THE ROSICRUCIANS: THEIR RITES AND MYSTERIES
Preface to the Third Edition
THE words 'Third Edition' to a work of this character, which, it will readily be confessed, prefers claims to being quite sui generis, excite mixed feelings on the part of its Authors.
The present edition has been carefully revised, at the same time that it has been largely extended. It comprises, now, Two VOLUMES. The addition of new engravings--singularly suggestive, prepared with great care, presenting very antique and authentic claims--speaks for value.
The Authors can refer with pride to the numerous letters which reach them, if pride, or even particular gratification (according to ordinary ideas), could actuate in the statement of the fact. This is a serious treatise upon the 'Rosicrucians'. Letters expressing great interest, some anonymous, some with names, addressed from all parts--from Germany, France, Spain,' the West Indies; from India, Italy, and Denmark, and from remote corners in our own country--these have multiplied since the work was first published. America has displayed unbounded curiosity. To all these communications, with a few exceptions, no answers have been (nor could be) returned. The volumes themselves must be read with attention, or nothing is effected. The book must be its own interpreter, if interpretation is sought. But interpretation does not apply in, this instance.
With one word we shall conclude. The Authors of The Rosicrucians would quietly warn (for to do more would imply a greater attention than is due) against all attempts in books, or in print or otherwise, to subscribe with 'letters' or any addition (or affectation), signifying a supposed personal connexion with the real 'Rosicrucians'. These haughty Philosophers forbade disclosure--this, of either their real doctrines of intentions, or of their personality.
We may most truly say, that in this work--as it now stands, care being taken to keep all reserves--will be found the best account of this illustrious and mysterious Fraternity.