised that difficulties bring nothing but trouble, diversities corrupt the unique existence of the truth, which is simple & easy for those who know it, but infinitely far from those who ignore it, the smallest and most abject device practiced by the most ignorant of craftsmen, is extremely difficult for he who does not know it, even the wise admire trifles, despised by the lesser: If that is continuously seen, then how indeed will it be with our subject so much more admirable, useful & necessary? It is certain that God has not given the love of science to plunge the mind into trouble & perplexity, but the human spirit distrustful of the sovereign grace, iniquitously and without cause dives into subjects wherein he ought to have patience & humility, to intervene only to glorify his maker: that not being the case, hence thrusting himself often with impetuous desires for illegitimate causes, it so happens by the efficacy of error that one stumbles at the abyss of vanities, because one has voluntarily tripped against the obstacle  of presumption. Now the Saint having given the science to render the mind quite clear by the events, communicates its principles to his own to establish their souls in perfect habit, & in order to do so he grants the organ of mundane organs, not to all, but to those who by the happy encounter of the effects of wisdom arrive at this desirable point. But all eyes are not capable of seeing that beautiful secret, which has no other defined goal but perfection. And indeed as God has not given the love of science to plunge the mind into trouble & diversity of confusions, but rather to render it clear & susceptible of all agreeable & just forms, & the effects of it that he allows therefrom to the good souls, are but to establish them in their best subsistence, in order to reach which one must proceed with righteous & perfect means. Hold as a constant resolution that perfection is not obtained by a constrained order, leading to some goal forced by intolerable involutions, but by the necessary & legitimate one which is equitable, thereby one must not ruin anything to establish, in any way spoil the excellent to restitute it, in as much that it is not reasonable to trouble to enlighten, to kill to vivify, to reprove to tame: it behooves to develop in order to find, to excite to incite, & at least in appearance to resolve the most in truth: it is not the fruit that must be desolated but if it may be said, it is the seed that one must agitate and render corrupt, that it may rise thereafter in fruits much more desirable than it seemed capable of. If then you fancy faithfully accomplishing the desire of your effectuating affection, consider the perfect substances, & those which tend toward perfection, those unaltered by movement, & those that are alterable, even in a moment, & make election of that which is potentially alterable in this nature which requires to be moved, in order to be drawn out of its manifest privation, which it shows itself quite evidently desirous of. May this be to you a signal in the soul, in order that you should not be found defective before the eyes of Olocliree, who cares only about accomplished spirits: And since she is the sole point of your desires, as she is the elect of your heart, have that heart full enough with valor to hear & practice. Do not think of going to her to be conducted by her to her own enjoyment, comprehend where she is, & whence you will be able to find the means to go to her, & from her you shall reach the most excellent point. And although she is that which is the unique excellence, thus is she known only by the King who will be born from her, & by the fair Queen whose mother she shall also be, if one takes the trouble thereof. She is truly their mother, in as much as she is their soul & perfect form in two of her terms: for as soon as she is at the commencement of her adolescence, she can be the mother of the Queen: then having reached the perfect age, & being in the truth of her greatest beauty, she will be able to give birth to the King, who is the little King of the world.
