Page images
PDF
EPUB

of the Healing Fraternity: (the most stood the three Rosicrucian books general abstraction of the preten- «not in a literal or historical sense, sions made for the Rosicrucians be- but allegorically as a description of ing--that they healed both the body the art of making gold and finding and mind).-All this, in a young the Philosopher's stone. He even faman and a professed satirist, was voured the public with an interpretanatural and excusable. But in a tion of it: so that both “ materia et few years Andreä was shocked to præparatio lapidis aurei. were laid find that the delusion had taken firm bare to the prophane. With this pracroot in the public mind. Of the tical test of his own pretensions, it many authors who wrote with a sin- might have been supposed that Brocere design to countenance the no- toffer would have exposed himself as tion of a pretended Rosicrucian so- an impostor: but on the contrary his ciety. I shall here mention a few of works sold well, and were several times the most memorable. 1. A writer reprinted.-4. A far more important calling himself Julianus à Campis person in the history of Rosicruciwrote expressly to account for the anism was Michael Maier: he it was Rosicrucians not revealing them- that first transplanted it into Engselves, and not answering the letters land, where (as we shall see) it led addressed to them. He was himself, ultimately to more lasting effects he said, a member of the order; but than in Germany. He was born in in all his travels he had met but Holstein, and was physician to the three other members, there being (as Emperor Rudolph II., who, being he presumed), no more persons on possessed by the mystical phrenzy of the earth worthy of being entrusted the age, sent for him to Prague. In with its mysteries. The Rosicru- 1622 he died at Magdeburg, having cian wisdom was to be more exten- previously traveled extensively and sively diffused in future, but still not particularly to England. - His works to be hawked about in market-places. are among the rarities of bibliogra—2. Julius Sperber, of Anhali-Des- phy, and fetch very high prices. sau, (according to common repute) The first of them, which concerns wrote * the " Echo of the divinely il- our present inquiry, is that entitled luminated fraternity of the admirable Jocus Severus : Francof. 1617. It is order of the R. C.In this there is addressed in a dedication written a passage which I recommend to the on his road from England to Boheespecial notice of Free-masons :- mia), “omnibus veræ chymiæ amanHaving maintained the probability tibus per Germaniam," and amongst of the Rosicrucian pretensions on the them more especially “illi ordini adground that such magnalia Dei had huc delitescenti, at Fama Fraternifrom the creation downwards been tatis et Confessione suâ admiranda confided to the keeping of a few in- et probabili manifestato.This work, dividuals, agreeably to which he af- it appears, had been written in Engfirms that Adam was the first Rosi- land: on his return to Germany he crucian of the Old Testament and became acquainted with the fierce Simeon the last, he goes on to ask controversy on the Rosicrucian sect; whether the Gospel put an end to and, as he firmly believed in the the secret tradition? 'By no means, existence of such a sect, he sought he answers; Christ established a new to introduce himself to its notice; “ college of magic” amongst his but, finding this impossible, he set disciples, and the greater mysteries himself to establish such an order by were revealed to St. John and St. his own efforts; and in his future Paul.- In this passage, which I shall writings he spoke of it as already notice farther on, we find the Grand- existing-going so far even as to Master, and the St. John of masonry. publish its laws (which indeed had -3. Radtich Brotoffer was not so previously been done by the author of much a Cabbalist, like Julius Sper- the Echo). From the principal work ber, as an Alchemist. He under which he wrote on this subject, en

This was printed at Dantzig in 1616. Nicolai however cites an edition printed in 1615.—Whether Sperber was the author, is a point not quite settled. Katzauer, in his Dissert. de Rosæcrucianis, p. 38, takes him for the same person as Julianus à Cam. pis : but from internal grounds this is very improbable.

