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Etteilla's Troisième Cahier Supplement: text & translation

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MikeH  MikeH is offline
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Etteilla's Troisième Cahier Supplement: text & translation


A kind soul sent me xeroxes of the part of Etteilla's 3rd Cahier that Corodil didn't have, namely, the Supplement du Troisième Cahier. Going from page 58 through page 142, it is almost twice as long as the text it is meant to supplement; actually, in number of words, it is over three times as long (14,000 vs. 4600)!

I am not sure I am up to transcribing and translating the whole thing. So far I have transcribed about a third and translated considerably less. The 30 pp. up to p. 88 is a long defense of divination as a science. The context is that of 18th century Hermeticism. Since it hardly ever refers to tarot as such, I suspect that people on this forum would stop reading fairly quickly.It is also very abstract and thus rather hard to translate.

So even though I have transcribed that part, I will start instead on p. 89, with Etteilla's additions to pp. 4 and 5 of the original 3rd Cahier. I am not sure when this was written. Even though it is part of a book published in 1783 (presumably with "1783" on its title page), it was clearly written later and then made part of later reprints of the 3rd Cahier. Decker, Depaulis, and Dummett (DDD) give May 19, 1784 as the Supplement's date of publication (Wicked Pack of Cards p. 84). However the edition I am using also contains the Fragment sur les hautes sciences (Fragment on the High Sciences), which they say was written in November 1784 and published in 1785. I do not know what source DDD base the 1784 dates on. The material in the Supplement has material in it (pertaining to astrological symbols) that appears otherwise for the first time in the 2nd Cahier Supplement and the 4th Cahier, both 1785.

In any case, here is the French for what I am going to give a translation of in my following post. It is pp. 89-98, except that the last footnote extends onto p. 100. The reference to page 4, gives a quote from the 3rd Cahier, so it is not hard to find it in Corodil's transcription of that text (or my translation). The same should be true for the reference to p. 5 that follows.

In what follows, where the page number changes, I put the new page number in parentheses. When a footnote extends to another page, I put the new page number in brackets. Two of the pages consist of tables with astrological symbols in them. I have not attempted to reproduce the symbols. At the end of the post I give links to the specific pages I have transcribed, both so that you can see the layout of the tables and symbols and also so that if anyone wonders about the French that I have transcribed, they can check the original. The letters are frequently not easy to read. I will save more detailed comments for the next post.
Quote:
Page 4 du précédent ou troisieme Cahier. Pour entendre ce que je vais dire, il est utile d'avoir sous les yeux le Jeu de Cartes nommées Tarots. Etoit-il possible de mieux prévenir celui qui vouloit apprendre à tirer les cartes? (89) Non; & pourquoi donc lire les démonstrations sans avoir les Cartes sous les yeux? Est-cê pour avoir le plaisir de dire, je n'entends rien à cet ouvrage? Idem, ou même page, à la note, Voyez dans l’Ouvrage, page 40.

Page 5, no. 1 jusqu'à 77, & le zéro. J'avertis de bonne foi que je n'ai pas le talent, de mieux me faire entendre que je vais le faire ci-après, dans ce qu'il est absolument utile de savoir? si on veut devenir Cartonomancien.

Toutes les Cartes doivent être numérotées tel que le livre vous l'indique, c'est-à-dire, que sur la Carte où vous voyez peint un Jupiter, vous mettrez en place du no. V qui y est, le no. 1; & sur celle où est peint le Soleil, en place du n°. XVIII, qui y est, l'ayant effacé, vous mettrez le no. 2, & ainsi prenant toutes les Cartes une à une, vous les coterez ou numéroterez comme le Livre (troisième Cahier) vous l'indique.

Lorsque vos 78 feuillets sont (90) numerotés, vous mettez sous les nos. les significations qu'ont les Cartes, comme par exemple, sous le no. 17, Retard,.

Lorsque vos 78 feuillets sont marqués de leurs premières significations, vous les mettez la tête en bas, & vous écrivez, toujours suivant le livre, leurs sécondes significations; de manière que le no. 27, huit dé bâton renversé, signifiera travers, &c. pour tous les feuillets.

Ressouvenez-vous que les 22 premiers feuillets du Livre de Thot n'ont, a l’égard de la Divination, que chacun une seule signification, laquelle est censée avoir en elle l'esprit de tous les objets qui lui sont propres; ainsi le hiéroglyphe de la Tempérance, renferme intellectuellement tout ce qui est de cette vertu; la Folie, tout ce qui est de ignorance, &c. &c. Si la roue de fortune vient renversée, cela annonce toujours fortune, mais moindre, outre que le coup indique, si c’est augmentation ou renversement de sa (91) fortune. En général un hiéroglyphe né parle point seul, à moins qu'il n'y soie forcé, comme quand il reste seul, ou quand absolument il ne s'allie pas avec les feuillets qui le précèdent ou qui le suivent.

Ayant tracé sur vos 78 feuillets vos 78 premières significations, plus vos 66 sécondes significations qui sont 144, & sont l'esprit ou intelligence des 14400 évènens heureux & malheureux, ces derniers sur la terre ayant été en augmentant depuis la dépravation humaine & commençant à disparoitre par le soleil de la Philosophie, la vérité. (1) Je vais vous représenter (92) un tableau analogue, ligne per ligne, à chacune de vos cartes portante les signes du Ciel des Etoiles fixes; les astres errans pour l’Harmonie de l’univers, les jours de la création; les nombres au rapport des élémens; l’unité 1 figure du Moteur, voulant asseoir l’univers formel, le nombre 8 figure de l’étendre, des formes actives, du repos; & enfin les caracteres ou chiffres qui entrone tous les feuillets du livre de Thot.
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(1) Sur ce que plusieurs personnes ont reconnu que la terre étoit la scorie dés trois Elémens, ils ont cru que Je mal avoit été mis quant & quant le bien au moment de la création: l'esprit général du mal, l'ignorance, eu venu de la tiédeur au bien moral; & cet esprit de perversîté, l'ignorance ayant pris racine a poussé des tiges de toutes sortes, & en pousse encore aujourd'hui que ne ressemblent à rien de celles quiétoient oihez [chez?](92) les Anciens Peuples; comme par exemple, qu’une femme fasse enfermer son Seigneur & son Maître dans un affreux cachot, pour jouir impunément de son cadavre avec celui qui imprimoit l’ordre inique, à l’insu de la puissance supérieure. La derniere histoire instruira nos fils & les fils de ces couples monstrueux par leur brutalité, leur méchanceté & leur iniquité; lisez l’Homme à Projets, 1783, page 33, ligne 10, &c. N’est il pas douloureux pour un garçon ou une fille qui prétendent à un honnète mariage, de s’en voir exclus, parce que leur père ou père putatitf a été enfermé dans B......? J’en apporterai un jour un recueil étonnant.

[93] Les Gémeaux sont une des douze Signes du ciel céleste, figure du ciel intelligible, pour tous les êtres de notre Univers; on le figuré ainsi ‘II', & on le place à la gauche de soi sur le feuillet coté 3, & ensuite on met 2, qui indique l'eau, premier élément; (si l'humide ne nous environnoit pas de toutes parts, l'air qui est sec & le feu qui est chaud nous ôteroient la vie...) & enfin le nombre 3, qui offre le troisième jour de la création; ainsi sur le feuillet où vous voyez peint la Lune, ayant effacé le n°. XVIIII, vous mettez ces nombres & caractères suivant ce plan II 3. 1. 3.

Si le Livre de Thot n'étoit qie de pure frivolité, toutes ces choses ne se trouveraient pas indiquées sur chaque feuillet avec le plus grand ordre; mais les appercevant telles que de légères études vous en feront foi, peut-on disconvenir que ce précieux Livre ne soie un ouvrage de la plus haute Philosophie? Je sais que les Egyptiens (94) y ont écrit, que leur Livre même n’est que vanité en raison des Originaux dont il parlent; mais continuent-ils, il falloit un chemin pour conduite les hommes à reconnoître la Nature & adorer son Auteur; & ce chemin quelque peu éclairé qu’il puisse être, ne devient pas un précipice moral ni physique, si la sagesse est par-tout appellée pour nous étayer. Voici le Tableau général de tous les feuillets, vous ressouvenant que la cote sur chacun d’eux, indiquée dans le troisieme Cahier, doit vous conduire pour m’entendre.

N.B. L’ordre interrompu de cet Ouvrage, mon peu de Littérature, & la bonne envie que j’ai que beaucoup sachent au moins ce que j’ai appris, sont des causes qui m’entrainent à des redites sans fin. Si vous voulez m’entendre, ayez toujours le Jeu de Tarots sous les yeux.
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A la page 104 ci-après, ressouvenez-fous de mettre le no. 2 à votre droite, & ainsi en suivant.

(95)
Noms des Signes
Le Bélier....
Le Taureau.....
Les Gémeaux..
L’Ecrevisse...
Le Lion....
La Vierge...
La Balance...
Le Scorpion. . .
Le Sagittaire...
Le Capricorne...
Le Verseau...
Les Poissons...

Cotte des Pages
1-10: Cercle superior.
1-8: Repos.
9-12: Mouvement.

Élèmens.
2 Feu. 1 Eau. 3 Air. 4. Terre.

Jours de la Création.

1_______3______2______6______4____5


(96)Chaîne du second Livre, à cause des signes de mort: & la suite de la cotte des Pages ou Lames.

13____________14
14____________15
15____________16
16____________17
17____________13

Les numéros 18 jusqu’a 67: n’ont qu’un nombre & deux significations, en égard à la divination.

Partie de Fortune..68
Queue du Dragon....69
Tête du Dragon.....70
Saturne............71
Jupiter............72
Mars...............73
La Lune............74
Vénus..............75
Mercure............76
Le Soleil..........77
& le Zéro..........78

(97) Tous ces nombres, signes, caractères &c, sont absolument nécessaires pour entendre le Livre de Thot; mais comme ils ne sont pas même suffisans, la collection complette des quatre Cahiers, de leur Supplément, & des fragmens, réunis dans l'Ouvrage entier, mettront à portée de lire l'Original au point de faire de doctes ajoutés à ce que j'aurai dit; c'est ce qui m'engage à rapporter, d'après tous les Ecrivains, cette vérité: Etayez la science & ceux qui en sont pénétrés, & vous verrez que l'ignorance ne tardera pas à se cacher dans les antres & les forêts inhabitables. Etes-vous malheureux par la science ou par l’ignorance? Consultez-vous, consultez l'histoire de tous les Peuples & là vôtre particulièrement. Ah! dit l'Ignorance, mon régne est passé, mais craignez mes derniers efforts? Tu tomberas comme une masse, & dans la première & la plus haute vérité, tu seras dix mille ans sans relevér (98) la tête, si ses hommes sont assez fermes pour ne plus t'écouter.

Les vrais Philosophes ne font aucun pas sans avoir réfléchi; c'est donc d'après cette sage conseillere, la réflexion, qu’ils ont mis le signe du Scorpion sur le huitième feuillet; & de tout ce qui nous frappe à cet égard, nous dirons simplement, qu’une de leur raison étoit que rien ne tend plus à la vie que le moment de perfection. (1).
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(1) Tout dans la Nature a vie & est dans la perfection, en ce que chaque chose est actu, mais chaque chose n’est en sa réelle perfection, qu'au point juste où elle étoit au moment de sa création; ainsi l'âme, ainsi la vie, ainsi le corpos de tous les Etres animaux, végétaux, minéraux & brûtes, chaque chose sélon son genre & son espece. Or, ont dit les Philosophes, tels que Pythagore & autres, la Nature est homme, froment & or; & de ceux-ci, or, froment & homme; & à ce propos ont dit les Sages Herméticiens, prenez la matiere premiere dans des régnes mûrs, & à leur plus haut degré de perfection. Ce n'est pas le semence de ces régnes que Nature emploie & développe à pas comptés, pour venir à [99] ces fins, qui vous est utile; ce chemie qui lui est propre, sans démentir l'axiome, est & n'est pas celui que vous devez suivre; prenez, de ces régnes, & je vous prie de me croire, de l’un de ses régnes, son sel, son soufre & son mercure vulgaire & non vulgaire; le premier, en ce qu'il se trouve palpable dans les régnes; le second, en ce que vous prenez la Scorie des principes, pour les principes mêmes, ce qui est faux.

