The Art of Iugling or Legerdemaine
Samuel Rid

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Art of Iugling or


Wherein is deciphered, all the
conueyances of Legerdemaine and Iugling,
how they are effected,
& wherin they chiefly consist.

Cautions to beware of cheating
at Cardes and Dice.

The detection of the beggerly Art
of Alcumistry,
The foppery of foolish cousoning Charmes.

All tending to mirth and recreation, especially
for those that desire to haue the insight and
priuate practise thereof.

By _S.R._

_Quod noua testa capit, Inueterata sapit._


and my louing father, Mr.

_This short conceipt, that I haue writ of late,
To you kinde Father _BVBB_, I dedicate,
Not that I meane heereby (good sir) to teach,
For I confesse, your skills beyond my reach:
But since before with me much time you spent,
Good reason then, first fruits I should present:
That thankefull [*] Bird that leaues one young behinde,
Ensamples me, to bear a thankefull minde:
Vngratefull he, that thankes can not repay
To him, that hath deseru'd it euery way:
Accept (kinde Sir) my loue, that being doone,
I aske no more, desire no other Boone._

Your Lo: sonne in all loue,

[* Sidenote: The nature of this Bird is: that building her nest
vnder the couer of houses (as the Swallow doth with vs) leaue
euer behinde her for the owner of the house, one young one, in
token of her thankfulnesse: and as I may say, for pawne of her

adopted Sonne Mr. _Sa: Rid_.

_Most worthy sonne,

Your labour and obseruance heerein, with the gift of your first
fruits, is both worthy commendations and acceptance: and to cherrish
you further in this your discouery, I will giue an addition to your
second treatise. So I leaue you to God: and belieue you, not a more
louing friend then,_

William Bubb.

_To the curteous Reader._

There goeth a prety Fable of the Moone: On a time she earnestly
besought her mother to prouide her a garment, comely and fit for her
body: how can that bee sweete daughter (quoth the mother) sith that
your body neuer keepes it selfe at one staye, nor at one certaine
estate, but changeth euery day in the month, nay euery houre? The
application heereof needes no interpretation: Fantasie and foolery who
can please? and desire who can humour? no Camelion changeth his
coulour as affection, nor any thing so variable a _Populus Chorus

I would with all my heart, euery Author that had done no better then I
haue, had done no worse: and it were to be wished that some
caprichious Coxecombes, with their desperate wits, were not so forward
to disbowell the entrails of their own ouerweening, singular,
infectious, & pestiferous thoughts, as I knowe some.

But I cannot stand all day nosing of Candlestickes; meane time beare
with a plaine man: whatsoeuer I haue now done, I hope no exception can
be taken, it is for your mirth and recreation (and I pray you so take
it.) let such as will needes barke at the Moone, yell till their
hearts ake: Gentle and Gentlemens spirits, wil take all kindely that
is kindely presented.

_Yours in loue_

Art of Iugling or

Heretofore we haue runne ouer the two pestiferous carbuncles in the
commonwealth, the Egyptians and common Canters: the poore Canters we
haue canuased meetely well, it now remaines to proceede where I left,
ond to goe forward with that before I promised: St. _Quintane_ be my
good speede, I know I haue runne thorow the hands of many, censured of
diuers, & girded at not of a few: But humanity is euer willinger to
loue then hate: curtesie much forwarder to commend then dispraise:
clemency infinitely proner to absolue then to condemn. Is it not
possible to find sauery hearbs among netles, roses among prickles,
berries among bushes, marrow among bones, grain among stubble, and a
little corne among a great deale of chaffe? In the rankest and
strongest poysons, pure and sweet balmes may be distilled, and some
matter or other worthy to be remembred may be embraced, whosoeuer is
Author. There is nothing so exceeding foolish but hath bene defended
by some wise man, nor any thing so passing wise, but hath bene
confuted by some foole: Tut, St. _Barnard_ saw not all things, and the
best cart may eftsoones ouerthrow: That curld pate _Rufus_ that goes
about with _Zoylus_ to carpe and finde fault, must bring the Standard
of iudgement with him, and make wisedome the moderater of his wit,
otherwise they may be like to purchase to themselues the worshipfull
names of _Dunces_ and _Dottipoles_. So much by the way.