titled Silentium post clamores," I shall hart of Constance, Jogephus Stellamake an extract; because in this tus, or Giles Gutmann." The books I work it is that we meet with the first have mentioned were enough to con'traces of Masonry." Nature is yet vince Andreä that his romance had

but half unveiled. What we want succeeded in a way which he had 'is chiefly experiment and tentative never designed. The public had acinquiry. Great therefore are our ob- credited the charlatanerie of his books, ligations to the Rosicrucians for la- but gave no welcome to that for the bouring to supply this want. Their sake of which this charlatanerie was weightiest mystery is a Universal adopted as a vehicle. The Alchemy Medicine. Such a Catholicon lies had been approved, the moral and hid in nature. It is however no sim- religious scheme slighted. And sople, but a very compound medicine. cieties were forming even amongst For out of the meanest pebbles and the learned upon the basis of all that 'weeds, medicine, and even gold, is to was false in the system to the exclube extracted.” - He, that doubts sion of all that was true. This was the existence of the R. C. should re- a spectacle which could no longer be collect that the Greeks, Egyptians, viewed in the light of a joke: the 'Arabians, &c. had such secret so- folly was becoming too serious: and cieties: where then is the absur- Andreä set himself to counterdity in their existing at this day? act it with all his powers. For this Their maxims of self-discipline are purpose he now published his Chemin these To honour and fear God cal Nuptials of Christian Rosycross, 'above all things; to do all the good which he had written in 1601-2 in their power to their fellow men;" (when only in his sixteenth year), and so on. “ What is contained but not printed.' This is a comic in the Fama and Confessio is romance of extraordinary talent, the true. It is a very childish objection covert purpose of it being a refined that the brotherhood have promised and delicate banter of the Pedants, so much and performed so little. Theosophists, Goldmakers, and EnWith them, as elsewhere, many are thusiasts of every class with whom called but few chosen. The masters Germany at that time swarmed. In of the order hold out the rose as a his former works he had treated the remote prize, but they impose the Paracelsists with forbearance, hoping cross on those who are entering.”+ by such treatment to have won them “ Like the Pythagoreans and Egyp- over to his own elevated designs: tians the Rosicrucians exact vows of but in this they were invested with silence and secrecy. Ignorant men the cap and bells. Unfortunately for have treated the whole as a fiction: the purpose of Andreä however, even but this has arisen from the five this romance was swallowed by the years' probation to which they sub- public às true and serious history. ject even well qualified novices be- Upon this in the following year, he fore they are admitted to the higher published a collection of satirical

mysteries: within this period they dialogues under the title of Menipare to learn how to govern their pus; sive dial. satyricorum centuria, tongues.” In the same year with inanitatum nostratium Speculum. im this book he published a work of this he more openly unveils his true Robert Fludd's (with whom he had design-revolution of method in the lived on friendly terms in England) arts and sciences, and a general reliDe vita, morte, et resurrectione. Of gious reformation. The efforts of other works, which he published af- Andreä were seconded by those of terwards, I shall here say nothing : his friends ; especially of Irenæus neither shall I detain my reader with Agnostus and of Joh. Val. Alberti any account of his fellow-labourers under the name of Menapius. Both in this path-Theophilus Schweig- wrote with great energy against the

Silentium post clamores, h. e. Tractatus Apologeticus, quo causæ non solum Clamorum (seu revelationum) Fraternitatis Germanicæ de R. C., sed et Silentii (seu non redditæ ad singulorum vota responsionis) traduntur et demonstrantur. Autore Michuele Maiero, Iinp. Consist. Comite, et Med. Doct. Francof. 1617.

+ Ecce innumeri adsunt ex vocatis, seseque offerunt: at non audiuntur à magistris R. Crucis, qui rosis ostentant, at crucem exhibent. P. 77. FEB. 1821.

L

Rosicruciáns; the former indeed, Des Cartes, who had heard a great from having ironically styled himself deal of talk about them in 1619