Therefore to arrive to this Great Good, go by the dwelling of Olocliree's mother, to see her first essence, & you will remark a notable point: children who are initially beautiful, whose beauty is so lauded, are nothing in the end, this beauty dries up, & perishes, & finally they are naught but figures of ugliness: It is quite otherwise with Olocliree, her initial birth is ugly, she has but the rough features of that which she is to become: but if one excites & nourishes her with the external agent that amplifies the interior one, she will embellish by and by, until she shall be wholly beautiful. If this essence is once known to you, you will know that it perfects itself without dividing anything, for never does nature in effect lay claim to it, but formally, separating the ugly to adjoin the beautiful, to diminish the unpleasant, in order to augment the agreeable, conserving the whole & multiplying the virtue, through the effect of which nothing is disjoined, nothing is apart nor separated, although erased, & in fact the accidents are not separated but erased, as they fade without diminishing in anyway the quantity, of which they would have been set apart had they been separated, in as much as to separate signifies to set apart, & like disjoining, which is to be avoided, since through disjunction one unfastens the specific & natural ties, which can never be restituted, nor others be put in their place. That which once is cut may not be soldered again, to become as united as before, & that which is disjoined by nature cannot be comprised in such unity as nature contrives by its operations, in as much as the solution of continuity is never re-established in its first being, because of the retrenchment since the fissure occurred, there is no more balm that repairs it, although some speculators abounding more in imagination than in truth, propose butter, cheese & whey, as being able to be returned into perfect milk: although that is (by their leave) an impossibility of nature: that which is past may not return: the ripened fruit cannot grow green again: cream once escaped from the body that contained it does not ever return to mix itself into the minute parts whence it came, after the liver has distinguished into bodies the substances that are to be distributed everywhere, there is no means by which they could again become what they were before their separation. Thus to speak truly, to separate when there is no need to do so is to insult love which only requires union. That is why I advise you if you are a faithful Lover of Olocliree, to bear in mind the comparisons that I have proposed to you, so that you might be discreet in her quest, which is according to the unique encounter of the truth, which is single, & which offers us a unique subject excitable by the unique one, acting in the capable one, at the time uniquely distinguished of the first & unique equal distinction. There is nothing so heavenly destined than the subjects of love, which are faithfully united, therefore for your own good be extremely discreet, & do not ever think of joining Apaxe with Olocliree, although it appears to be the duty. Flee, flee this thought, & mind that Olocliree knows that her father & her mother are but potentially herself, united immediately: thereby she flees what Heaven has disunited, & that nature has made separate. That which by nature is altogether separate, & even in appearance, being other by its distinction, will never be absolutely conjoined, nor mixed exactly. The substances divided by nature cannot either be conjoined to their very depth, nor concentrically. There is a certain fateful moment, & a sweet condition of encounter which joins the hearts, which must belong to one to another, that already they are united before their separation is estimated: if that is not the case, there will never be peace between those who dare to assemble themselves, & contentment shall not be found, in as much that there is difficulty in constraint. Above all, do not dare to undo that which is done. You would not know how to incline nor induce nature otherwise than for that to which it is destined, nothing can happen to it otherwise than that which is proper for it, as love, father of conformity, is so just that he rejects everything that is not at all in accordance with his decrees. For this reason know that what was united with the faithful tie of Nature & love, should it be violated, or undone, cannot be restituted anymore: the oath broken, then mended, is no longer that initial faithfulness: it is done for, one could not reunite the disjoined parts, thus no one knows the solder of nature, therefore one must not be obstinate in separating that which nature has conjoined, nor be obstinate in uniting that which Nature has not destined reciprocally one for the other, but one must conserve, maintain, augment, agitate, & substantiate that which Love, Heaven, Nature, or the Entelechy has conjoined, multiplying the good which is in the subject, one will obtain the goodness that is decreed therefrom. Such is the way & the preparation that one must adopt to please the beautiful Olocliree: whereas if one does not observe these maxims, one will never have any part of her, in as much as she holds in abomination everything that might bring trouble into loyal sympathies. I beg of you fair Friend if it should happen that what tied us should be undone, who could remake it, or again establish it in being, to unite us with the alliance which is between us? Being thus estranged, into what new reiterations of beginnings would we return, to be born from subjects that would cause us in the end to become that which we are?
