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Re: VMs: Marci 1640 letter to Kircher

In message <001901c593c5$b58108a0$0100a8c0@jeff>, J HALEY
<j.haley@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> writes
>Does anyone have an English translation of the first two paragraphs
>of this Marci letter. In the pursuit of Baresh these have not been done
>and I think that the identity of Gans may well be more important than
>has at first been thought.

Hello Jeff

You mean this one?

It's on one of my web-sites at





Johannes Marci to Athanasius Kircher,  September the 12th 1640.

Dear Reverend Father and Master in Christ and most critical friend,

I have written to your reverend community of priests at Ratisbon
informing them that the matters which had been entrusted to me had been
dealt with as desired at the Court of His Imperial Majesty. I sincerely
trust that my letters to which I referred have been received by the
illustrious Counts of Martinitz. And since six weeks have quickly passed
I eagerly await a reply. The Reverend Father Gans wrote to me [but] I do
not know what lawsuits the Reverend Father Vestra is involved in. [?].
Since in general terms the situation is said by him to be excessively
trying, he has made me greatly disturbed. And because it may throw some
light on some aspects of all this I have copied out a part of the
letter. The Illustrious Count Bernard anxiously asked me about why he
had had no response to his letters. I myself, since I have many times
benefited by what he has done for me and since I know the Reverend
Father Vestra to be very learned, and that he has done far more at the
Court of His Imperial Majesty than was expected--something which will
happen in the matter we are concerned with--I would hope to rejoice in a
measure of goodwill and a declaration of mutual affection. [Illegible
word here. Was it "quo"? I have guessed at his meaning here(!). W.B.].
The same applies to what my friend Master Georg Barschius would have
wanted to have through me as the scribe [?] and he will understand the
notes [?] I have added here. He is certainly an excellent man and very
experienced in chemistry [and] he does not yet understand how to arrive
at the desired conclusion which His Imperial Majesty earnestly seeks--
not for gold but in the interests of medical science--. He was asking me
specially intently about that heliotrope, [wanting to know] whether I
knew about it or at least whether I had seen the complete method of its
manufacture. I said I knew the answer to neither. I told the Abbot (to
his surprise) that I had not dared [to tell him this] [?] when we first
became friends and he considered enquiring into it a matter of the
utmost secrecy. If it is not too much trouble for him and he does not
hurry over what concerns its outward appearance [?] I would at least
like to find out whether the substance is natural or artificial, mineral
or vegetable and whether it is found in our own country. Whatever may be
said I will offer my services under the same seal which I shall have had
to use. I am especially looking for particulars of that dark liquid [or:
substance?] and of the linctus [?] in its varied forms [?]. One or the
other was promised me in Rome. If anything particularly useful is known
[I hope] it will not be troublesome to add it. One more item: I need to
know if it means [?] that the Arabic-Coptic Dictionary with Arabic
lettering should be published [or: prepared for publication]. According
to what the next Month of the Bear [?] foretells [?] those type-moulds
for Eastern languages are satisfactory. So if in all this there is
anything worth publishing we do not lack the necessary tools. May I add
this?--I beg the Reverend Father Vram to keep well and in excellent
spirits and to visit us as soon as he can. Please offer my greetings to
the Reverend Father Ferrarium he will have recognised from my seal that
it is I, his servant Joannes Marci.

        Prague September 12 in the year 1640.
        Johannes Marci, the faithful servant of the Reverend Father

[Rendered into English from the transcription given by René Zandbergen
at http://www.voynich.nu/letters.html#mm40 by Rev William Barber.
Gloucester, January 2003.]


     I child-proofed my house.

          But they're still getting in....
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