These kinde of people about an hundred yeares agoe, about the twentith
yeare of King _Henry_ the eight, began to gather an head, at the first
heere about the Southerne parts, and this (as I am informed) and as I
can gather, was their beginning.

Certaine Egiptians banished their cuntry (belike not for their good
conditions) ariued heere in England, who being excellent in quaint
trickes and deuises, not known heere at that time among vs, were
esteemed and had in great admiration, for what with strangenesse of
their attire and garments, together with their sleights and
legerdemaines, they were spoke of farre and neere, insomuch that many
of our English loyterers ioyned with them, and in time learned their
craft and cosening. The speach which they vsed was the right Egiptian
language, with whome our Englishmen conuersing with, at last learned
their language. These people continuing about the cuntry in this
fashion, practising their cosening art of fast and loose, and
legerdemaine, purchased to themselues great credit among the cuntry
people, and got much by Palmistry, and telling of fortunes: insomuch
they pittifully cosoned the poore cuntry girles, both of mony, siluer
spoones, and the best of their apparrell, or any good thing they could
make, onely to heare their fortunes.

This _Giles Hather_ (for so was his name) together with his whore _Kit
Calot_, in short space had following them a pretty traine, he tearming
himselfe the King of Egiptians, and she the Queene, ryding about the
cuntry at their pleasures vncontrolled: at last about forty yeres
after, when their knauery began to be espied, and that their cosonages
were apparant to the world, (for they had continued neere thirty
yeares after this manner, pilling and polling, and cosening the
cuntry) it pleased the Councell to looke more narrowly into their
liues, and in a Parliament made in the first and second yeares of
_Phillip_ and _Mary_, there was a strict Statute made, that whosoeuer
should transport any Egiptians into this Realme, should forfeit forty
pounds: Moreouer, it was then enacted, that such fellowes as tooke
vpon them the name of Egiptians, aboue the age of fourteene, or that
shall come ouer and be transported into England, or any other persons,
and shall be seene in the company of vagabonds, calling themselues
Egiptians, or counterfeiting, transforming, or disguising themselues
by their apparrell, speach, or other behauiours like vnto Egiptians,
and so shall continue, either at one or seuerall times, by the space
of a month, they should be adiudged fellons, not allowed their booke
or Clergy. These Acts and Statutes now put forth, and come to their
hearing, they deuide their bands and companies into diuers parts of
the Realme: for you must imagine and know that they had aboue two
hundred roagues and vagabonds in a Regiment: and although they went
not altogether, yet would they not be aboue two or three miles one
from the other, and now they dare no more be knowne by the name of
Egiptians, nor take any other name vpon them then poore people. But
what a number were executed presently vpon this statute, you would
wonder: yet not withstanding all would not preuaile: but still they
wandred, as before vp and downe, and meeting once in a yeere at a
place appointed: sometimes at the Deuils arse in peake in Darbishire,
and otherwhiles at Ketbrooke by Blackeheath, or elsewhere, as they
agreed still at their meeting. Then it pleased Queene _Elizabeth_ to
reuiue the Statute before mentioned, in the twentith yeare of her
happy raigne, endeauouring by all meanes possible to roote out this
pestiferous people, but nothing could be done, you see vntill this
day: they wander vp and downe in the name of Egiptians, cullouring
their faces and fashioning their attire and garment like vnto them,
yet if you aske what they are, they dare no otherwise then say, they
are Englishmen, and of such a shire, and so are forced to say contrary
to that they pretend.