dur“ an unworthy clerk of the Frater- ing his residence at Frankfurt on the nity of the R. C.,” has been classed Mayn, sought to connect himself by some learned writers on the Rosi- with some lodge (for which he was crucians as one of that sect; but it afterwards exposed to the ridicule of is impossible to read his writings his enemies); but the impossibility without detecting the lurking satire. of finding any body of them formally Soon after these writers, a learned connected together, and a perusal of foreigner placed the Rosicrucian pre- the Rosicrucian writings, satisfied tensions in a still more ludicrous him in the end that no such order light: this was the celebrated Tho- was in existence. Many years after mas Campanella. In his work upon Leibnitz came to the same concluthe Spanish Monarchy, which was sion. He was actually connected in translated into German-published early life with a soi-disant society of and universally read in Germany the R. C. in Nuremberg : for even some time before the original work at this day there is obviously nothing appeared, the Italian philosopher to prevent any society in any place speaking of the follies of the age from assuming that or any other thus expresses himself of the R. C. title: but that they were not con“ That the whole of Christendom nected traditionally with the alleged teems with such heads, (viz. Refor- society of Father Rosycross, Leibnitz mation-jobbers,) we have one proof was convinced. “ Il me paroit,” says more than was wanted in the Frater- he in a letter to a friend published by nity of the R. C. For scarcely was Feller in the Otium Hannoveranum that absurdity hatched, when-not- (p. 222) “ il me paroit que tout ce, withstanding it was many times de- que l'on a dit des Freres de la Croix clared to be nothing more than a de la Rose, est une pure invention de lusus ingenii nimium lascivientis, a quelque personne ingenieuse.” And mere hoax of some man of wit trou- again, so late as the year 1696, he bled with a superfluity of youth- says in another letter-“ Fratres ful spirits-yet, because it dealt in Roseæe Crucis fictitios fuisse susreformations in pretences to picor ; quod et Helmontius mihi conmystical arts, straitway from every firmavit. Adepts there were here country in Christendom pious and and there, it is true, and even whole learned men, passively surrendering clubs of swindlers who called them themselves dupes to this delusion, selves Rosicrucians: thus Ludov. made offers of their good wishes and Conr. Orvius, in his Occulta Philososervices ; some by name; others phia, sive Cælum sapientum et Vexatio anonymously, but constantly main- stultorum, tells a lamentable tale of taining that the brothers of the R. C. such a society, pretending to deduce could easily discover their names by themselves from Father Rosycross, Solomon's mirror or other cabbalistic who were settled at the Hague in means. Nay, to such a pass of ab- 1622, and after swindling him out of surdity did they advance that they his own and his wife's fortune a represented the first of the three Ro- mounting to eleven thousand dollars, sicrucian books (the Universal Re- kicked him out of the order with the formation) as a high mystery, and 'assurance that they would murder expounded it in a chemical sense as him if he revealed their secrets; if it had contained a cryptical account “ which secrets,” says he, “ I have of the art of gold-making, whereas faithfully kept, and for the same reait is nothing more than a literal trans- son that women keep secrets; viz. lation, word for word, of the Par- because I have none to reveal ; for nasso of Boccalini.” The effect of their knavery is no secret.” There all this ridicule and satire was—that is a well-known story also in Volin Germany, as there is the best rea- taire's Diction. Philosoph. Art. Alson to believe, no regular lodge of chimiste, of a rogue who cheated the Rosicrucians was ever established. Duke of Bouillon of 40,000 dollars

• It was published in 1620, at which time Campanella was confined in prison at Naples. The publishers had obtained the original copy, either from some traveller, or during their own residence in Italy.

under the masque of Rosicrucianism. cieties which learned men were ate But these were cases for the police tempting to found upon his own rooffice, and the gross impostures of mance of the Fama Fraternitatis, but jail-birds. As the aberration of laboured more earnestly than ever learned men, and as a case for the to mature and to establish that satirist, Rosicrucianism received a genuine society for the propagation shock from the writings of its acci- of truth, which had been the real dental father Andreä and others, such though misinterpreted object of his as in Germany" it never recovered. romance and indeed of his whole life. And hence it has happened that, what. . Such a society he lived to see accomever number there may have been of plished : and, in order to mark upon individual mystics calling themselves what foundation he placed all hopes Rosicrucians, no collective body of of any great improvement in the conRosicrucians acting in conjunction dition of human nature, he called it was ever matured and actually esta- by the name of the Christian Fraterblished in Germany. In England nity. This fact I have recorded, in the case was otherwise: for there, as order to complete the account of I shall show, the order still subsists Andrea's history in relation to Rosie under a different name. But this crucianism: but I shall not further will furnish matter for a separate pursue the history of the Christian chapter. Meantime one word re- Fraternity,t as it is no ways connectmains to be said of Andrea's labours ed with the subject of my present inwith respect to the Rosicrucians. He quiry. was not content with opposing grave.

