Book of the Sacred Magic of Abramelin the Mage, translated by S L Mathers
Owing perhaps to the circumstance that the indispensable "Baedecker" accords only a three or four line notice to the "Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal"; but few English or American visitors to Paris are acquainted with its name, situation, or contents, though nearly all know at least by sight the "Bibliothèque Nationale" and the "Bibliothèque Mazarin".
This "Library of the Arsenal," as it is now called, was founded as a private collection by Antoine René Voyer D'Argenson, Marquis de Paulny, and was first opened to the public on the 9th Floréal, in the fifth year of the French Republic (that is to say, on 28th April, 1797), or just a century ago. This Marquis de Paulny was born in the year 1722, died in 1787, and was successively Minister of War, and Ambassador to Switzerland, to Poland, and to the Venetian Republic. His later years were devoted to the formation of this library, said to be one of the richest private collections known. It was acquired in 1785 by the Comte D'Artois, and today belongs to the State. It is situated on the Right Bank of the Seine, in the Rue de Sully, near the river, and not far from the Place de la Bastille, and is known as the "Bibliothèque de l'Arsenal". In round numbers it now possesses 700,000 printed books, and about 8000 manuscripts, many of them being of considerable value.1
Among the latter is this Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin, as delivered by Abraham the Jew unto his son Lamech; which I now give to the public in printed form for the first time