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IN former parts of this work, I have had occasion more than. once, when the subject demanded it, to refute the impostures of the magic art, and it is now my intention to continue still further my exposure thereof. Indeed, there are few subjects on which more might be profitably said, were it only that, being, as it is, the most deceptive of all known arts, it has exercised the greatest influence in every country and in nearly every age. And no one can be surprised at the extent of its influence and authority, when he reflects that by its own energies it has embraced, and thoroughly amalgamated with itself; the three other sciences1 which hold the greatest sway upon the mind of man.

That it first originated in medicine, no one entertains a doubt;2 or that, under the plausible guise of promoting health, it insinuated itself among mankind, as a higher and more holy branch of the medical art. Then, in the next place, to promises the most seductive and the most flattering, it has added all the resources of religion, a subject upon which, at the present day, man is still entirely in the dark. Last of all, to complete its universal sway, it has incorporated with itself the astrological art;3 there being no man who is not desirous to know his future destiny, or who is not ready to believe that this knowledge may with the greatest certainty be obtained, by observing the face of the heavens. The senses of men being thus enthralled by a three-fold bond, the art of magic has attained an influence so mighty, that at the present day even, it holds sway throughout a great part of the world, and rules the kings4 of kings in the East.

1 "Artes." Medicine, religion, and the art of divination.

2 Ajasson remarks that, on the contrary, this is a subject of great doubt.

3 "Mathematicas artes."

4 The title of the ancient kings of Persia.

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