C’est dans les principes des règnes où se plaît la matière première, parce que les trois principes de chaque régne, ont seuls le droit de l'exalter ou de la tenir en exaltation, & que ces principes sont l'aimant de la matière première; celle-ci est fixe en eux, & elle le rend patiente envers eux. Mais vous qui avez reconnu les principes, sans vous en rapporter au torrent des hommes qui croyent les connoître, prenez bien garde de brûler la première matière; prenez garde de corrompre son esprit; prenez bien garde enfin que la matière premiere ne s'évanouisse; car plus subtile que la lumière, (puisque les Philosophes la nomment proprement vie,) elle est toujours tirée vers la masse générale de la vie, matière première, ainsi que les parties de la clarté se retirent à l'aspect des corps [100] opacts dans le sein de la clarté. En un mot, les parties célestes, élémentaires, astrales de la matière première, vous sont offertes, comme l'enfant dans le sein de sa mère, qui se nourrit de la substance du chyle se forme des quatre humeurs. C'est donc une vérité qu'il faut que vous sachiez compter spécieusement & numériquement, 1, 3, 5, 7, comme 3 & 4 le commencement est 1, la fin est 1, dans 3 est 2, dans 5 est 4, dans 7 est 6, & 1 renferme tout.
Originals:
pp. 88-89
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-sh51RgyJ_C...ahier_016a.jpg

pp. 90-91
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-WW5A141Nsz...ahier_017a.jpg

pp. 92-93
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/--Y877IP83w...ahier_018a.jpg

pp. 94-95 (table on p. 95)
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ddo4FLC09y...ahier_019a.jpg

pp. 96-97 (table on p. 96)
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-s4LiaJ8TV3...ahier_020a.jpg

pp. 98-99
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-FRBdnR8gKe...ahier_021a.jpg

pp. 100-101
http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-SuQRSd9Fo6...ahier_022a.jpg
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MikeH  MikeH is offline
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translation of pp. 88-99, with footnote to p. 100


Now here is my attempt at a translation of the text in the preceding post. Feel free to make criticisms, here or by PM. Again, changes in page number are indicated by page numbes in parentheses, and in footnote pages by numbers in brackets. Comments in the text in brackets are mine, for explanatory purposes. In these pages he is describing how to turn an ordinary Marseille deck into a deck in its original Egyptian form.
Quote:
Page 4 of the preceding or third Cahier [Notebook]. to understand what I am going to say, it is useful to have under your eyes the Deck of cards named Tarot. Was-it possible to better warn one who wants to learn to read the cards? (89) No; and why then read the demonstrations without having the Cards under your eyes? Is it to have the pleasure of saying, I understand nothing in this work? Idem (i.e., same page), in the note, See in the Work, page 40.

Page 5, no 1 to 77, and the zero. I warn honestly that I have no talent, to be better understood than I am going to make below, in what it is absolutely useful to know, if one wants to become a Cartonomancer.

All the Cards must be numbered such as the book indicates to you, that is, such as on the Card where you see painted a Jupiter, you will put in place of the number V which is there, the number 1; and on that where the Sun is painted, in position number XVIII, which is there, having erased it, you will put number 2, and so taking all the Cards one by one, you will list or enumerate them as the Book [the third Cahier] indicates to you.

When your 78 leaves [or pages, i.e. cards] are enumerated (90), you put under the numbers the meanings that the Cards have, as for example, under the number 17, Delay .

When your 78 leaves [pages] are marked with their first meanings, you turn them upside down, and you write, always according to the book, their sécond meanings; in this manner, no. 27, the eight of staves, will mean fault, and so on for all the leaves [pages].

Remember that the first 22 leaves [pages] of the Book of Thoth each have, with regard to Divination, a single meaning, which is supposed to have in it the spirit of all the objects which are appropriate for it; so the hieroglyph of Temperance contains intellectually all which is of this virtue; Folly, all which is of ignorance, etc., etc. If the Wheel of Fortune comes up reversed, it still announces fortune, but less, besides what the spread indicates, if it is increase or reversal of one’s (91) fortune. Generally a hieroglyph does not speak alone, unless he(it) it is forced to, as when it stands alone, or when absolutely has no connection with those leaves [pages] that precede or follow it.

Having drawn on your 78 leaves [pages] your first 78 meanings, plus your 66 second meanings, which are 144, and are the spirit or intelligence of 14400 happy and unfortunate events, the latter on earth having been increasing since human depravation and beginning to disappear with the sun of Philosophy, the truth. (1) I am going to represent to you (92) a similar tableau, line for line, to each of your cards carrying the signs in the Heaven of the fixed Stars; the wandering celestial bodies the Harmony of the universe, in the days of the creation; the numbers in accord with the éléments; the unity 1 figure of the Engine, wanting to seat the formal universe; the number 8 indicating the extent of the moving and motionless forms; and finally the characters or ciphers which enthrone all the leaves [pages] of the book of Thoth.
________________________________
(1) Regarding what many persons have recognized, that the earth was the slag [scorie] of the three Elements, they believed that I had badly put quant & quant [I don't know what this means] the good at the time of creation: the general spirit of evil, ignorance, had come from the warmth at the moral good; and this spirit of perversity, ignorance having taken root, pushed up stalks of all kinds, and pushes still today, resembling nothing of those [92] calm Ancient Peoples. For example, a woman has her Lord and Master locked in a hideous prison, in order to enjoy with impunity the corpse [cadavre] with the one who gave [or got: imprimoit] the iniquitous order, without knowing the superior power. The latter story will educate our sons and the sons of these monstrous couples by their brutality, wickedness and injustice; read Man in Projects, 1783, page 33, lines 10ff. Is it not painful for a boy or a girl who aspires to an honest marriage, to see oneself excluded, because their father or putative father was locked in B...? I shall bring one day a surprising collection.
I interrupt here for several reasons. First, I apologize for not knowing what "quant & quant" means. I will try to track it down, and if I find something I will do an edit. Second, this footnote is interesting because it gives his theory for the origin of evil, something I hadn't recognized even in the 2nd Cahier. It comes from the "warmth of moral good". This is an alchemical-sounding explanation. Fires are good (and also the Sun, Etteilla's emblem of wisdom in card 2), but if out of control, or too extreme, they become bad. So it is the energy of the good outside certain limits. Another term that might be alchemical (although I don't know it), and is certainly metallurgical, is "Scorie", meaning scoria, or slag, the waste left after a metal is extracted from its ore. That term is originally Greek, which derives from "skore" meaning dung, a term that appears often in translations of alchemical texts. One other thing: I am not sure if I understood Etteilla's example of iniquity properly. I think what I have is at least close to his meaning.

I continue. In the next passage, I use II to indicate the astrological symbol of Gemini. The real symbol has the two I's joined at the top and bottom. Also, there seems to be a misprint in the first paragraph below. Instead of "then we put 2" the printed text should have said "then we put 1", since obviously the number of the first element would be 1. He also gives it as "1" at the end of the page. And the actual card does have "1" on it for the element.:
Quote:
(93) The Gemini are one of twelve Signs of the celestial sky, figures of the intelligible sky for all the beings of our Universe; they were represented as 'II', and we place it on the left of one on the leaf (page) rated 3, and then we put 2, which indicates water, the first element; (if wetness did not surround us from everywhere, the air which is dry and the fire which is warm would take away our life) and finally the number 3, which offers the third day of creation; so on the leaf [page] where you see painted the Moon, having erased the number XVIIII, you put these numbers and characters following this plan: II 3. 1. 3.

If the Book of Thoth was only pure frivolity, all these things would not be indicated on every leaf(page) with the greatest order; but perceiving such, as light studies will prove to you, can one deny that this invaluable Book is not a work of the highest Philosophy? I know that the Egyptians (94) wrote there, that even their Book is only vanity because of the Originals about which it speaks; but they continue, a path was necessary for conduct people to recognize Nature and to adore its Author; and this path, poorly lit as it may be, does not become a moral abyss nor a physics, if wisdom is everywhere called upon to support us. Here is the general Picture of all the leaves [pages], reminding you of the citation on each of them, as indicated in the Third Cahier, which should lead you to understand me.

NB. The order interrupted from this Work, my small Literature, and the good urge that I have for many to know at least what I have learned, are causes which trapped me in endless repetitions. If you want to understand me, always have the Deck of Tarots under your eyes.
___________________________
On page 104 below, remember to put number 2 on your right, and likewise following.
On "physics": in the first 30 pages of the Supplement, he took great pains to distinguish his form of science from physics. His science deals with quantities of unseen qualities; physics deals with forces whose effects can be seen with the senses.

I have no idea what this last footnote, about what to do on p. 104, is about. There is nothing about no. 2 on p. 104. And why is it here, on p. 94?

Now what follows (p. 95) is the first of two tables. Here is the original.
http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-GOTATvGKFf...ahier_019b.jpg

And my translation:
Quote:
(95) Names of the Signs [in the original, the astrological signs follow]
Aries [or, The Ram]....
Taurus [or, The Bull]...
Gemini, [or, The Twins]...
The Crayfish...
Leo [or, The Lion]....
Virgo [or, The Virgin]...
Libra [or, The Scales]...
Scorpio, [or, The Scorpion]...
Sagittarius...
Capricorn...
Aquarius [or, The Water-Carrier]..
Pisces [or, The Fishes]...

Overview of Pages
1-10: superior circle.
1-12: inferior circle.
1-8: Rest.
9-12: Movement.

Elements. 2 Fire. 1 Water. 3 Air. 4 Earth.

I] Days of Creation. [/i] [starting with card 2]

1 _______ 3 ______ 2 ______ 6 ______ 4 ____ 5
And now the original for p. 96:
http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ZCjaHYdEmk...ahier_020b.jpg
And my translation:
Quote:
(96) Chain of the second Book, because of the signs of death: and the continuation of the overview of Pages or Sheets [Lames, for which there is also the English term "lamina"].

13 ____________14
14 ____________15
15____________ 16
16____________ 17
17 ____________13

The numbers 18 to 67 have only a number and two meanings, pertaining to divination.

Part of Fortune 68
Tail of the Dragon 69
Head of the Dragon 70
Saturn 71
Jupiter 72
Mars 73
The Moon 74
Venus 75
Mercury 76
The Sun 77
And the Zero 78
Notice that the phrase "signs of death" (signes de mort) occurs here, for the mysterious double numbers that appear on cards 13-17. So the phrase is Etteilla's. DDD (p. 93) find it only in the Dictionnaire synonymique du livre de Thot, written by one of Etteilla's followers. In the 2nd Cahier, he has a different term. It is still not clear why they are there. Only a few Grand Etteilla editions actually had the second numbers on the cards: the original of 1789, the German edition of 1793, and the Pussey, for which see Sumada's Treasure Box, online somewhere. These are all I know about.

Another noteworthy thing is that card 0, the Zero, is number 78 in the sequence. This conforms to its place in the original cards (and all subsequent Etteilla decks). In the 2nd Cahier he places it between card 21 and card 22. (This is one reason for suspecting that the 3rd Cahier Supplement was written after the 2nd Cahier.)

I continue:
Quote:
(97) All these numbers, signs, characters etc. are absolutely necessary to understand the Book of Thoth; but as they are not also sufficient, the complete collection of the four Cahiers, their Supplements and fragments, combined in the whole Work, will allow you to read the Original to the point of nringing the added learning to what I shall have said; it is what engages me to to report, according to all the Writers, this truth: support the science and those who have penetrated there, and you will see that ignorance will not delay hiding in caves and uninhabitable forests. Are you unfortunate from science or from ignorance? Consult yourselves, consult the history of all the Peoples and of yours particularly. Ah! said Ignorance, my reign has passed, but be afraid of my last efforts? [should that be "!"?] You will fall as a mass, and in the first and highest truth, you will have ten thousand years without raising (98) your head, if his people are firm enough in getting you not to listen any longer.

The real Philosophers take no step without having reflected; it is thus according to this wise counsellor, reflection, that they put the sign of the Scorpion [text inserts astrological sign here] on the eighth leaf [page]; and from all that strikes us in this regard, we shall say simply, that one of their reasons was that nothing stretches out life more than the moment of perfection. (1).
___________________
1) Everything in Nature has life and is in perfection, in the fact that everything is actu [i.e. actual, realized], but everything is not in its real perfection, that in the precise point where it was at the time of its creation; so the soul, so the life, so the corpos of all the animal, plant, mineral and brute Beings, everything according to its genus and species. Yet, said the Philosophers, such as Pythagoras and others, Nature is man, wheat, gold; and of these, gold, wheat and man; and in this connection, said the Wise Hermetics, take first matter in its mature regime [régne: in alchemy, regime or regimen], and in their highest degree of perfection. It is not the seed of these regimes which Nature uses and develops in measured steps, to come [100] to these ends, which is useful for you; this chemistry which is appropriate for it, without denying the axiom, is and is not the one that you have to follow; take from these regimes, and I ask you to believe me, from one of its regimes, its salt, its sulfur and its vulgar and not vulgar mercury; the first, in what turns out tangible in the regimes; the second, in that you take the Scoria [slag] of the principles, for the same principles, that which is false.

It is in the principles of the regimes that first matter is pleased, because the three principles of every regime have only the right to exalt or to hold in exaltation, and because these principles are loving [l'aimant] of first matter; the latter is fixed in them, and it returns as patient to them. But you who recognized the principles, without reporting them to the torrent of people who think they recognize them, be indeed careful of burning the first matter; be careful of corrupting its spirit; be indeed careful, finally, that the first matter not vanish; because it is more subtle than light, (hence the Philosophers name it properly life,) it is always drawn towards the general mass of life, the first matter, the parts of clarity [or brightness], as well withdraw into the aspect of opaque bodies [100] in the bosom of clarity [or brightness]. In brief, the celestial, elementary, astral parts of first matter are offered to you, like a child at the breast of its mother, which nourishes itself from the substance of the hyle [Greek for matter] and forms the four humors. It is thus the truth that you indeed have to know how to count by species and number, 1, 3, 5, 7, as 3 and 4, the beginning is 1, the end is 1, in 3 is 2, in 5 is 4, in 7 is 6, and 1 contains all.
In this last long footnote, I have taken the liberty of translating him using the English equivalents of alchemical terms. So where the French "régne" would normally be "reign", I have used "regime". "Regimen" is the usual alchemical term, which is Latin for "regime". And for "first matter" (matière première) the usual term is "prima materia".

At the end he seems to be referring to the doctrine that the prima materia is matter prior to the creation of the four elements. It was a goal of the alchemists to get to this reduction of 4 to 1. (See material on the Internet regarding Gerhard Dorn.) I am a little surprised that Etteilla did not see the Marseille World card as exhibiting this great goal, with its emphasis on the four corners of the card and its one figure in the center. Etteilla's version even has a uroboros snake, which expresses unity, too. But no, that card is number 5, and only expresses the element of Earth.

