3 PUBLISHERS’ NOTEThis book, originally published in 1912 by “Ars Regia” of Milan, is being re-issuedbecause it has become so rare as to reach prohibitive prices, while it is constantly neededby students of the history of occultism. Certain difficulties, however, have had to befaced. The author is dead and no authoritative revision is therefore possible. The originaltext was set up by Italian compositors whose work was obviously not carefully corrected.The result is that is teems with errors of spelling and punctuation. In addition to thiscertain of the documents contained were evidently translated into English by foreignersand the translations were not revised. This results at times in some very quaint English.Further, the apparent lack of opportunity of correcting proofs has also caused a certainlack of uniformity as to the precise spelling of names, titles of books, forms of referencesand the like.
While none of these defects can be said to detract from the interest or value of thebook, to perpetuate them in a new issue seemed inadvisable. On the other hand, short of many months or even years of work by an editor qualified to deal with the material, whois not easily to found, the kind of revision, rearrangement and amplification which should at some time be undertaken is impossible. We have therefore made only such correctionsas are unquestionable; for example, in punctuation, spelling, uniformity (where thecorrect form is known), grammar (where the sense is absolutely unaltered); otherwise thetext has been left precisely as it first appeared. For the illustrations blocks have had to bemade from the badly printed pages of the original. We have been able by carefulworkmanship to improve on them, but we disclaim any idea of their being as satisfactoryas if we could have worked from the original documents, pictures and photographs.