A System of Magick, or a History of the Black Art

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TO remove a difficulty in my title, and that we may not stumble at the threshold, some preface to this new undertaking may be necessary, but it will be very short. If by a system of this terrible thing called magic, my readers should expect a body of the black art as a science, a book of rules for instruction in the practice, or a magical grammar for introduction to young beginners, all I can say to such is, that they will be mistaken. The world has perhaps been imposed upon in nothing more than in their notions of this dark practice, as well its ancient, as its modern state. Most people, when they read of the ancient magi eiaus, think they are reading of Old necromancers and conjurers, when really at first they were very honest men; and now, when they read of them in their modern practice, they take them for honest fellows, when they are, generally speaking, mere jugglers, cheats, mountebanks, and posture-masters or else, real wizards, and downright dealers with the Devil.

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