In that connection, I recall that Etteilla in an earlier passage associated earth with "Scorie" (earth was the scorie of the three elements), a term that pops up here again, as scoria, waste, deriving from the Greek "skor", meaning "dung". Instead of three principles, we have three elements. If only I understood the relationship of dung to prima materia! The one is rare and profound, the other common. It may be one of those alchemical riddles.

It is in these footnotes that Etteilla really gets passionate--and obscure.
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Amazing achievement! My French isn't that good, but not that bad, either, so I'm wondering if you modernized the language in the transcription, as I am surprised I understand most of it, and there don't seem to be too many period-specific usages, although there are instances such as "entendre" (hear) which today would perhaps be "comprendre" (understand). Or am I way off the mark?
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I did not intentionally modernize the spelling, although a few modern spellings might have slipped in, from the optical character recognition software I used on the scans (which was not very accurate, although impressive considering what it had to work with). It sometimes seemed to fit its guesses to known words. When I was going through correcting the OCR result against the scanned text, I didn't change spellings I knew to be modern versions of the same word. This only afected a few "oit" endings, which it read as "ait" sometimes, if the "o" wasn't clear in the scan.

I have now finished the transcription part of the task, for the rest of the Supplement. I will post it part by part with the translations, when I get more done. I don't simply post the transcription by itself because I find a few additional transcription errors while I am preparing the translation.
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Etteilla on spreads: French


I continue my transcription and translation of Etteilla’s 3rd Cahier Supplement. I now consider pp. 99-110, which discusses the question of how to read spreads. It is useful not only for seeing the variation in the number of cards in a spread—from 4 or 5 to 26--but also for seeing how variable the meanings of the cards are and also for the technique of pairing cards starting at the ends and working toward the middle. I will first give the French, and then in the next post give the English, such as I can figure out, and some comments. Numbers in parentheses are the page numbers in the original edition, written 1784 (as he says on the last page!) but published probably 1785. After my transcription I give links to scans of the original pages, for comparison. I have tried to keep the original spellings, although occasionally a modern spelling may have slipped in, either from me or from the OCR program I am using and then correcting.
Quote:
(99): Page 7, exemple C. B. A. Beaucoup de personnes m'ont dit qu'ils n'entendoient pas cette démonstration: (100) il est vrai qu'ils sont convenus qu'ils n'avoient aucune notion de géométrie-pratique, se qui, pour eux & pour la société, seroit pourtant mille fois plus utile que les fariboles, avec lesquelles on a capté leur premiere jeunesse, toutes nos opérations morales & physique ayant en elles un principe mathématique; enfin soit ici une nouvelle explication de ce que j’ai dit dans le Cahier, pour tous ceux dont leurs familles ont ignoré qu'il étoit impossible de raisonner juste de soi-même sans la divine Science mathématique, (101) & quelqu'état, & dans quelque situation que l'on puisse être.

Soie donc C. B. A... C est supposé un homme nommé Pierre, B est regardé ici comme la Justice, & A un autre homme nommé Jacques; il se trouve qu'en faisant parler ces trois feuillets, C. B. A., de la droite à la gauche, que A rendra justice à C; & ce qui est le même, que Pierre A, rendra la Justice B, à Jacques C.

Soit à présent par invers A. B. C. C, le n°. 25 du Livre de Thot, ainsi B le n°. 9, & A le no. 32. Hé-bien, en posant sur la table dans cet ordre, les nos. 32, 9, 25, vous lirez sur ces trois feuillets: Un bon Etranger rendra justice dans une société; à qui? ajoutez le n° 1 si vous êtes homme, ou le n° 8 si vous êtes femme; vous trouverez que ce sera à vous, étant dans une Société, que l'Etranger rendra justice. En sentant ces principes sî naturels, on est porté à croire que l'Auteur de Contemporaines & plusieurs (102) autres que on fait entrer lr Cartonomancie dans leurs discours, n’ont pas été mes Eleves, mais tous les hommes, depuis que les sciences ont été mes départies, n’ont pas pu être tous Cartonomanciens.

Posez à présent devant vous ces lames, 8, 33, 9; après 25, 32, 9, 8; ensuite 8, 31, 25; cela vous instruira pour passer à de plus fortes combinaisons.

Now put before you the cards 8, 33, 9; after, 25, 32, 9, 8; following, 8, 32, 25; that will instruct you so as to pass to more difficult combinations.

Représentez-vous à présent un tableau de 17 lames, telles que je viens de les amener, sans pouvoir trop dire pourquioi ce ne sont pas toutes autres lames qui sont venues; pour m’en rendre raison, il faudroit volontiers remonter au moment de ma naissance; & en ayant trouvé pourquoi je suit devenu Cartnomancien, pourquoi j’écris de cet art, enfin pourquoi j’opere à telle minute plutôt qu’à une autre; il faudroit dis-je, en outre, considérer le tems, le lieu, les circonstances qui ne sont pas dépendans de moi; il faudroit même, (103)comme rien n’arrive par hasard, mais par une chaîne absolue, consulter si en opérant je suis actif, vigilant, enfin léger, parce que je sens que poids de ma main, pour couper plus haut ou plus bas, peut faire naitre une autre coup. Qui peut ne revenir jamais tel que le voici.

36, 23, 9, 57, 37, 52, 66, 2, 12, 11, 1, 26, 50, 34, 43, 54, 53. Après avoir remarqué que 43, 50, 57, sont reversé, je lis couramment, & vous lirez comme moi, si vous mettez ces feuillets devant vous sur la table. Je projette, mais suis entouré de pleurs, de chagrins, d’espions & de méchans; le méchant me trahir, mais je remporte la force, parce que j’agis avec prudence, & il en resulte qu’en éclairant je deviens utile a plusieur personnes, qui réfléchissent ensemble, & décident que la Cartonomancie ne porte que sur de sages avis prématurés, & non sur une inutile frivolité; ce qui les engage à me (104) rendre justice.

Voyons un autre coup, 53, 72, 47, 62, 44, 67, 22, 54, 27, 32, 74, 3, 26, 52, 31, 0, 7, 57, 66, 5, 20, 76, 9, 34, 60, 2. Notez que les n°s. 54, 27, 32, 74, 5I, 66, 10, & 76, sont venus les pieds en haut, & en disant, suppose, que l’on a arrangé les cartes telles que ce coup représente, cela ne détruit pas, que tout ce qui est su, & pourra être su, est renfermé dans ces 78 précieux feuillets: expliquons ce passage de la vie.

Un honnête homme, sans emploi, espere qu'en donnant de l’or à une femme, il en sera étayé, surement pour être occupé; mais, comme on doit voir, si on a mis ces Cartes devant soi, il s'appuie sur une Folie ou sur rien, car cette femme, au lieu de le servir; le trahira vis-à-vis d'un homme sur qui, sans doute il a ces vues portées; de manière que les prétentions de l'homme sans emploi seront cloîtrées: néanmoins, malgré les traverses que la (105) méchante femme voudra apporter, cela tournera dans l'esprit de celui qui peut donner de l'occupation, à l'avantage, de celui qui en a vraiment besoin, parce que l'autre s'entretiendra de celui-ci avec un garçon brun, qui dans le passe a justement connu celui qui n'a pas d'emploi, & qui même lui étoit ami; de manière que le garçon bruri va mettre tout en usage, mais avec discrétion; je dis avec discrétion, parce qu'avant de lui être utile, il est bien-aise de savoir qui son ancien ami, qu'il a perdu de vue, hante aujourd'hui; mais quelle satisfaction lorsqu'il sera éclairci qu'il n'est malheureux que parce qu'il a été trop bon, & enfin, qu'il vit dans la solitude, accablé de chagrin! alors, lui continuant toute son estime, il lui rendra justicé & lui écrira une lettre qui lui annoncera son augmentation & son travail à la campagne. Il faut à présent relever les lames deux à deux, faisant parler le n°. 53 sur le 2, & ainsî le 72 sur le 60, le 47 sur (106) le 34, le 62 sur le 9, & le 44 sur le 76, &c.

Vous justifierez qu'il y aura éclaircissement de ce que l'on aura voulu savoir; que dans le présent l'homme sans emploi pour qui nous opérons est encore dans la solitude; qu'au fort de ces chagrins, l'on va lui annoncer la réussite de sa demande; que son amitié lui rend justice; que son ami se ressouvenant du passé, lui écrira pour lui annoncer son augmentation, & que lui-même dans une sorte de fortune, il lui fera en tout utile. Il lui marque aussi dans cette lettre, que l'homme dont dépend l'emploi s'est directement adressé à lui; qu'il a parlé en ami & en honnête-homme; que son occupation est pour la campagne; enfin, qu'il ne soit plus chagrin, puisque par ce qu'il a dit de lui, tout va tourner à san avantage; &, comme nous avons dit, qu'il lui seroit toujours utile; mais qu'il veut expressement qu'il évite tout ce qui pourroit traverser les espérances (107) qu'il peut dès ce moment avoir en cessànt d'être rêveur, taciturne & trop solitaire, lui disant que l'ensemble de la Société regarde un des Sujets qui s'éloigne d'elle, non comme un homme qui fuit de lui-même, mais comme l'ayant répudié; & au fait, que dans la sagesse il faut en passer à cette Société, dont le défectueux n'est en général qu'avant & après l'âge de raison de chacun de ses Membres; qu'en prenant en bien ces avis & les suivant, qu'il fleurira, pour la pénitence de ces ennemis & de ces froids amis; qu'il sera bien appuyé; qu'il a relevé la cloîture, c'est-à dire les obstacles qui pouvoient empêcher qu'il n'eut cet emploi; que toutes les trahisons de là fausse protectrice alloient retomber sur elle, & qu'il se faisoit fort de lui faire regorger les dix ou douze louis qu'il lui avoir donnés; ainsi qu'il soit tranquille, &c. tout ce que la véritable bonne volonté de faire le bien peut faire écrire, ce qui se justifie dans le deuxième & le troisieme (108) tas du même coup, ainsi que j'en ai parlé dans le Cahier page 28.

Voilà, dirai-je au Lecteur, l'esprit de la Cartonomancie, qui ignoré, a porté des hommes à la regarder comme le sortilége, ou au moins comme une superstition, malgré que cet Art n'offre visiblement, au fond & dans la vérité, qu'une connoissance plus profonde, enfin, qu'un homme plus ou moins versé dans la lecture d'un Livre dont les caractères allégoriques représentent la chaîne des événemens de la vie humaine.

Lorsque l’on prend la défense des Philosophes Devins, n'importe quelles branches ils suivent, une multitude de faux Savans viennent se présenter pour leur être contraires; mais il faut pourtant, ayant les Livres sous les yeux, qu'ils conviennent que les Astrologues sont les maîtres de l'Astronomie, de la Science du Calcul, & en général des Mathématiques; ensuite, que ceux qui ont traité de la Physionomie étoient (109) plus Peintres qu'eux, & que ceux qui démontrent que le Jeu de Cartes nomme Tarots est un Livre de Philosophie, voient mieux qu'eux l'antiquité; enfin, en général qu'un vrai Devin connoît bien au-dessus d'eux le coeur des hommes; ainsi réciproquement, nous conviendrons qu'il est impossible de se dire Devin sans avoir les qualités du cœur & de l'esprit, telles il seroit à desirer pour la Société que nos Antagonistes les possédassent, & telles eux-mêmes desireroient que leurs connoissances, leurs amis & leurs parens en fussent pourvus.

Un Devin, dira-t-on, est un homme froid: oui, mais sans pédantîsme. Il n'est pas de Société: non, mais il l'aime. Celui de notre sieclé prend 24 liv. pour ses Consultations: ceci est un à part auquel seul il doit vous répondre; mais pour lui, je dirai qu'il en est d'autres qui se contentent du sol par livre de son prix. En écrivant en général pour la Divination humaine, & (110) ici plus directement pour la Cartonomancie Egyptienne, ne vous figurez pourtant pas que le nombre des vrais Cartonomanciens va bientôt faire corps comme celui des Médecins; c'est ce que vous jugerez volontiers impossible, si vous çonsiderez attentivement ce qu'un homme qui ose se dire & se croire Devin, est obligé d'avoir étudié & de savoir parfaitement, pour être vraiment pénétré de tous les préceptes dont je vous entretiendrai avant qu'il soit peu.
And here are the originals. I start with pp. 102-103, since I already gave 98-99 and 100-101 in an earlier post :

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-pp1EolUJld...Cahier_023.jpg

And 104-105:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-1zPoRvZXAC...Cahier_024.jpg

106-107:

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-W43F5LnLGC...Cahier_025.jpg

108-109:
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-gkdFYM19wo...Cahier_026.jpg

And 110-111:

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-pD2Ycnvqf3...Cahier_027.jpg
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Etteilla on spreads: English


Now for my attempt at translation, I fear a bit rough. Again, the numbers in parentheses are the page numbers in the original edition. The reason they change so fast at the beginning is that a long footnote, which I transcribed and translated earlier, takes up most of pages 99 and 100.
Quote:
(99) Page 7, Example C. B. A. Many people have told me they do not understand this demonstration: (100) it is true that they have agreed that they had no notion of practical geometry, which, for them & for society, would be a thousand times more useful than the nonsense with which their first youth was captured, all our moral & physical operations having in them a mathematical principle, and finally here is a new explanation of what I said in the Cahier, for all those whose families have ignored that it was impossible to reason correctly of oneself without divine mathematical Science (101) & whatever state, and in whatever situation we may be.

So thus C. B. A... C is supposed a man named Pierre, B is considered here as Justice, and A another man named Jacques; it is found that these three leaves [pages, effectively, cards], C. B. A. from right to left, say that A will return justice in C; and what is the same, that Pierre A, will return Justice B, to Jacques C.