But to come a little neerer our purpose, these fellowes seeing that no
profit comes by wandring, but hazard of their liues, doe daily
decrease and breake off their wonted society, and betake themselues
many of them, some to be Pedlers, some Tinkers, some Iuglers, and some
to one kinde of life or other, insomuch that Iugling is now become
common, I meane the professors who make an occupation and profession
of the same: which I must needs say, that some deserue commendation
for the nimblenes and agillity of their hands, and might be thought to
performe as excellent things by their Legerdemaine, as any of your
wisards, witches, or magitians whatsoeuer. For these kinde of people
doe performe that in action, which the other do make shew of: and no
doubt many when they heare of any rare exploit performed which cannot
enter into their capacity, and is beyond their reach, straight they
attribute it to be done by the Deuill, and that they worke by some
familiar spirit, when indeede it is nothing els but meere illusion,
cosoning, and legerdemaine. For you haue many now adaies, and also
heeretofore many writers haue bene abused, as well by vntrue reports
as by illusion and practises of confederacy, & legerdemaine, &c.
Sometimes imputing to words that which resteth in nature, and
sometimes to the nature of the thing that which proceedeth of fraud
and deception of sight. But when these experiments growe to
superstition and impiety, they are either to be forsaken as vaine, or
denyed as false: howbeit, if these things be done for recreation and
mirth, and not to the hurt of our neighbour, nor to the prophaning and
abusing of Gods holy name: then sure they are neither impious nor
altogether vnlawfull, though heerein or heereby a naturall thing be
made to seeme supernaturall. And Gentlemen, if you will giue me
patience, I will lay open vnto you the right Art Iugling and
Legerdemain, in what poynt it doth chiefly consist: principally being
sorry that it thus fals out, to lay open the secrets of this mistery
to the hinderance of such poore men as liue thereby, whose doings
heerein are not onely tollerable, but greatly commendable, so they
abuse not the name of God, nor make the people to attribute vnto them
his power, but alwaies acknowledge wherein the Art consisteth.

The true Art therefore of Iugling, consisteth in Legerdemaine: that
is, the nimble conueyance and right dexteritie of the hand, the which
is performed diuers waies, especially three: The first and princiall
consisteth in hiding & conueying of balls: The second in alteration of
money: The third in the shuffling of Cards: and he that is expert in
these, may shew many feates, and much pleasure. There are diuers and
rare experiments to be showne by confederacy, either priuate or
publike, all which in place conuenient, shall be spoken of. And
forasmuch as I professe rather to discouer then teach these misteries,
it shall suffice to signifie vnto you, that the endeauour and drift of
Iuglers, is onely to abuse mens eyes and iudgements: now then my
meaning is in wordes as plaine as I can, to rip up some proper tricks
of that Art, wherof some are pleasant & delectable, othersome dreadful
& desperate, and all but meere delusions and counterfeit actions, as
you shal soone see by due obseruation of euery knacke by me heereafter
deciphered: And first in order I will begin with the playes and
deuises of the ball, which are many: I will touch onely but a few, and
as in this, so in all the rest I will runne ouer slightly, yet as
plaine as I can.

Notes and obseruations to be marked of such as
desire to practise Legerdemaine.

Remember that a Iugler must set a good face vppon that matter he goeth
about, for a good grace and carriage is very requisite to make the art
more authenticall.

Your feates and trickes then must be nimbly, cleanly, and swiftly
done, and conueyed so as the eyes of the beholders may not discerne or
perceaue the tricke, for if you be a bungler, you both shame your
selfe, and make the Art you goe about to be perceaued and knowne, and
so bring it into discredit.

Wherefore vse and exercise makes a man ready. _Vsus promptus facit_,
and by that meanes your feats being cunningly handled, you shall
deceaue both the eye, the hand, and the eare: for often times it will
fall out in this arte, and deuises _Deceptio visus, Deceptio tactus,
et Deceptio Auditus_.

Note also that you must haue none of your Trinckets wanting, least you
be put to a non plus: besides it behooueth you to be mindefull
whereabout you goe in euery trick, least you mistake, and so discredit
the arte.

You must also haue your words of Arte, certaine strange words, that it
may not onely breed the more admiration to the people, but to leade
away the eie from espying the manner of your conuayance, while you may
induce the minde, to conceiue, and suppose that you deale with
Spirits: and such kinde of sentenses, and od speeches, are vsed in
diuers manners, fitting and correspondent to the action and feate that
you goe about. As Hey _Fortuna, furia, nunquam, Credo_, passe passe,
when come you Sirrah? or this way: hey Iack come aloft for thy masters
aduantage, passe and be gone, or otherwise: as _Ailif, Casil, zaze,
Hit, metmeltat, Saturnus, Iupiter, Mars, Sol, Venus, Mercurie, Luna?_
or thus: _Drocti, Micocti, et Senarocti, Velu barocti, Asmarocti,
Ronnsee, Faronnsee_, hey passe passe: many such obseruations to this
arte, are necessary, without which all the rest, are little to the

Feates of Legerdemaine vsed with the
Balls, with one or more.