What is cannot be reduced to such principle, that it could become in order to be what potentially it can by no means be. I shall tell you again, as must be done, because of the two pleasing adventures, & advise you in this vigor wherein you are, which if you persist in, possibly you will be satisfied, & to assure you further, because of the last & great secret that accidents may be erased, & others created: never is the accident separated but indeed the substance to which the subject belongs. It is true that there are substantial accidents which are separable, thereby one must be prudent, as such may subsist, & pure accidents are & can be extinguished & dissipated, & as it were transmuted, by which Love is excellent since he creates that which was not, & by the vivacity of his fire causes to become in complete excellence that which was simple & in appearance of very little value, to be in the end the excellent cause of that which is the price of everything under the Sun. And it is this beautiful Olocliree, desirable above all that is desirable for her abundant felicity. Now follow the delights of your designs, & if coming & going along this path that I am showing you between these two little rocks, you do not find the occasion to properly choose the place of the desired dwelling, to meet your intended Beauty: & if you are not instructed enough, come back to visit me in my tabernacle, & I shall show you the fine mirrors which will make the beautiful features of the Beauty known to you, after having faithfully guided you to where she resides in the patience of her perfection. To this effect awaiting our further communication, have your intelligence well circumspect, in order to precisely aim your intention toward that precious glass that cannot be annihilated, toward that fine glass which nature excites by the change caused by the principle of movement. That glass is the crystal of the wise, it is all their precious stones that transmute everything in their own perfection: it is this glass alone which is infinitely humid, & infinitely dry & of such nature that it unites with all subjects, if it is melted in molten glass it dyes it, with metal it does the same, it penetrates everything, & even melts into human moistures, having ingress everywhere to rectify all substances. This philosophick glass has power over all natures, which it brings to its own nature, accomplishing them with all perfections: such are the loves of Olocliree, & the grace of her gentle enjoyment, wherein she takes infinite pleasure, & beholding herself in her fine mirrors, she orders infinite delectations according to the species that the great Phecel has determined therein, as befits everything that the holy Archeus has allowed her to deal with. Those mirrors shall be the eternal symbol of your fidelities, & the unique guide of your loves. These little silk filaments that seem spun by the Nymphs of love, are those fine glass threads, admirable sources of the magnificent golden boughs, that shade the entrance of the arbor where Love rests, & wherein retreats our unique Olocliree. Be firm, & remember, or learn that the heart of wisdom is in Constancy, do not go forth like a man of vanity, following the diverse detours of unchaste loves, easy to accost, & easy of fruition, but pursue that which is withdrawn little by little, & chaste may not be profaned: hold on tightly to the unique Bough of Destiny, which is the fateful & good branch, that multiplies felicities, substances, & delights without repentance. And if you should stop at some time to catch your breath, you should be attentive to the Xantisophilles upon the walls & paintings within, you will discover therein all the Steganography & delicate science, containing in itself all the most beautiful secrets of love, & the most delicious encounters that are practiced with the excellent Olocliree, with whom one finds & perceives all happiness without unpleasantness, all grace without boredom, & commodity without interval, & everything lies within a single point, a single subject, a single knowledge, & a single key, other than which none other brings profit. There is but a single means by which once informed, one may be capable of all that depends there upon, with a little intelligence one comprehends & knows almost everything. And should it happen that someone, either by adventure, or by solicitude, casts an eye upon the blessed polish of Olocliree's fine mirror, he enters into such perfect intelligence, through this faithful vision, that all obscurity withdraws from him, everything that is beholden to the human mind is imagined in the reflections of so perfect a glass, mother of the most beautiful of all sciences. That is to what must aspire all the faithful Lovers, who can see themselves again in this reflecting light, will read therein everything that is intelligible, & easily from one will get to the others, until at the end having beheld themselves in the seven mirrors, they shall be assured of their hopes, certain of the state of their desires, & content with the fruition of the good grace of Olocliree, who insures that her true Lovers by the good that she infuses into their spirits, are most often called prophets, in as much as they visibly perceive everything, & in such glorious habit their souls are called bodies, & their bodies souls, & the one is the other, & the other the one, their souls one single soul, the unique soul many souls, one body the bodies, the body many bodies. How pleasing it was for me to hear these fine Enigmas, these Sophisms of the wise, that my heart was dilated in apprehending such future delights proposed to good courage. There is no joy so abundant, there is no contentment so glorious, nor glory so magnificent, than to find oneself in such a state, & already I felt as if I was flying happily above all heartfelt gladness. Here is to be found the great stratagem of Ladies, & the secret of the secrets of love, which punishes those who do not know how to recognize the good, & who are so deluded by their good fortune, that forgetting whence came their