Let it be presented inversely A. B. C.: C, no. 25 of the Book of Thot, so B No. 9, and A no. 32. Hey indeed, by being positioned on the table in this order, nos. 32, 9, 25, you will read on these three cards: a good Stranger will return justice in a company; to whom? Add No. 1 if you are a man, or No. 8 if you are a woman; you will find that will be to you, being in a Company, that the Stranger will give justice. By understanding these so natural principles, we are led to believe that the Contemporary Author and some others (102) who add Cartonomancy to their discourse, have not been my Students, but everyone who was able to be Cartonomancers, since the sciences have been allocated to me.
I do not have the last sentence above translated correctly, but I can’t do any better at present. The cards in question have the following keywords: 25 = Good Stranger; 9 = Equity or Justice; 32 = Société, usually meaning “Company” or “Association”. I get these from the thread http://www.tarotforum.net/showthread.php?t=180963. Corodil’s French transcription is first, followed by my English (which includes Etteilla's later changes, documented in later posts) starting in post 8.

I continue.
Quote:
Now put before you the cards 8, 33, 9; after, 25, 32, 9, 8; following, 8, 31, 25; that will instruct you so as to pass to more difficult combinations.
For those who would like to try this exercise, 33 has the keyword “Enterprise” (same word in French) and 31 has the keyword “Gold” (“Or” in French). I continue:
Quote:
Imagine now an array of 17 cards, as I just get them, without being able to say too much why other cards have not come; for me to give a reason, we ought willingly go back to the time of my birth & having found why I became a Cartnomancian, why I write this art, and finally why I operate in such a minute rather than another. I say it would be necessary, in addition, to consider the Time, place, the circumstances not dependant on me; likewise it would be necessary, (103) as nothing happens by chance, but by am absolute chain, to consult if I am operating in an active, vigilant, and finally light way, because I feel that the weight of my hand, cuting up or down, can create another spread. Which can never return as it is.

36, 23, 9, 57, 37, 52, 66, 2, 12, 11, 1, 26, 50, 34, 43, 54, 53. After noticing that 43, 50, 57 are reversed, I read the whole, and you will read as I do, if you put these sheets in front of you on the table. I plan, but I am surrounded by weeping, sorrow, & wicked spies; the wicked betray me, but I win strength, because I act with prudence, and the result is that in clarifying I become useful to several people who think together, and decide that Cartonomancy brings only wise advice beforehand, and not useless frivolity; this commits them (104) to render justice to me.
The keywords here are: Fair-haired Man, A Woman, Justice, Wise Advice, Fair-Haired Woman, Man of the Sword, Helpful Man, Enlightenment, Prudence, Strength, Etteilla/Questionnant, Betrayal, Wicked Man, Sorrow, Plan, Tears, Spy. Etteilla has given a rather straightforward reading, starting from the right and going to the left. Card number 1 would normally be put at the side. I can't quite imagine that he would have drawn it randomly precisely as he did. The reading would be the same either way, I think. I continue:
Quote:
Let us see another spread: 53, 72, 47, 62, 44, 67, 22, 54, 27, 32, 74, 3, 26, 51, 31, 0, 7, 57, 66, 5, 20, 76, 9, 34, 60, 2. Note that numbers 54, 27, 32, 74, 51, 66, 20, & 76 have come upside down, and saying this, let us suppose that we have arranged the cards such this one is, it does not destroy that all that is known, and may be known, is contained in these 78 precious sheets: explain this passage of life.

Here it is quite important to get the keywords for these cards. In English they are, in sequence: Spy, The Present, Success, Friendship, The Past, Brown-haired Boy, Man [later, man in the country], Unfortunate Event Turning to Advantage, Obstacles, Flourishing, Enclosure (or Closure), Harmful Talk, Betrayal, Wicked Woman, Gold, Madness, Support, Hope, Brave Man Without Employment, Journey, Augmentation, Letter, Justice, Sorrow, Solitude, Enlightenment. And here is the first part of what Etteilla makes of these cards:
Quote:
An honest man, unemployed, hopes that by giving gold to a woman, he will be supported, probably with work, but as we shall see, if we put these cards before him, he relies on Madness or on nothing, because this woman, instead of serving, betrays him vis-à-vis a man to whom, without doubt, he [she?] has given these views, so that the claims of the unemployed man are suppressed: nonetheless, despite the troubles (105) that the wicked woman wants to make, this will turn in the mind of one who may give occupation and advantage to one who really needs it, because the other will discuss it with a dark youth, who in the past has known the one who is without employment, and even was his friend, so that the boy will put everything to use, but with discretion, and I say with discretion because before being useful, he is very glad to know that his old friend, whom he lost sight of, reappears today, but what satisfaction when it is clarified that he is unfortunate because he was too good, with the result that he lives in solitude, grief-stricken! Then continuing him in his esteem, he will bring justice & will write a letter to him announcing his increase & work in the countryside. We must now face the cards in pairs, making no. 53 speak with the 2, and thus the 72 on the 60, 47 (106) on 34, 62 on 9, & 44 on the 76, etc.
I do not see the fourth person in the cards, I mean the one besides the woman, the dark youth, and the unemployed man: the man to whom she gives a false picture of the unemployed man. However perhaps it is implied in the cards for "betrayal," "harmful talk," "unfortunate event turning to advantage," etc. One must show a little creativity in constructing a narrative. And Etteilla is not done. We now have the pairing, starting on the ends and working toward the middle, thusly:

Spy, Enlightenment
The Present, Solitude
Success, Sorrow
Friendship, Justice
The Past, Letter
Brown-haired Boy, Augmentation,
Man in the Country, Journey
Unfortunate Event Turning to Advantage, Brave Man Without Employment
Obstacles, Hope
Flourishing, Support
Closure, Madness
Harmful Talk, Gold
Betrayal, Wicked Woman.

And Etteilla's narrative:
Quote:
You will explain that there will be clarification of what he wants to know, that for this unemployed man for whom we work, is still in isolation at the height of his troubles; it is going to announce the success of his quest, and that his friendship will result in justice, his friend remembering the past, will write to him announcing his increase, and that in itself is a kind of fortune, it will all help. This letter also marks that the man on whom the job depends is directly addressed to him; he spoke of him as a friend & honest man, and that his occupation is in the country, and finally that it is no longer grief, as by what he said to him, everything will turn to advantage; &, as we have said, he will always be of use to him, but he wishes expressly that he avoid all that could block these hopes (107) and from that moment on he can cease to be a dreamer, taciturn and too isolated, telling him that the entire Company regards [him as] a Subject away from it, not as a man who fled from himself, but as having repudiated it, & in fact in wisdom one must pass by this Company, which is defective in general before and after the age of reason of each of its Members [?]; in taking this advice well & the next, he will flourish, for the penance of these enemies & of these cold friends; that he will be well supported; the cloistering has ended, that is to say the barriers that could prevent getting the job; that all the betrayals of his false protectress are going to fall back on her; and he will make her disgorge the ten or twelve louis he had given her; so he will be at peace, etc.; all that the true good will to do good can write, which is explained in the second & the third (108) row of the same spread, as I have discussed in the Cahier page 28.
Card 2, Enlightenment, is here Clarification, and card 53, Spy, has become Desire to Know; Card 74, Cloture, Closure or Enclosure, has become Cloîture, Cloister, and instead of “a man”, in the Third Cahier main text, we have “man in the country”—and not nessarily a gentleman, i.e. a noble: the country is where the man's future occupation will be.

Looking now at the reading, the part about the man's former Company, or Society, is not mentioned explicitly by the cards; perhaps Etteilla infers it from the promise of justice, that the man's name will be cleared of its former besmirching.
Quote:
Well, I say to the Reader, the spirit of Cartonomancy. when ignored brought men to regard it as witchcraft [sortilege], or at least as superstition, although this Art visibly offers, at bottom and in truth, a deeper knowledge; and finally, a man more or less versed in reading a book whose allegorical characters represent the chain of events of human life.
Here it may of interest that the word “sortilege”, which also means a system for telling (“legere” = choose or tell, in Latin) a fortune, or “sort”, (Latin for fate or lot) from a card or other numbered item taken at random, in French also means “witchcraft” or “magic.”
Quote:
When we take the defense of the Philosopher-Diviners, whatever branch they follow, a multitude of false Savants present themselves as their opposites; but we must, however, with the Books under our eyes, agree that astrologers are masters of astronomy, the science of calculation, and in general of Mathematics; continuing, then, those who treated of physiognomy (109) were more Painters than them, and that those who show that the cards called Tarot is a book of philosophy, do better than those in antiquity; finally, in general, a real Diviner knows beyond these the hearts of men, and vice versa, we agree that it is impossible for a Divine to speak without having the qualities of the heart & mind, such that he would wish for Society that the antagonists possessed, and such that they themselves would desire their acquaintances, friends & relatives to be endowed.

A Diviner, they will say, is a cold man, yes, but without pedantry. He is not of Society: no, but he loves it. One in our century takes 24 pounds for his Consultations: this is a portion for which only he can answer you, but for him, I would say that others would be content with a sou for each pound of the price. Writing in general for human Divination, and (110) more directly here for Egyptian Cartonomancy, do not imagine that the number of real Cartonomancers will soon be a body like that of Doctors; you will willingly judge that impossible, if you consider attentively that a man who dares to say & believe himself a Diviner is required to have studied well & have perfect knowledge, in order truly to have been penetrated by all the precepts, of which I'll talk more shortly.
Or something like that.
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MikeH 
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I'm back. I needed a break from Etteilla. This stuff isn't all that rewarding. In any case, here are the next two sections of the Supplement, first in French, then English. I found it useful mainly for clarifying what Etteilla means by "vicieux" as applied to old men: it means "vice-ridden", as opposed to the meaning of "vicious" in English, roughly synonymous with "needlessly aggressive". And the vices he has in mind seem mainly to be of the flesh, cupidité, i.e. either greed or lust. In women, Etteilla's example of méchante is someone thought to be devoted to lust, I think, but "méchante" is probably meant broader than that. We are on p. 110 of the Third Cahier:
Quote:
Page 10. Méchante femme. J'en ai connu particuliérement une qui ne n'étoit qu'extérieurement, & cela, comme je lui ai démontré, faute de tempérance dans toute ces actions. Ce que je vais tracer nous conduira à elle.

Il suffit d'être Domestique pour agir machinalement, & il en est volontiers de même d'un Clerc, d'un Commis, souvent d'un Ouvrier, & même d'un Courtisan, enfin de tous les hommes, [111] lorsqu'ils sont, comme on peut dire, à leur tâche; car sorti de-là, on sait que qui a agi en machine & obéi machinament vis-à-vis une plus grosse machine que lui, tranche néanmoins comme la cause de toutes les machines. Il n'y a pas de règle sans exception; ce bon vieux Proverbe est encore véritable; car un Artiste, un Homme de Lettres & un Philosophe, sont ordinairement décidés à ce qu'ils ont arrêté. La vérité est une, disoit Socrate; & je la laisserai à la Postérité signée de ma propre vie humaine! Revenons.

Notre apparente méchante femme, riche, avoit pour Valets huit forts hommes, jadis très-vigoureux Agriculteurs; elle les avoit pris tout frais moulus de la charrue les uns après les autres, & cela autant par une ignorante humanité, qu'en même tems parce qu'aimant à crier, elle avoit tout ie plaisir de les appeller gourmands; il est vrai qu'ils mangeoient beaucoup: Paresseux, c'est encore une vérité, qu'au lieu de labourer [112] la terre, ils dormaient à l'entour du poéle sur des banquettes: Menteurs, l'ignorance des Maîtres les rend tels; en un mot, que sais-je ce qu'elle leur disoit, & ce que l'on peut dire à des hommes qui s'avilissent, au point de quitter la noble agriculture pour se mettre Valets?

Nos huit grands vauriens, comme disent les vieilles Femmes-de-chambre lorsqu'elles les ont aguerris, rendoient bien la monnoie de la pièce de leur Maîtresse, c'est-à-dire à celle qui les commandoit & les engraissoit. Dites-lui, me dirent-elles un jour, M. le Devin, qu'elle est méchante comme un Diable: au fait, il n'en étoit rien, & n'étoit tout au plus que sotte d'avoir une valetaille si complette pour le decorum. Notez bien que Je rends pourtant justicé à quelques Domestiques, mais c'est en si petit poids, qu'autant vaudroit-il que Je n'aie pas ajouté de restriction; au surplus, je ne personifie personne, puisque je parle en général [113]. L'homme qui me sert crie après moi; je suis obligé de lui démontrer qu'il n'est pas Domestique, mais Garçon d'Auteur: il devroit bien s'en appercevoir au tourne-broche, dont la grosse noix est cassée depuis plus de dix ans.

Page 21. Homme vieux & vicieux. Faut-il pleurer ou rire en voyant une soule de nos vieillards s'abandonner aux plus extrêmes folies, enfin ne plus tendre leur esprit, on peut le leur dire sur les dernières marches de leur tombeau, qu'à la cupidité, & ce qui est encore plus étonnant, à d'honteuses lascivetés qui abrègent leurs derniers instans? Il faut, ayant tout fait pour leur démontrer l'horreur de leurs vices, les prévenir seulement que depuis que les petites maisons de leurs débauchés ont lieu, la sévere vertu a enjoint aux malheureux Portiers de ces cloaques, de prendre leurs noms, leurs qualités & leurs demeures par écrit, & d'être aux aguets pour recueillir leurs honteuses [214] anecdotes. En parlant de lieux abominables, l'odieuse Gourdandine vient donc de crever, & la vente de son mobilier gagné par le comble de l'impudicité, est affichée en gros caractères: Vente après la mort de la Gournandine. Ressouvenez-vous, Postérité qui nous jugerez, que nous ne trempâmes point dans cet exécrable fauteuil à ressort, commandé & exécuté par l'Enfer, pour arracher l'honneur d'une chaste fille: ressouvenez-vous que les Juges de la Nation en frémirent d'horreur & de colère.
And in English, as best I can:
Quote:
Page 10. Wicked woman. I have known one in particular who was only one externally, as I will demonstrate, for lack of temperance in all her actions. What I am going to sketch will lead us to her.