Concerning the Ball, the playes and deuises thereof are infinite:
insomuch, as if you can vse them wel, you may shew an hundred feats,
but whether you seeme to throw the Ball into the ayre, or into your
mouth, or into your left hand, or as you list, it must be kept still
in your right hand: if you practise first with the leaden bullet, you
shall the sooner, and better do it with balls of Corke: the first
place at your first learning, where you are to bestow a great ball, is
in the palme of your hand, with your ring finger, but a small ball is
to be placed with your thumbe betwixt your ring finger and middle
finger: then are you to practise to do it betwixt your other fingers,
then betwixt the forefinger & the thumbe, with the forefinger & middle
finger ioyntly, and therein is the greatest and the strangest
conueying shewed. Lastly the same small ball is to be practised in the
palme of your hand, and so by vse, you shall not only seeme to put any
ball from you, and yet retaine it in your hand, but you shall keepe
fower or fiue, as clenly and certaine as one, this being first learned
and sleight attayned vnto, you shall worke wonderfull feates: as for

Note for this feate yow must haue fower boxes made in the manner of
extinguishers that are made to put out candles, but as big againe: but
for want of them, you may take smal candlesticks, or saltseller
couers, or som such like.

Lay three or fower balls before you, and as many boxes or small
candlesticks &c, then first seeme to put one ball into your left hand,
and therewithall seeme to holde the same fast. Then take one of the
boxes &c. or any other thing (hauing a hollow foote, and being great)
and seeme to put the ball which is thought to be in your left hand
vnderneath the same, and so vnder the other candlesticks Boxes &c.
seeme to bestow the other balls, and all this while the beholders will
suppose each ball to be vnder each box, or candlestick &c. this done
vse some charme or forme of words (before set downe) as hey _Fortuna
furie nunquam credo_, passe passe: then take vp the candlestick with
one hand and blow, saying thats gone you see: and so likewise looke
vnder each candlestick with like grace and words (for you must
remember to carry a good grace and face on the matter) and the
beholders will wonder where they are become: But if you in lifting vp
the candlesticks with your right hand leaue all those three or fower
balls vnder one of them (as by vse you may easily doe) hauing turned
them all downe into your hand and holding them fast with your little,
and ring finger, and take the box or candlestick &c. with your other
fingers and cast the balls vp into the hollownes thereof (for so they
will not rowle so soone away) the standers by will be much astonished,
but it will seeme wonderfull strange, if also in shewing how there
remaineth nothing vnder an other of the said candlesticks taken vp
with your left hand you leaue behinde you a great ball, or any other
thing, the miracle will be the greater. For first, they will thinke
you haue pulled away all the balls by miracle, then that you haue
brought them againe by like meanes and they nether thinke, or looke
that any other thing remaineth behinde vnder any of them, and therfore
after many other feates don returne to your candlesticks, remembring
where you left the great ball, and in no wise touch the same, but
hauing another great ball about you, seeme to bestow the same in
manner and forme aforesaid vnder a candlestick which standeth farthest
from that where the ball lyeth, and when you shall with words and
charmes seeme to conuey the same ball from vnder the same box or
candlestick &c. (and afterward bring it vnder the box &c. which you
touched not) it will (I say) seeme wonderfull strange.

To make a little Ball swell in your hand
till it be very great.

Take a very great ball in your left hand, or three indifferent big
balls, and shewing one or three little balls, seeme to put them into
your said left hand, concealing (as you may well do) the other balls
which were there before: Then vse charmes, and words, and make them
seem to swell, and open your hand &c. This play is to be varied an
hundred waies for as you finde them all vnder the boxe or
candlesticke, so may you goe to a stander by, and take off his hat or
cap and shew the balls to be there, by conueying them thereinto as you
turne the bottome vpward. These things to them that know them are
counted ridiculous, but to those that are ignorant they are maruelous.

To consume, (or rather conuay) one or many
Balls into nothing.

If you take a ball or more, and seeme to put it into your other hand,
and whilst you vse charming words, you conuey them out of your right
hand into your lap, it will seeme strange, for when you open your left
hand, immediately the sharpest lookers on will say, it is in your
other hand, which also then you may open, and when they see nothing
there, they are greatly ouertaken.

