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النشر الإلكتروني

THE

OCCULT SCIENCES:

SKETCHES OF

THE TRADITIONS AND SUPERSTITIONS OF PAST TIMES, AND THE
MARVELS OF THE PRESENT DAY.

BY

REV. EDWARD SMEDLEY, M.A.

LATE FELLOW OF SYDNEY COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE.

W. COOKE TAYLOR, LL.D.

TRINITY COLLEGE, DUBLIN.

REV. HENRY THOMPSON, M.A.

FORMERLY SCHOLAR OF ST. JOHN'S COLLEGE, CAMBRIDGE, VICAR OF CHARD.

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PREFACE.

THE following pages contain a brief but comprehensive account of the Occult Sciences, and other matters of superstitious or religious belief associated with them.

The

It has been the Editor's aim to combine as much historical and descriptive information as possible, with the great variety of subjects treated of in this compendium. As a manual of general information, it professes to be circumstantial and exact so far as it treats of any subject, but not exhaustive in detail, or addressed to the wants of a special inquirer. This desideratum has been attained by limiting speculation to occasional hints, suggestive rather than explanatory, and by very condensed summaries of the literary history. convenience of the general reader has also been considered in the arrangement of subjects, and other facilities for easy reference. To the more exacting student, it may be observed, that these advantages are combined with a careful and very copious reference to authorities. Brevity has been attained, not by meagreness of treatment, but by the actual compression of matter, which might have been given with less trouble to the writer in a more diffuse style.

The affirmative language in some of the articles written by the Editor has been conscientiously preferred on his part, though contrary to critical usage. The severest judges will, perhaps, agree thus far with him, that certain facts lose their significance, and even their literary value, unless related with the air of a believer.

LONDON, 23d March, 1855.

E. R.

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