It suffices to be a Domestic in order to act mechanically, and it is is by choice the same for a clerk, an office assistant, often a worker, the same for a courtier, and finally all men, [111] when they are, as it were, at their task, because out of [beyond?] it, we know that [one?] who has acted machanically & obeyed machanically [does so?] in relation to a larger machine than they, but distinct, however, like the cause of all machines. There is no rule without an exception; this good old proverb is still true, for an Artist, a Man of Letters & a Philosopher, usually are decided in what they have stopped [concluded?]. The truth is one, said Socrates; and I will leave it to posterity, signed with my own human life! Let us return.

Our wicked-appearing woman, being rich, had as Valets eight strong men, once very strong farmers; she took them one after the other, fresh from plowing the ground, such that as an [as an example of?] ignorant humanity, at the same time liking to scream, she had all the pleasure in calling them gluttons; it is true that they ate a lot: Lazy, that is also true, instead of plowing [112] the land, they slept around the stove: Liars, the ignorance of their Masters makes them such, in a word, what do I know of what she said to them, and what we can say to men who degrade themselves to the point of leaving noble agriculture to become Valets?

Our eight great good-for-nothings, as the old chamber-women say when hardened, repaid well the coin of their mistress, that is to say the one who commanded and fattened them. Tell her, the women told me one day, Mr. Diviner, that she is wicked like a Devil: in fact, it was nothing, and was all the more stupid to have a retinue so complete for decorum. Note that I indeed render Justice to some Domestics, but it is so light weight, that some wished that I had not added a restriction [been stricter?]; moreover, I speak of no one in particular, for I am speaking in general [113]. The man who is screaming at me, I have to show him that he is not a Domestic, but the Boy [Son?] of the Author: he ought to perceive it well on a roasting spit, of which the big nut [?: noix] is broken for more than ten years.

Page 21. Old and vicious man. Should we cry or laugh at a crowd of our old men indulging in extreme folly, no more tender then their minds; can we tell them about their last steps to the graves, of their cupidity, and what is yet more surprising, the shameful wantonness that shortens their last moments? One must, having done everything to show them the horror of their vices, only warn them that since the small houses of their debauches have taken place, severe virtue has enjoined the unfortunate Porters of these sewers to take their names, positions, and addresses in writing, and to be alert to gather their shameful [214] anecdotes. Speaking of abominable places, the odious Gourdandine has just died, and the sale of her furniture, won by the height of immorality, is displayed in large characters: Sale after the death of Gournandine. Remember, posterity will judge us, may we not sink into this awful springed chair, ordered & executed by Hell to rescue the honor of a chaste girl: remember that the Judges of the Nation trembled with horror & anger.
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MikeH  MikeH is offline
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I give you a few more pages of the Third Cahier Supplement, so as to get to an intriguing part, in which he claims that his method of card-reading has been practiced in Piedmont for nearly 200 years, although people there don't realize it! I will give you my own speculations about that after I have given you the original french text, followed by my lamentable translation. We start on p. 114.
Quote:
Page 27, à la Note. Des hommes inutiles à la Société. La Politique, pour subvenir aux légitimes besoins de la Nation, tire des impôts qui ne paroissent souvent onéreux à la Société, que parce qu'elle découvre qu'il est des hommes qui partagent leurs agrémens & non leurs fatigues; la Politique le sait & en gémit, mais elle n'a pas d'assez grandes ressources pour parer à cet inconvénient; aux grands maux les [115] grands remèdes: marquez d'un petit fer chaud la main, de tous ceux qui ne veulent pas se rendre utiles à la Société, tels sont ces fainéans qui se substantent, non pas de la fortune des riches, mais de la fortune dont sont dépositaires les riches, pour en tenir compte à des vieillards, à des infirmes qui n'ont jamais été de leur vie qu'au jour le jour, en travaillant pis que des forçats, eu dont la fortune a été engloutie par des mangeurs de tout bien, des Banqueroutiers. Oh! l'heureux projet que celui qui couperoit la racine des Banqueroutes! Il existe, je le répéterai toute ma vie; voyez l’Homme â Projets. Marquez de même d'un fer chaud la main de ces Joueurs honteux, soit qu'ils soient dupes ou fripons; marquez ces âmes de boue qui fe nourrissent de l’usufruit du libertinage; n'oubliez pas ces indolens qui, dénués de leurs travaux ordinaires, deviennent des quémandeurs & de vrais fainéans. Y a-t-il de la honte de descendre d'un [116] cran? Un Porte-faix, au pied de la lettre, n'est-il pas plus utile & plus estimable qu'un Domestique d'anti-chambre, et même qu'un Commis des Fermes? La Société ne veut aucune excuse; il faut travailler si on veut manger; la morale la plus pure l'a gravé sur l’airain: Travailler, c'est prier.

Pages 31, 32 & 33. On remarquera dans cette roue un peu de différence pour la manutention, à celle du Etteilla; mais si faut que ce soit tel que je l'ai tracé à toutes deux, dont la différence sa plus remarquable est que dans le Etteilla ou la Cartonomancie Francaise on pose le chapiteau en dernier, & que dans la Cartonomancie Égyptienne il se pose après les deux colonnes, & la roue en dernier: au surplus, l’intelligence doit suppléer à ce qui pourtoit s'être glissé de défectueux, puisqu'au fond la forme des coups n'est pas du rang des grands principes de cet art, qui sont les significations qu'ont les Cartes, l’ordre progressif de la cotte [117] des pages, & la science de leur faire dire naturellement ce qu'elles offrent, sans augmenter ni diminuer que les liaisons du discours. Notez pourtant que les coups que j'ai tracés étoient ceux qui se pratiquoient chez les sages Egyptiens, ainsi que leurs ouvrages le témoignent.

Page 36. Des Cartonomanciens. Mais, diront plusieurs personnes, il y a si peu de tems que la Cartonomancie est connue! Il en est de cet Art comme de tous les autres qui ont paru nouveaux, encore qu'ils fussent déjà pratiqués ailleurs, avant qu'ils fussent connus dans le dernier Continent où la Nature se plaisoit à les découvrir ou à les renouveller. Tout généralement fait la roue; mais la première trace se trouve tellement effacée, qu'il est en quelque sorte pardonnable de se dire inventeur. Néanmoins si on suppose avec quelques Naturalistes plus de quarante mille ans d'existence, il est à présumer que quarante autres mille années seront oublier [118] bien des choses. Le Livre de Thot ne remonte pas à cette espece d'infini; quatre mille ans environ, voilà son époque, & par conséquent celle de la Cartonomancie, qui tire son origine de ce qui sans doute se passoit avant le Déluge, puisque la Création y est parfaitement marquée, comme les Hébreux l'avoient recueillie, sans doute des sages Egyptiens. Ainsi c'est à tort que l'on soupçonneroit que la Cartonomancie est toute nouvelle. Quant à ce que j’ai appris par tradition, j'en parle ailleurs; & supposant que j'aie oublié ce qui s'offre à ma mémoire, je dirai ici que cet Art étoit très en vogue chez les Piêmontois il y a près de deux cens ans; ce que peut-être aujourd'hui ils ne savent pas.
And my English:
Quote:
Page 27, At the Note. men useless to Society. The Government, to meet the legitimate needs of the Nation, exacts taxes that often appear odious to Society, because it discovers that there are men who share their pleasures & not their troubles; the Government knows & groans about it, but does not have enough resources to deal with this inconvenience; to the great evils, [115[ great remedies: mark with a small hot iron the hand of all those who do not want to make themselves useful to Society, such are these idlers who feed, not from the wealth of the rich, but from the wealth of which the rich are trustees, to hold on account for the elderly, the infirm, having never been in their lives other than day to day, working worse than convicts, whose fortune was swallowed up by those who eat well from bankrupcies. Oh! the successful project of those who cut the roots of bankrupts! It exists, I repeat my whole life; see Hommes à Projets . Mark also with a hot iron the hand of these shameful Players, whether they are fools or knaves; mark likewise these muddy souls who feed off the interest of debauchery, do not forget that these indolent people, deprived of their regular work, become beggars & true idlers. Is there shame in descending a [116] rung? A Porter, in the end, is he not more useful and more valuable than a waiting-room attendant, and even an assistant in the Commission of Farms? Society gives no excuse: you have to work if you want to eat; the purest morality was engraved on brass, to work is to pray.

Pages 31, 32 & 33. It should be noted in this wheel [row?: roue] a bit of difference in handling, from that of the Etteilla ; but if need be I have indicated both, of which the most remarkable difference is that in Etteilla , or French Cartonomancy, we put the top last, while in Egyptian Cartonomancy it arises after the two columns, and the last wheel [row? roue]: moreover, intelligence must supply to what might be defective from slippage, since at bottom the form of the spread is not among the main principles of this art, which are the meanings that the cards have, the progressive order of the coat [cotte] [117] of the pages, and the knowledge of making them say what they offer naturally, without increasing or decreasing the connections of the discourse. Note, however, that the spreads that I indicated were those that the Egyptian sages practiced, as their works show.

Page 36. The Cartonomancers. But many people say, Cartonomancy has been known such a short time! This art is like all the others that have appeared new, yet were already practiced elsewhere, before becoming known in the last continent where Nature is pleased to discover or renew them. The wheel turns generally, but the first track is erased so that it is somehow excusable to say inventor [i.e. to say it is a new invention]. However, if we assume, with some Naturalists, more than forty thousand years of existence, it is presumed that in forty thousand years, a lot will be forgotten [118]. The book of Thoth does not go to this kind of infinity, four thousand years is its time, and consequently that of Cartonomancie, which originated in what no doubt was going on before the Flood, since creation is perfectly marked there, as the Hebrews recovered, and without doubt the Egyptian sages. So what is wrong is that suspicion that Cartonomancy is new. As for what I learned from tradition, I speak elsewhere; & assuming I have forgotten what is offered in my memory, I will say here that this art has been very popular among the Piedmontese for nearly two hundred years, which perhaps they do not know today.
Then Etteilla goes on to other matters, of which I will inform you in due course. Meanwhile I want to reflect on this last setence.

It is a fact that fortune-telling with cards is documented for around 1750 in Piedmont, although the details are not known. It is also a fact that fortune telling of a smple sort was practiced with tarot cards in Northern Italy in the 16th century, likely including Piedmont. Piedmontese singer/poets were popular and traveled to the courts where tarot was played, for example Ferrara. Card-playing armies also passed through there. In fact the first known occurrence of the word "tarocchi", spelled slightly differently, occurs in just such a Piedmontese poem/song, although not in relation to cards; the first known occurrence of that was a few years later, July 1505, in Ferrara (although the game had been played for at least 65 years by then).

It is also true that Etteilla, a reseller of books and prints, traveled a good deal and could have heard about 18th century fortune-telling with tarot in Piedmont from someone. He certainly would have known about a book of chemical (perhaps called "alchemical") and herbal remedies written by "Alexis Piemontese" (probably a pseudonym) in mid 16th century Venice. He might not have known when the book was first published (1555) because it was continually reprinted in numerous languages up to the 1790s, according to Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexius_Pedemontanus). He might have thought that it was written in the 1590s, almost 200 years earlier. We also know that Etteilla claimed to have learned Egyptian tarot from the grandson of this famous writer, then very aged, in the 1750s (see Etteilla timeline thread). If that alleged person had learned it from his famous ancestor, then it would have been practiced in his home environment of Piedmont in the ancestor's time.

So one possibility for where Etteilla's statment here might be coming from is that it is part of a fabrication, some of which he tells at one time and some at others. However since fortune telling with tarot cards really was practiced in Northern Italy at the time of Alexis Piedmontese (who was reputedly very old when he wrote the book), it is possible that Etteilla is telling the truth about the mysterious Alexis who changed his life (now taking the pseudonym for himself), although the ancestor would not likely have been a grandfather but a generation further back, and of course the fortune-telling would not have been Egyptian but rather Renaissance Italian. Or perhaps not an ancestor of the famous author, but someone else who could trace its origin as far as Piedmont.

I will probably edit this post over the next few days to put in the proper references.
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MikeH  MikeH is offline
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OK, here is the last part of the Third Cahier Supplement, in what I think is an accurate transcription. Given the length of this part, I put my translation, as best as I can do, in the next post.
Quote:
Pages 36, 37, 38, 39. & 40. Depuis trente ans. J'ai beau dire à la Société, en ma qualité de premier & du plus grand Cartonomancien de toute l'Europe, & ceci n'est pas une vaine gloire, parce qu'il n’y a pas de Fermiers [119] Généraux qui voulussent changer d'état avec moi, ni même un petit Commis; j’ai beau dire, dis-je, qu'il y a moins de Professeurs en Divination qu'en toute autre Science, cela n'empêche pas plusieurs hommes & femmes de courir chez des ignorans qui disent deviner, ce qui arrivera (1), & pis mille fois d'aller chez des trompeurs qui osent berner l'espérance de ces personnes trop crédules, en leur assurant que par le ministere de M. Belzébut ils les rendront possesseurs d'autant, d'or qu'ils pourront en desirer; & comme il faut
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(1)J'ai connu des Faiseurs de Tours de Gibecière qui mettant à profit la simplicit de plusieurs personnes, s'avouoient Devins. Un Devin est un Philosophe, ou s'il n'est pas Philosophe, il n'est point Devin, parce qu'il n'y a pas de Divination naturelle sans Philosophie; il s'ensuit donc qu'un vrai Devin, en tant qu'il est Philosophe, est dans le rang des premiers hommes; comme un Joueur de Gobelets en tant que Charlatan, est réputé dans la derniere Classe. Ceci soit dit pour empêcher de confondre le zénith & le nadir, de ce qui peut occuper & récréer les hommes.