advantage, they think only of satisfying their desires. Nephes saw me considering my good, & not the honor that caused it, in order to make me feel where duty lay, she played a trick upon me which in the event shall be an example to all inquirers. Certainly I must say so, as my nature (inclined toward courtesy) compels me more than anything else, & I venture forth to still repeat that there is nothing better under the Sun than fair Ladies, they are the happiness of the world, the masterpiece of God, & the abundance of the advice that must be followed, to never have to repent: but one must give oneself a stroke of prudence, it is that if one wishes to have the counsel of a Lady, one must make one's proposal quite simple, & tending a little to that which might touch her: why should I not say this, since the old proverb has good sons resembling their mothers, & wise daughters resembling their fathers: there should not be any controversy as to the dignity of Ladies, & above all here where they are the subject of our designs, & our felicity. And because they know it, they have an infinity of fine inventions to make us find it still better. Who is it that would debate this subject with us: is science not a Lady, are virtues not the same: And is it not also our intention to have these beautiful objects as our goal, under the agreeable similitudes of that which God has made for human recreation: This is how we wander in a quest for excellency, & Ladies who have judgment, & wish to remain in their acquired grandeur, know how to multiply their glory to the disadvantage of our heart, & by our own fault: & however for their own part they use it with such good grace, softened with the features & gentleness of beauty, that our reputation is not at stake. To be gently abused by a wise Lady, a Knight is all the worthier, it is his honor, it is the sign that he is in the good graces of the Fair Ones. For those to whom they give the most traverses without offence, are those whom they reserve the happy fruit that legitimate loves produce with true contentment: And never do they offend, should one be offended, his indiscretion shall be the cause, because the decent ones cannot hear, nor see that which goes against the goodness of their just opinion. I go on thus losing myself to flatter myself in my misfortune which occurred through lack of consideration. I believed I was already holding this flower, & had only to extend my hand to touch the odorous leaves while Nephes (happy in her enterprises) wanting with length of time to make me purchase that which otherwise I would have had too cheaply, set me back through my error further than I ever was, from what I looked upon as almost obtained. It is usual when one finds oneself at the instant of obtaining the coveted good, that one has no other thought, & one does not recognize whence came the advantage of such great good. And because of this in order to make me think about it, she set loose the Lion of loves, it is not a furious Lion, it is engendered at the same time, & by the same parents as the Matichore of the fairy Mountain. Who would not be terrified by the sudden encounter of what one has never seen, & which resembles that which may give a real fright? The Lion came noisily, I turned around to see what it was, I beheld it, & was surprised: there was neither love nor present consolation, neither acquired assurance, nor natural value that prevented me from quaking, & to be stricken with horror: & furthermore, beholding Nephes darting from the path where we stood, as if she had been terrified, she took off on the right side, I advanced on the left, & retreated towards the hall, thinking that she had entered therein: it was her shadow which had deceived me: & although I might have been seized by an innocent fright, still is it that I was not so aghast, that I should not have known that it was fitting to oppose myself to the violence that the Lion might have caused the Beauty, therefore I hastened seeing the beast approaching: I fancied that it was by chance that it came from nearby forests, hence having nothing to defend myself with, I continued my retreat, & wanting to advance to pull Nephes by the dress, in order to draw her back into the hall whose door I would close, I found myself grasping but a vain shadow: thus having in that hall come back to my senses; I cast my eyes & ears on all sides hoping to be called. This hall was on a pivot which bore it easily, the tour of the pavilion being done, I found the door that I had wanted to close to the Lion to be on the opposite side of the place where previously it had been: I opened it, & saw my companions who were seeking me, they reproached me of having wanted to see the beautiful paintings of the hall alone, but they also claimed that they had seen the Fountain of Youth. They were mistaken, it was but the brook of the nearing Nymphs, which flows at the foot of the stairs leading to the pavilion wherein dwells Olocliree: that is what we were to learn from the paintings which are in this hall, & from the little mirror which faces Eastward, through which one sees the Fountain, whence proceed an infinity of figures who are the evil Spirits, which infect humans, & properly speaking the contagious & incurable diseases, which corrupt the felicity of life. These dissembling ones flee this holy liquor so much, that those who touch it with the tip of their lips, & who receive a little bit of it, are preserved from all infirmity, & delivered from those that torment them. This we shall see more openly, with all the other magnificences whose adventures to be undertaken, have been postponed until the next anniversary instituted by the fair Olocliree, who invites all her perfect Lovers to find themselves there, in order to see to whom she will deign to give the hand of fidelity, accepting thereby the unique happy one from among all the pursuers.
©1999 Stanislas Klossowski de Rola
1. The actual french word is "escot" a maritime term which refers to the aftmost lower corner of a lateen-sail.
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