(To be continued.) ly and satirically the erroneous so

In France it never had even a momentary success. It was met by the ridicule of P. Garasse and of Gabriel Naudé in his Instruction à la France sur la verité de l'histoire des Frères de la Rose-Croix : Paris : 1623; and in Le Mascurat, a rare work printed in 1624, and of which the 2nd edit. 1650 is still rarer. Independently of these works, France was at that time the rival of Italy in science and had greatly the start of Germany and England in general illumination. She was thus sufficiently protected from such a delusion. Thus far Professor Buhle. But pace tuâ, worthy Professor, Ithe translator of your book-affirm that France had not the start of England, nor wanted then or since the ignobler elements of credulity, as the history of Animal Magnetism and many other fantastic follies before that have sufficiently shown. But she has always. wanted the nobler (i. e. the imaginative) elements of credulity. On this account the French have always been an irreligious people. And the scheme of Father Rosy-cross was too much connected with religious feelings, and moved too much under a religious impulse, to recommend itself to the French. This reason apart, however, accident had much to do with the ill fortune of Rosicrucianism in France.

+ See the In-sitatio Fraternitatis Christi ad Sacri amoris candidatos : Argentor: 1617;—the Christianæ societatis idea : Tubingæ : 1624 ;—the Veræ unionis in Christo Jesu specimen : Norimb: 1628; and other works on the same subject. A list of the members composing this Christian Brotherhood, which continued its labours after Andrea's death, is still preserved.

SONG OF THE MAIDENS.

6 Ye ladies all of England,

Now wring your hands and mourn,
For many a lord and lover

Will fall at Bannockburn;
To win their spurs of silver

Go all your gallant grooms,
I see the gloves of ladye-loves

Dance 'mid their dancing plumes.
Weep all ye dames of England,

Your mirth has lasted long;
Now in your

looks be sadness,
And sorrow in your song."

" And why should we have sadness,

And wherefore should we sigh?
Saint George for merry England !

I hear our horsemen cry;
And see their war plumes waving,

Black as the raven's wings;
Our fatal shafts are flying,

Hark to the thrilling strings: And see King Edward's standard

Floats on the buxom breeze Now all is merry England's

That's girdled by the seas."
“ Here comes your lordly chivalry

All charging in a row,
And there your gallant bowmen

Let fly, their shafts like snow;
Look how yon old man clasps his hands,

And hearken to his cry;
Alas, alas, for Scotland,

When England's arrows fly!
Yet weep ye dames of England,

For twenty summers past
Ye danced and sùng while Scotland wept ;

Such mirth can never last."
“ And how can I do less than laugh,

When England's lords are nigh? It is the maids of Scotland

Must learn to wail and sighFor here spurs princely Hereford,

Hark to his clashing steel ; And there's Sir Philip Musgrave,

All.gore from helm to heel ; And yonder is stout Argentine,

And here comes with a sweep The fiery speed of Gloucester

Say wherefore should I weep?" « Weep all ye English maidens,

Lo! Bannock brook's in flood,
Not with its own sweet waters,

But England's noblest blood.
For see your arrow-shower has ceased,

The thrilling bowstring's mute,
And where rides fiery Gloucester ?

All trodden underfoot.
Wail all ye dames of England,

No more shall Musgrave know
The sound of the shrill trumpet-

And Argentine is low.
Thy chivalry, proud England,

Have turn'a the rein to fly,
And on them rushes Randolph,

Hark Edward Bruce's cry;
'Mid reeking blood the Douglas rides,

As one rides in a river,
And here the good king Robert comes,

And Scotland's free for ever.
Now weep ye dames of Eugland,

And let your sons prolong
The Bruce-the Bruice of Bannockburn,

In many a sorrowing song."

C.

« PreviousContinue »