[120] faire illusion à l'esprit des sots, ces voleurs (c'est-là la vraie épithete) ne manquent pas de se dire Professeurs des grands moyens propres à faire agir les Esprits infernaux; enfin, à l'appui de quelques ramassis de conjurations, partie dans le style des exorcismes de la primitive Eglise, auxquels ils joignent de grands cercles, des cierges allumés, &c. &c. ils tirent tout bonnement l'argent de la poche de ces âmes cupides & des ignorans. Je parle savamment de tout cela; car il est de vérité que plusieurs personnes viennent me consulter pour savoir quel jour le Diable accordera à leur Opérateur la tonne d'or qui ne tient plus qu'à un rien. Les Sciences abstraites, dont je prends la défense, n'ont ni la bêtise ni le mensonge de toutes ces chimères; en Divination, marcher dans le chemin du bonheur, être prévenu des toutes qui nous en éloignent, est le fond d'une sage Philosophie.

Dans le nombre de ces prétendus [121] Sorciers, j'en ai connu de si adroits, qu'une tête parfaitement organisée ne pourroit pas sans présomption se persuader qu'elle ne sera jamais prise dans leurs filets. Ces madrés fripons ne demandent rien, & dans quatre jours ils vont tout donner; cela est bien naturel, ou au moins paroît l'être; mais le piége est déjà tendu; & moi-même, après mille épreuves de ma foible crédulité dans les dix premières années de mes recherches, j'aurois encore été pris, si je n'avois eu à leur opposer qu'une incrédulité générale. Voici le langage de ces fripons: On ne vous demande rien, & dans quatre jours vous aurez quinze mille livres, soyez discret. Qui m'a donc sauve, je ne dis pas seulement de leurs embûches, mais de cette première crédulité qui est communément appellée doute? C’est en connoissant à fond le foible de l'ignorance; c*est en paroissant entrer dans la confiance qu'elle cherche à inspirer, & en saisant imperceptiblement [122] passer sur un pont d'éméraude factice qu'elle croit de pierre fine; c'est en présentant à ces escrocs une suite des meilleures bêtises, c'est-à-dire des plus fortes; c'est en leur mettant sous les yeux une collection complette de grimoires scellés, paraphés, & emportant la pièce à tous les Diables. Pardon, ces derniers mots sont de l'Art, aînsi que beaucoup d'autres avec lesquels on passe en une demi-heure pour plus Sorcier que tous les autres. L'honnête-homme doit connoître le bien & le mal, pour suivre juste le premier & se garder du second; mais en voulant reconnaître celui-ci, j'avouerai que je me suis vu au moins dix fois bien proche d'être compromis, tant a de force la forme sur le fond, celui-ci seul logeant la vérité! Revenons aux Tireurs & aux Tireuses de Cartes, dont le peu qu'on leur donne permet de les frayer; aussi n'est-ce pas là-dessus qu'il faut disserter; allons au fait.

C’est une vérité, que les ignorans [123] Tireurs de Cartes disent des choses passées, présentes ou à venir, qui sont à la lettre. Pour y répondre, je ne dirai pas aussi ineptement que bien d'autres, qu'ils disent tant dementeries, qu'il faùt bien qu'à la fin ils parlent vrai, puisqu'il suffit de considérer si la vérité qu'ils prononcent de fois à autre tient a la Divination par l'enchaînure des circonstances pronostiquées; ou si le pronostic tient purement à un oui ou à un non; tel ceci, le mariage aura lieu ou le mariage n'aura pas lieu; encore est-il quelquefois que ce simple oui ou ce non peut annoncer la solidité de la Divination, lorsque l'on prononce qu'il aura ou n'aura pas lieu, malgré les apparences les plus sensibles du contraire au pronostic; c'est donc sur ce pronostic, découlant de la Divination, qu'il faut disserter, parce que le pronostic fait par supercherie & le faux pronostic, sont à la Divination comme le mensonge est à la vérité.

Une vérité en Divination ne doit [124] rien tenir de toutes les balourdises qu'ont affectées les hommes contraires à la Science divinatoire. Si on souffle à l'oreille d'un prétendu Devin ce qu'il doit dire à un homme, alors la Divination y est sensée pour rien, mais simplement la supercherie voisine du mensonge.

Une vérité en Divination ne tient rien qui ne soit frappée au coin de la Divînâtion, & si on peut quelquefois lui ravir les pronostics, parce qu'ils sont simples, sans complication, on est forcé de lui donner ceux dont les circonstances sont liées de manière que la simple judiciaire y paroît neutre & parmi ceux-ci j'en rapporterai un seul.

Un homme de qualité vint chez moi accompagné d'une Dame; je m'en vais, dit-il, me renfermer jusqu'à demain; ce que Monsieur, dit-il en souriant, pourra vous certifier. Je le regardai, & je découvris dans sa physonomie qu'il parloit naturellement comme il pensoit, mais dans le sentiment de persuader sa [125] charmante épouse qui paroissoit douter de ce qu'il disoit; je l'engageai à couper les Cartes, ce qu'il fit & en tirant purement sèpt lames; je lui dis, Monsieur, si je ne me trompe, vous ne rentrerez que très-tard à votre Hôtel; vous dînerez avec plusieurs Dames chez l'une d'elles, & j'aurai l'honneur de vous revoir aujourd'hui, à moins que vous ne vouliez vous déclarer contre mon talent, qui est plus faible que votre libre arbitre; & dans ce cas-là, continuai-je, la Divination n'en sera pas moins une Science, & le Professeur trop peu habile pour voir comment se muera votre volonté.

Parole d'honneur, dit M. le Comte, je vais à la maison en droiture, parce que j'y ai absolument affaire. Au fait, il s'en fut, rencontra deux Dames qui le firent monter dans leur voiture, l'emmenèrent dîner, & ensuite il les amena chez moi, & travaillant pour eux trois, ils en sortirent à près de minuit.

Il en est de la Divination comme de [126] tout ce qui est d'une belle simplicité: ce que je viens d'écrire ne paroît pas merveilleux; mais il suffit de se dire que les circonstances découvrent le pronostic qui auroit paru plus considérable, s'il eût été question de mort subite en chemin, &c. &c. Reste à savoir présentement si des Tireurs & des Tireuses de Cartes ordinaires ont dit des choses qui tiennent comme cela à là Divination: informez-vous-en.

Qu'est-ce qui peut donc procurer à ces ignorans des pronostics aussi justes? Ce n'est pas ce saint enthousiasme propre aux Philosophes, dont ont parlé plusieurs grands Hommes; ce n'est pas le fond de la Cartonomancie; c'est purement les Principes élémentaires physiques des Cartes; c'est que, sans posséder cet Art à fond, ils s'attachent simplement aux significations, palpables qu'ont les Cartes; & comme les Principes physiques se sont offerts ce coup là dans leur vérité, ils l'ont articulé, & l'événement justifié les a autant surpris [127] que leur Consultant, parce que ni l'un ni l'autre ne possédant pas le fond de la Science, ils ne peuvent se rendre raison du pourquoi il est tel, que des Cartes qui paroissent n'avoir aucun rapport à la chaîne de la vie, en dévèloppent néanmoins des chaînons d'une manière toute admirable.

Nous ne supposons pas seulement, mais nous disons avec vérité que des Tireurs & des Tireuses de Cartes ne connoissant absolument que les Principes vulgaires, les significations que portent les Cartes, ont dit des choses étonnantes; mais s'ils ont rencontré la vérité physique qui le plaisoit à leur être utile, ainsi qu'à leur Consultant, reste à savoir si la même vérité physique a pû de même mettre à côté ce qui seroit plus essentiel que le pronostic.

Un Physicien voit bien la dureté d'un corps; il le juge tel, parce que ses parties sont plus resserrées, parce qu'elles sont infiniment liées, &c. mais il lui seroit autant agréable de pouvoir [128] se rendre raison de quelle manière la Nature a formé ce corps, & comment il se desunira, & ce qu'enfin en se désunissant la Nature se propose d'en faire; car que l'on réfléchisse que la terre d'un végétal n'a aucune des qualités de celle d'un animal, jusqu'à ce que la Nature les ait amenés l'un & l'autre au point du premier limon de la création.

En voulant trancher de l'esprit, comme ceux qui en piquant les tables tranchent les viandes avec une noble fierté, on pourroit dire sur les fautes apparences que tout fumier quelconque se transmue directement & sur le champ en laitue, en choux, & celui-ci en lapin, &c. Tout fumier quelconque échauffe, & par ce moyen lance dans la semence les racines, les tiges & les fruits, l'aigre & l'acide des sels cruds; mais le fumier, la paille, ne passent pas dans le minéral, le végétal, l’animal, avant d'être devenu premier limon, tel il a été au premier moment de la Création, ce qui ne peut être [129] que dans une coaction où la Nature ou bien l'Art lui donneront sept digestions. Ainsi le lapin de clapier a été choux; mais le choux a cessé d'être choux, & est devenu limon avant d'être lapin, & le gout qui est au lapin est accidentel; ainsi le bœuf ne devient point homme avant que Nature n'ai mené le bœuf au premier limon général & primitif (1) & certes si l'homme se nourrissoit de ce premier limon dont le passage, sans art pour le fixer, est imperceptible, il vivroit plusieurs mille ans. La proprieté d’un corps animal, végétal ou mineral, propre à maintenir plus ou moins de tems cette terre pure, fixe le terme à ces jours.

C’est donc en sachant fixer ce précieux limon primitif, que nos Philosophes ont atteint le but de détruire les maladies, & d'alléger leurs années jusqu'à ce qu'il plaise à la
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(1) En tout il est un intermédiaire; le limon est ici entre le bœuf & l'homme, &c. J'en peux dire la matière première.

[130] bonté Souveraine de les appeller a lui, pour les récompenser d'avoir étudié ses Œuvres: Que le limon de l'or est savourable, & non l'or; on ne fait pas d'or sans or.....

Il ne suffit pas d'aller chez un Tireur ou une Tireuse de Cartes vulgaires, parce que l'on a quelque certitude que les Principes Physiques lui seront prononcer quelques vérités qui sont possibles & essentiêlles à savoir; il faut se dire: mais si ces Principes leur témoignent que je suis menacé de perdre ma fortune, parce qu'ils découvriront, sùpposé par ces mêmes Principes, que je suis actuellement dans une chaîne imperceptible qui conduit à un effet si cruel, ce Tireur ou cette Tireuse de Cartes seront-ils assez instruits pour me dire dans la vérité le moyen de rompre la chaîne où je suis, pour, en embrassant une autre, éviter ce malheur? Si on soupçonne cela possible, alors il faut être persuadé que la vérité physique les favorisera. Mais n'est-il pas mieux de [131] croire que tout corps physique a en soi des traces de ses causes & de ses résultats, & qu'il est impossible à un ignorant de les reconnoître, parce qu'il n'a pas appris à faire l'analyse d'aucun corps relativement à sa substance, mais seulement eu égard à ce qui regarde sa matière? Le méchanisme supérîeur d'un être ayant vie animale, végétale ou minérale, n'est pas le même que celui d'une machine que l'Artiste a fabriquée de plusieurs pièces.

Si j'avois la curiosité de savoir ce qui m'arriveroit, ce seroit purement dans le sentiment assez raisonnable de connoître la chaîne de ma vie, afin de suivre les anneaux des événemens heureux, & de rompre, ou au moins de détacher les anneaux des evénemens malheureux, n'y ayant pour chaque homme qu'une seule chaîne; ce qui est encore souvent bien assez.

Si je ne connoissois point d'hommes assez sàvans pour sàtisfaire ma curiosité, je ne me résoudrois pas à aller chez un [132] ignorant Tireur de Cartes, mais chez un Particulier quelconque que je saurois un parfait honnête-homme, très discret & très-profond dans les Sciences politiques % civiles, & qui, bien entendu, posséderoit la Cartonomancie, suivant purement ses Principes physiques; Principes qu'il auroit appris en quelque leçon pour son seul amusement, ou afin de parler de cet Art avec plus de vérité que ceux qui n'en ont aucune idée.

Pourquoi préférerois-je un Particulier savant à un ignorant Tireur de Cartes? C'est que supposant qu'il s'offre un pronostic ayant parfaitement ces trois dimensions physiques, le coup suivi, la preuve dans le relevé de deux Cartes à deux Cartes, & nul contradiction eu égard au coup, au relevé & au Consultant, alors je pourrais attendre de ce Particulier profond, de sages avis, établis sur son âge, son expérience, sa judiciaire, qui me serviroient presque autant que le talent d'un vrai Çarto-[133]nomancien, a moins que l'excellente judiciaire de ce Savant soit en défaut, ne voyant pas que celui de l'un des anneaux de ma vie qui doit passer le premier, ou supposé le vingtième, sera brisé par le frottement plus puissant de la chaîne d'un autre.

