An Excerpt from The Faust Book
“The Faust Book seems to be a very early novel written during the Lutheran church squabbles (1568-81) or shortly thereafter. It comes down to us in manuscript(Historia vnd Geschicht Doctor Johannis Faustj des Zauberers) written in clear hand by a professional scribe in Nuremberg, still in very good, unused condition, and also as a 1587 imprint from the prominent Frankfurt publishing house of Johann Spies. “Pasted from <http://lettersfromthedustbowl.com/msE.html>
DOCTOR FAUSTUS HIS HISTORIAHERE FOLLOWETH THE SECOND PART ADVENTURES & SUNDRY QUESTIONS His Almanacs and Horoscopes XII“Doctor Faustus, being no longer able to obtain answers from his spirit concerning godly matters, now had to rest content and desist from this purpose. It was in those days that he set about making almanacs and became a good astronomus and astrologus.
He gained so much learning and experience from the spirit concerning horoscopes that all which he did contrive and write won the highest praise among all the mathematici of that day (as is, after all, common knowledge by now). His horoscopes, which he sent to great lords and princes, always were correct, for he contrived them according to the advice of his spirit as to what would come to pass in the future, all such matters falling duly out even as he had presaged them.
His tables and almanacs were praised above others because he set down naught in them but what did indeed come to pass. When he forecast fogs, wind, snow, precipitation, etc., these things were all quite certain. His almanacs were not as those of some unskilled astrologi who know of course that it gets cold in the winter, and hence forecast freezes, or that it will be hot in the summer, and predict thunderstorms. Doctor Faustus always calculated his tables in the manner described above, setting what should come to pass, specifying the day and the hour and especially warning the particular districts–this one with famine, that one with war, another with pestilence, and so forth.”
A Disputatio, or Inquiry Concerning the Art of Astronomia, or Astrologia XIII“One time after Doctor Faustus had been contriving and producing such horoscopes and almanacs for about two years he did ask his spirit about the nature of astronomia or astrologia as practiced by the mathematici.
The spirit gave answer, saying: My Lord Fauste, it is so ordained that the ancient haruspices and modern stargazers are unable to forecast anything particularly certain, for these are deep mysteries of God which mortals cannot plumb as we spirits can, who hover in the air beneath Heaven where we can see and mark what God bath predestined. Yes, we are ancient spirits, experienced in the Heavenly movements. Why, Lord Fauste, I could make thee a perpetual calendar for the setting of horoscopes and almanacs or for nativity investigations one year after the other. –Thou hast seen that I have never lied to thee. Now it is true that the Patriarchs, who lived for five and six hundred years, did comprehend the fundamentals of this art and became very adept. For when such a great number of years elapse a lunisolar period is completed, and the older generation can apprise the younger of it. Except for that, all green, inexperienced astrologi have to set up their horoscopes arbitrarily according to conjecture.”Pasted from <http://lettersfromthedustbowl.com/Fbk2.html>