On convient qu'un homme en venant au monde apporte sa chaîne; mais qu'alors foible, elle est soumise à la chaîne de sa nourrice, de sa bonne, jusqu'au moment, où il articule, où il marche, & enfin où il se rend maître de lui par des caprices, par des obstinations & par ses passions; en un mot, on convient sous tel indice que l'on voudra & donner à la vie de l'homme, que celle-ci a un tissu qui, comme la comparaison du vermisseau, se rompt, se renoue, s'allonge & se raccourcit; mais on ne veut pas que ce soit la Cartonomancie qui nous développe ce superbe & mystérieux tissu, parce que l'on craindroit d'être redevable à un [134] Tireur de Cartes d'une copie si intéressante.

Pour répudier ce tableau, ou mieux, cette copie du mouvement perpétuel, particulier & général de tous les événements qui arrivent aux hommes, il faudroit en proposer un autre qui au moins l'égalât; mais comme l'esprit ne peut pas en trouver une plus sensible que la Cartonomancie, qui nous vient des premiers Egyptiens, il y a donc de l'ignorance de se figurer que l'Art de tirer les Cartes n'est propre qu'à des femmelettes, des petits génies, ou à des bonnes vieilles qui en gagnent de l'argent.

Le fond de toute critique ne porte pas toujours à faux, parce qu'où il y a preuve de déraison sensible, comme ici, deux fois trois sont sept, se démontre absurde; mais la critique, ou mieux la vile satyre, n'a pas toujours pour guide des axiomes numériques, mathématiques; il lui suffit souvent d'être prévenu, ou de voir non-seulement du [135] côté foible, mais de celui de la non-existence (comme ces chardons qui furent pris pour des hommes, & tous les jours comme on prend les plus grands hommes pour des chardons), pour la faire mal prononcer en dernier ressort de ce qui la surpasse, enfin de ce que le Critique, souvent mercenaire, n'a aucune idée, encore que les Savans, comme les ignorans, s'en rapportent à lui, les premiers par leur non-chalance, & les seconds parce qu'ils ne peuvent juger par eux-mêmes. Combien d'Ecrivains ont eu à se repentir d'avoir été trop précipités dans leur jugement, lorsque de plus savans qu'eux ont appelle de leur dire devant toutes les Nations, présentes & à venir? On se frappe alors la poitrine, mais il n'est plus tems; passe encore si on s'étoit déchiré seu| par des contre-sens, des distractions, des fautes même grossieres; mais on a voulu mettre la Société à dos-contre un homme souvent qui voyoit le pré-[136]sent, sommoit le passe & feuilletoit l'avenir.

Si j'avois découvert que la Cartonomancie n'étoit absolument qu'une frivolité, qu'une charlatanerie, & même qu'une souplesse de la main, ayant sans amour-propre autant d'Art, & pour le dire net, de petites finesses qu'un autre, je l'aurois délaissée pour jouer du Savant; ainsi avec quelque leçon du fatiguant & froid Art grammatical, pillant, volant, relisant les Anciens & lés Modernes, j'aurois, je le crois, promené ma mince existence physique dans les rues & dans les cercles, couvert d'un titre fastidieux, M. l'Académicien, de Nanterre (1), de Villeneuve-les-Avignonnois, & peut-être des Arcades du Pont-neuf.

Si on doit préférer un Savant, un-homme discret & vertueux, qui sçait seulement les significations qu'ont les
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(1) Pauvre Village où existe-la plus riche & la plus renommés. Sainte de la Capitale.

[137] Cartes, à des ignorans qui sont métier de les tîrer, on doit bien se défier dans son choix d'avoir en vue un indiscret, tel Savant, ou mieux telle apparence dé Sciences qu'il paroisse avoir; & dans l'incertitude de bien rencontrer, je crois qu'il est mieux de préférer des Tireurs de Cartes ordinaires, si toutefois ils ne sont pas indiscrets d'une manière plus perfide. Au fait, voilà ce que j'ai écrit plusieurs fois depuis douze à quinze ans. Envoyez chez votre Tireur de Cartes, pour qu'il devine ce qui vous arrivera; mais prenez-vous-y d'une manière si adroite, qu'il lui soie impossibie de savoir qui vous êtes, ni. où vous existez; & si jouant l'homme ou la femme instruite, il vous demande, comme nos Philosophes, les quatre colonnes sur lesquelles vous êtes appuyé au moment de votre curiosité, envoyez-les-lui, puisque tout au plus sur dix mille personnes, cela ne peut donner à connoître qu'un seul questionnant.

Si on étoit pénétré comme moi de [138] la Cartonomancie, & en général de la Divination, je ne dis pas pour deviner à mon gré tout ce qui se présente, mais pénétre des vrais Principes, de cette sublime Science, on sentitoit qu'il est plus facile de pronostiquer juste par la Science, que par ce qu'on nomme contingent, c'est-à-dire juger d'un effet libre à venir, sur l'aspect d'une chose présente, comme le Médecin qui juge de la mort ou du rétablissement de la santé de son malade par la nature des crises; crises qui ne sont toujours offertes que parce qu'on ne fait pas empêcher les crispations; enfin, dis-je, on verrait qu'il est plus facile de pronostiquer juste pour un inconnu, que même pour sa propre femme avec qui l'on vit. C’est ainsi que je me figurais sans la Divination, avant d'être Epouseur, que la femme que je connoissois, & avois en vue, étoit mon fait; enfin, que la Divination n'eût pu me persuader que je lui semblerois, après plusieurs années, tout autre qu'elle me l'avouoit. Ma [139] femme ignorait que parfaitement femme, même bonne, qu'elle cesseroit de l’être comme épouse. Le quatrieme Cahier nous démontrera comme la Science Divinatoire serute plus loin que nos jugemens.

A mesure que nous avançons, nous trouvons toujours de justes sujets a parler, s'il est dangereux de se servit d’un indiscret pour nous tirer les Cartes, parce que ce qui peut se passer dans notre ame à l'aspect d'une vérité, peut se peindre sur notre physionomie, & enfin nous arracher un aveu indiscret, il est d'un autre côté dangereux a un homme discret, comme à celui qui est indiscret, de savoir le secret des autres; le premier par délicatesse, & le second parce qu'il peut en être puni directement ou d'une manière si oblique, qu'il ne puisse jamais découvrir la première, ou au moins ici la seconde cause qui le portera à tomber dans un des mille & un revers journaliers qui peuvent culbuter un mauvais sujet; enfin il nous reste à dire, comme je l'ai écrit dans la pre-[140]miere Edition du Etteilla ou Art de tirer les Cartes, 1770, qu'il faut tâcher d’être soi-même son Devin; & dans le cas où on n'auroit point la force de ne pas se flatter, qu'il faut chercher un Savant Professeur dont la multiplicité des secrets le rende insensible sur ceux qui nous sont particuliers, & cela devant être nécessairement, parce que ceux que la Science lui a pu découvrir ne lui doivent point paroître tels, puisqu'ils ne lui ont été ni avoués ni confiés.

Pages 40, 41, jusqu'à 53. C'est d’après avoir lu ce long Discours où Auteur joue du Moraliste, que l'on peut lui dire: Voilà bien de la Philosophie morale pour un Diseur de bonnes-aventures! S'il est vrai que des hommes, ne rencontrant pas de leur semblable pour prêcher la vertu, l'annonçoient à des animaux irraisonnables, qu'importe l'état de l'homme lorsqu'il s'adresse à ses semblables? Et pour répondre à la satyre amere, que je serois heureux, lui dirois-je, si beaucoup de [141] gens, faute d'avoir toujours sous leurs yeux les Principes d'une vraie Philosophie, ne m'avoient pas contraint de leur pronostiquer de mauvaises aventures! Le Ciel en garantisse mes Lecteurs par leur sagesse & leur science!
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(*) M. si l'Epitre que j'ai adressée publiquement à seu M. COURT DE GEBELIN, ne m'a point attiré sa disgrace, ni celle d'aucuns de ceux qui le connoissoient par ses oeuvres & même directement, c'est, je me le suis persuadé, parce que je me suis présenté avec ce mélange de hardiesls & de soumission, que les Ouvrages de nos Philosophes & de cet illustre Antiquaire, m'avoient inspiré, & encore parce qu'en citant ces mots page 20 de mon Épitre, le Savant, le Sage & l'Aimé Gebelin, je n'étois directement que le porte-voix de toute l'Europe.

Vous m'invitez, M. à concourir au [142] Prix qui doit pour jamais récompenser ceux qui travailleront à l'Eloge de seu le Maître de l’Antique ; ne soyez pas inquiéte de ce foible tribut que lui doit l’Univers Lettré; des hommes, oui des hommes de pleusieurs Nations s’en seront un devoir; il n'avoit plus de réfutateurs.

Paris, le 9 Mai 1784.

Fin de Supplément au troisiéme Cahier.
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N.B. Les Personnes qui ont le troisieme Cahier, voudront bien envoyer chercher ce Supplément, qui leur appartient, ainsi que le Fragment qui suivra.
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MikeH  MikeH is offline
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So now for my translation, such as it is, although I do think it at least more or less makes sense. Whether it is the same sense that Etteilla intended, I leave for others to judge. Where I have in a few places added phrases that I think make sense of what he says, I have put them in brackets. It seems to me that Etteilla is saying worthwhile things, that even some tarot-readers today could profit from, especially about abuses committed in the name of divination. Reading what he says, it seems to me believable that Etteilla was renowned, in certain circles, in his time.

Here I respect Etteilla's expressed desire that the word for genuine card-reading be called "Cartonomancie" rather than "Cartomancy," by translating it as "Cartonomancy", not "Cartomancy".

I need to say something about the French word "limon", which I have translated as "ooze". He is referring to the prima materia of the alchemists, which he here identifies with the primal mud, muck, or ooze that the Greek creation myths (Hesiod especially) explicitly made the original stuff of creation, and which might be implied in Genesis, when God goes about the business of separating the upper from the lower waters, and from there creates the seas and dry land. Another translation might be "clay", which makes the analogy of the creator to the potter at his wheel. By the time of Aristotle, this mysterious something becomes an abstraction, matter, but earlier it was a concrete visual thing. Since I do not know how the word "limon" occurs in other French language texts of the time pertaining to the first matter of creation, I wasn't sure how to translate it, even though it is clear what he means. I can't help wondering if this concept is what Jean-Paul Sartre drew on in his discussion of the "viscous" in La Nausée and L'Etre et le Néant, and before him Descartes in his analysis of the essence of the wax in his candle, which remains the same through all its transmutations. Why wax, if not to suggest the "limon" of which Etteilla writes, no doubt reflecting other works of his time.
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Pages 36, 37, 38, 39. & 40. For thirty years. I have said to Society, in my capacity as the first & the greatest Cartonomancier throughout Europe; this is not vainglory, because there are no General farmers [119] who would wish to change their state with me, not even a little clerk, I may say. I say, there are fewer teachers of Divination than of any other Science; this does not prevent many men & women from running to the ignorant saying they can divine what happens (1), and a thousand times worse, going to deceivers who dare to take advantage of the hope of these too credulous people, assuring them that by the ministry of M. Beelzebub they will make themselves the owners of all the gold they could desire; and as it is necessary
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(1) I have known Makers of “Towers of Gibecière” [Towers of Gibberish, a play on “Babel”?] who, taking advantage of people's simplicity, declare themselves Diviners. A Diviner is a Philosopher, or if he not is not a Philosopher, he is not Diviner, because there is no natural Divination without Philosophy; it thus follows that a real Diviner, as he is Philosopher, is in the first rank of people; just as a Player of Cups, as a Quack, is considered in the last class. This is said to prevent confusing the zenith and the nadir, in what can occupy and amuse people.

[120] to create delusions in the minds of fools, these thieves (that is their true epithet) do not fail to call themselves Professors with great means suited for making the infernal spirits act; in sum, in support of some packs of conjurations, partly in the style of the exorcisms of the primitive Church, to which they add large circles, lighted candles, etc., etc., they simply take money from the pockets of these grasping souls & the ignorant. I speak knowingly of all this, because it is the truth that several people have come to see me to know on what day the Devil wil give their Operator a ton of gold--which is worth no more than a mere nothing. The abstract sciences, which I defend, have neither the stupidity nor the lies of all these chimeras; in Divination, walking in the path of fortune, keeping us from all that takes us away from it, is the basis of a wise philosophy.

Of these many these self-proclaimed [121] Sorcerers, I have known some so clever that without presumption only a perfectly organized head could not be persuaded never to be caught in their nets. These crafty knaves ask for nothing, and in four days they will give everything; it is natural, or at least appears to be, but the trap is already set, & I myself, after a thousand trials in the feeble credulity of the first ten years of my research, would have been taken in, if I had not opposed to them a general disbelief. Here is the language of these rascals: We ask nothing of you, and in four days you will have fifteen thousand pounds, be discreet. What saves me, if not only their pitfalls, but this first credulity, commonly called doubt? It is in knowing at bottom the weakness of ignorance, its seeming confidence in that which it seeks to inspire & in sensing it imperceptibly [122] on a bridge of artificial emerald believed a gemstone; and it is with these crooks a collection of the best stupidities, that is to say, the strongest: it puts before our eyes a complete collection of grimoires sealed, initialed, and bearing the tokens [la pièce] of all the Devils. Pardon, these last are words of art, as well as many others which we could think of in half an hour, more wizardly than all the others. The honest man ought to know good and evil, to follow only the first & guard against the second, but in recognizing all this, I confess that I was at least ten times very near to being compromised, so strong was this form at the bottom that accommodates itself to that of truth! Returning to the Readers and Readeresses of Cards, what little they are given allows them [the swindlers?] to spawn; so it is not the above that we need to discuss; let us get to the point.

It is a truth that the ignorant [123] Card Readers say things past, present or future, which happen to the letter. To answer this, I will say ineptly enough only that others, in saying so many crazy things, must, in the end, speak truly, since it suffices to consider if they speak the truth at other times, if it is a Divination by a chain of prognosticated circumstances, or if the prognosis is purely a yes or a no, such as this: the marriage will take place or the marriage will not take place; yet sometimes this simple yes or no can tell the strength of a Divination, when we pronounce it or will not take place, despite the strongest appearances for the contrary prognosis; it is then of this prognosis, resulting from Divination, which we must discuss, because the prognoses made by deceit & false prognosis are to Divination as the lie is to the truth.

A truth in Divination should [124] have nothing of all the clumsinesses which have affected the opposite people contrary to divinatory Science. If we blow in the ear of a false Divine what he has to say to a man, then the Divination is heard there for nothing, but is simply a piece of trickery close to lying.

A truth in Divination does nothing that is not struck from the the die of divination, and if predictions can be stolen from it, because they are simple and uncomplicated, we are forced to give to it those whose circumstances are linked so that the simple judgment appears neutral, & among these I shall report only one.

A man of quality came to me accompanied by a Lady; I am going away, he says, to withdraw until tomorrow; this, Monsieur says while smiling, can I certify to you. I looked at him, and I discovered in his physonomy that he spoke naturally while thinking, but with the desire to persuade his [125] charming wife, who appeared to doubt what he was saying; I asked him to draw from the Cards, which he dud, taking only seven sheets [lames]; I say to him, Sir, if I am not mistaken, you will return only very late to your Hotel; you will have dinner with some Ladies at the home of one of them, and I shall have the honor of seeing you again you today, unless you want to declare yourself against my talent, which is weaker than your free will; and in that case, I continued, the Divination will be nonetheless a Science, and the Professor too poorly skilled to see how you your will will evolve.

Word of honour, says M. le Comte, I am going home in truth, because I absolutely have business there. In fact, he was there, met two Ladies who had him enter their carriage, took him to dinner, and then he brought them to me, working for the three of them, and they left at about midnight.

In Divination [126] is all that is beautifully simple: what I just wrote does not appear wonderful, but it suffices to say that the circumstances discover a prognosis that would appear more significant, if it had been a question of sudden death on the way, etc., etc.. The question is now whether the Readers and Readeresses of ordinary Cards have said things that hold like that of Divination: inquire about it.

What can give to the ignorant justified prognostications? It is not the holy enthusiasm proper to Philosophers, of which many great men have spoken; this is not the foundation of Cartonomancy, it is purely the elementary physical Principles of the Cards, without having the foundation of this Art; they are attached to the simple palpable meanings that the cards have, and as the physical principles offer themselves this reading here in their truth, they have articulated it, and the justified event has surprised them [127] as much as their Consultant, because neither the one nor the other has the foundation of Science, so they cannot give a reason why it is such that the cards which appear to have no relation to the chain of life, nevertheless develop links in a totally admirable way.

We not only suppose, but also say in truth that Card Readers and Readeresses, knowing absolutely just the vulgar Principles, the meanings which the Cards bear, have said astonishing things; but if they encountered the physical truth. whose utility pleases them as well as their Consultant, it remains to be seen if the same physical truth could be put beside that which is more essential than the forecast.

A physicist sees the hardness of a body and deems it such because its parts are closer together, because they are bound together more tightly, etc., but it would be agreealbe to all [128] to give an account of how Nature formed this body, and how it breaks it apart, and at last by breaking it apart what Nature intends to make of it, for we reflect that the earth of a plant has none of the qualities of an animal until Nature has brought the one and the other to the point of the first ooze [limon] of creation.

Wanting to cut through the mind, like those who in preparing food cut through meat with noble pride, one could speak about the false appearances that transmute any manure directly on the field to lettuce, cabbage, and thus to rabbit, etc. All manure whatsoever is warm, and by this means launches the seed into roots, stems & fruits, & sour acids from crude salts; but dung and straw do not pass into mineral, vegetable, animal, before becoming the first ooze [limon], as it was at the first moment of creation, which can only be [129] in a co-action where Nature or indeed Art gives it seven digestions. Thus the rabbit of the hutch is cabbage, but cabbage that has ceased to be cabbage, and become ooze [limon] before rabbit, and the taste that the rabbit has is accidental; so also beef does not become man before Nature has turned it into first ooze [limon], general & primitive (1); & certainly if man nourished himself from this first ooze, whose passage, without art to fix it, is imperceptible, he would live several thousand years. The property of a body--animal, vegetable or mineral--to maintain for a lesser or greater time its pure ooze, fixes the term of its days.

It is by knowing how to fix this precious primitive ooze [limon] that our Philosophers [i.e. alchemists] have reached the goal of destroying diseases and alleviating their years until it pleases the
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(1) In everything it is an intermediary: the ooze [limon] is here between beef and man, etc. I can say it is first matter [matière première].

[130] goodness of the Sovereign to call them to him, rewarding them for studying his works: The ooze of gold is savourable, and not the gold; one makes gold without gold....

It is not enough to go to a vulgar Reader or Readeress of Cards, because we have some certainty that the Physical Principles will pronounce some truths that are possible & essential to know; but it must be said: if these principles demonstrate that I am in danger of losing my money because they reveal, as assumed by these principles, that I am currently in a chain that leads imperceptibly to so cruel an effect, will the Card Reader or Readeress be educated enough to tell me in truth the way to break the chain where I am, by embracing another, and so avoid this misfortune? If you suspect this to be possible, then it is necessary to be sure to promote the physical truth (literally, “be persuaded that the physical truth will favor them”). But is it not better to [231] believe that any physical body itself bears traces of its causes & its results, something impossible for an ignorant card-reader to recognize, because he has not learned to analyze a body in relation to its substance, but only in relation to what appears to be its matter? The superior mechanism of a being with animal, vegetable or mineral life is not the same as that of a machine that the Artist has fabricated out of several parts.

If I had the curiosity to know what would happen to me, it would be purely in the quite reasonable sense of knowing the chain of my life, so as to follow the links to happy events, and break, or at least loosen, the links to unfortunate events, there being for each person only one string, which is often quite enough.

If I did not know men learned enough to satisfy my curiosity, I would not resort to going to an [132] ignorant Card Reader, but to some [private] Individual whom I knew {to be] a perfectly honest man, very discreet and very profound in political and civil sciences, and who, to be sure, would possess Cartonomancy, following its purely physical Principles, Principles he would have learned in some lesson only for his amusement, or to talk about this Art with more truth those who have no idea of it.

Why would I prefer a wise Individual to an ignorant Card Reader? My assumption is that he offers a prognosis perfectly with these three physical dimensions, the resulting reading, the evidence in the record of two cards by two cards, and no contradiction with regard to the spread, the record & the Consultant; then I could expect from the Individual deep, wise advice, established from his age, his experience, his judgment, which serve me almost as much as the talent of a true Cartonomancer [133], unless the excellence of this savant’s judgment is at fault, not seeing that one of the links of my life must go first, or - supposing it the twentieth - that it will be broken by the most powerful friction of another’s chain.

It is appropriate that a man coming into the world brings his chain; but it is weak then, subject to the chain of his nurse, of his nursemaid, until the time when he speaks, when he walks, and, finally, when he makes himself master over his caprices, his obstinacy & passions; in a word, it is suitable that such an index would be given to the life of man, that has a tissue, to compare it to a worm, breaks, revives, stretches & shortens; but one does not want it to be Cartonomancy that develops for us this superb and mysterious tissue, because one fears being in debt to a [134] Card Reader for a so interesting a copy.

To repudiate this tableau, or better, this copy in perpetual motion, in all the general & particular events that happen to persons, it would be necessary to propose another at least its equal, but as the mind cannot find one more sensitive than Cartonomancy, which comes from the early Egyptians, ignorance imagines that the art of reading the cards is only for effeminate weaklings [femmelettes], little geniuses, or good old women who earn money from it.

The foundation of critique is not always true, because where there is evidence of clear nonsense, as here, two times three is seven, demonstrably absurd, but critique, or better vile satire, is not always guided by numerical, mathematical axioms; it can often be foretold or viewed not only from [134] its weak side, but from non-existence (such as thistles taken for men, & every day the greatest men are taken for thistles), to make faulty pronouncements ultimately beyond one; and finally, from that which Critique, often mercenary, has no idea, although produced by learned men as much as by ignorant ones, [from] the former by their non-chalance, and the latter because they cannot judge by themselves. How many writers have had to repent of having been too hasty in their judgment, although the most learned of them have taken what they said to all nations, present and future? We then beat our breast, but it is no longer the time; it happens again if one was ripped only by nonsense, distractions, even coarse mistakes; but Society has wanted to put behind it a man who often saw the present [136], commanded the past, & leafed through the future.

If I found that Cartonomancy was absolutely only a frivolity, a swindle, and even slight-of-hand, with no value as Art, & to name it outright, of less subtlety than others, I would stop playing Savant; thus with some lesson of a tiring cold grammatical sort, looting, stealing, rereading the Ancients & Moderns, I would have, I think, walked my thin physical existence in the streets and in the clubs, covered by a tedious title, Mr. Academician of Nanterre (1), Villeneuve-les-Avignonnois, and perhaps of the Arcades du Pont Neuf.

If you should prefer a Savant, a man discreet and virtuous, who knows only the meanings of the
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(1)Poor village where the richest and the most renowned live, the Saints of the Capital.

[137] cards, to one who is ignorant of the business of card-reading, one must indeed challenge his choice of having in view one indiscreet as wise, or better the appearance of science that he appears to have, & in the uncertainty of the meeting, I think it is better to prefer ordinary Card-Readers, if they are never indiscreet in a more treacherous way. In fact, this is what I have written several times over twelve to fifteen years. Send to your Card-Reader, to divine what will happen to you, but take yourself there in such an adroit manner, that it will be impossibie to know who you are, nor where you live, & if playing the educated man or woman, he asks you, like our philosophers, about the four columns that supported you at the time of your curiosity [?], send them to him, since of at most ten thousand people, it can reveal only one Querent.

If one like me has penetrated [138] Cartonomancy and Divination generally, I do not say to divine in my opinion everything presented, but penetrate the true principles of this sublime science, one feels that it is easier to predict correctly by Science, than by what is called contingent, that is to say, to judge an effect to come on the appearance of something present, like a Doctor who judges the death or restores the health of his patient by the nature of the crises, crises that are still available only because one does not prevent tensions; and finally, I say, it is easier to make prognostications to a mere stranger, than for one’s own wife with whom one lives. It is thus as I sketch without Divination, before being a suitor, that the woman I knew, & had in view, was my reality; and finally, Divination could not have persuaded me that I seemed, after several years, to be quite different than she avowed. My wife [139] ignored that although perfectly woman, likewise good, she ceased being like a wife. The Fourth Cahier will demonstrate that Divinatory Science goes further than our judgments.

As we move forward, we always find good subjects for speaking; it is dangerous to be served by an indiscreet card reader, because if what happens in our soul appears to be true, it can be painted on our face; and finally to extract from us an indiscret confession, is on the other hand as dangerous for a discreet man, knowing the secrets of others, as for one who is indiscreet, the first due to his delicacy, and the second because he may be punished directly, or punished in a way so oblique that he can never discover the primary, or even the secondary, cause [of that] which will befall him in one of the thousand daily setbacks that a bad subject can tumble into; and finally it remains to say, as I wrote in the [140] first edition of Etteilla or the Art of Reading the Cards, 1770, that one must strive to be one's own Diviner [i.e. know oneself], & if one does not have the strength not to boast, one must seek a Wise Professor for whom the multiplicity of secrets makes him unconscious of those that are particular to us, and that must necessarily be so, because those that science has discovered should not appear so to him, as they have been neither confessed nor confided so to him.

Pages 40, 41 to 53. After reading this long speech where the Author plays Moralist, we can say: There is indeed Moral Philosophy for a Fortune-teller! If it is true that men, not meeting their fellows in preaching virtue, announce it to the irrational animals, what matters the state of a man when he does speak to his fellows? And to respond to bitter satire, that I would be happy [does he men: that I should give happy predictions?], I say to it, that so many [141] people’s lack of having always before their eyes the true Principles of Philosophy has not constrained me from forecasting for them bad fortunes! Heaven protects my Readers from this by their their wisdom & their science!
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(*) M., if the epistle that I sent publicly to sire [seu] M. COURT DE GEBELIN has not attracted his disfavor, or that of any of those who knew him by his works and even directly, that is, I am convinced, because I am presented with this mixture of hardiness & submission, that the books of our philosophers and of this illustrious Antiquarian have inspired in me, and also because, in citing these words from page 20 of my epistle, Wise, Sage & Beloved Gebelin, I was directly only the voice of all Europe.

You invite me, M., to compete for the [142] Prize which must forever reward those who work in Praise of sire [seu] Master of the Antique; do not worry about this feeble tribute owed by the Scholarly Universe, men, yes, men of many Nations, will be in in his debt; he had no longer any detractors [réfutateurs].

Paris, May 9, 1784.

End of the Supplement to the Third Cahier.

N.B. Persons who have the Third Cahier are kindly requested to send for this supplement, which belongs to them, as well as the Fragment that follows.
I do not currently have in my possession a copy of the Fragment to which he refers. So for the moment what I have left to do is the beginning of the Supplement. Perhaps it will make more sense to me than it did at first.
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