An other pretty feat with Balls.

Take foure Balls, one of the which keep betweene your fore-finger and
your middle, laying the other three vpon the table, then take vp one
and put it into your left hand, and afterward take vp another, and
conuaying it and the other betweene your fingers into your left hand,
taking vp the third and seeming to cast it from you into the ayre, or
into your mouth, or else where you please, vsing some words or charmes
as before: the standers by when you aske them how many you haue in
your hand, will iudge there are no more then two, which when you open
your hand they shall see how they are deluded. But I will leaue to
speake of the ball any more, for heerein I might hold you all day, and
yet shall I not be able to teach you the vse of it, nor scarcely to
vnderstand what I meane or write, concerning it, vnlesse you haue had
some sight thereof heeretofore by demonstration: and alwaies remember
that the right hand be kept open and straight, only keepe the palme
from view: and therefore I will end with this miracle.

A feat, tending chiefly to laughter and mirth.

Lay one ball vpon your shoulder, an other on your arme, and the third
on the table: which because it is round and will not easily lye vpon
the point of your knife, you must bid a stander by, lay it theron,
saying, that you meane to cast all those three Balls into your mouth
at once: and holding a knife as a penne in your hand, when he is
laying vpon the poynt of your knife, you may easily with the haft rap
him on the fingers, for the other matter will be hard to doe.

And thus much of the Balls. To come to the second principall part of
Legerdemaine, which is conuayance of mony, wherein by the way obserue
that the mony must not be of too small nor too great a circumference,
least either, it hinder the conuayance.

Of conueyance of mony.

The conueying of mony is not much inferiour to the Ball, but much
easier to doe: The principall place to keepe a peece of mony in, is
the palme of your hand: The best peece to keepe, is a testor, but with
exercise all will be alike, except the mony be very small, and then it
must bee kept betweene the fingers, and almost at the fingers end,
where as the ball is to be kept, and below neere to the palme.

To conuey mony out of one hand into the
other, by Legerdemaine.

First you must hold open your right hand and lay therin a testor or
counter, and then lay thereupon the top of your long left finger, and
vse words &c. and vpon the sudden slip your right hand from your
finger, wherewith you held downe the testor, and bending your hand a
very little, you shall retaine the testor therein, and sodainely (I
say) drawing your right hand thorough your left, you shal seeme to
haue left the testor there, especially when you shut in due time your
left hand, which that it may more plainely appeare to be truely done,
you may take a knife and seeme to knocke against it, so as it shall
make a great sound: but instead of knocking the peece in the left hand
(where none is) you shall hold the point of the knife fast with the
left hand, and knocke against the testor held in the other hand, and
it will be thought to hit against the mony in the left hand: then vse
words, and open the hand, and when nothing is seene, it will be
wondred at, how the testor was remoued.

To conuert or transubstantiat money into Counters,
or Counters into money.

An other way to deceaue the lookers on, is to doe as before with a
testor, and keeping a Counter in the palme of your left hand, secretly
to seeme to put the testor thereinto, which being retained still in
the right hand, when the left hand is opened, the testor will seeme to
be transubstantiated into a counter.

To put one Testor into one hand, and another into
an other hand, and with words to bring
them together.

He that hath once attayned to the facillity of reteyning one peece of
money in his right hand, may shew an hundred pleasant conceits by that
meanes, and may reserue two or three as well as one: and loe, then may
you seeme to put one peece into your left hand, and retaining it still
in your right hand, you may together therewith take vp another like
peece, and so with words seeme to bring both peeces together.

To put one testor into a strangers hand and an other
in your owne hand, and to conuay both into
the strangers hand with words.

Take two testors eeuenly set together, and put the same in stead of
one testor into a strangers hand: and then making as though you put
one testor into your left hand, with words you shall make it seeme
that you conuey the testor in your hand into the strangers hand: for
when you open your said left hand, there shall be nothing seene: and
he opening his hand, shall finde two where he thought was but one. By
this deuise I say an hundred conceits may be shewed.

To throwe a peece of money away and to finde it
againe where you please.

You may with the middle and ring-finger of the right hand, conuey a
testor into the palme of the same hand, and seeming to cast it away,
keepe it still, which with confederacy will seeme strange: to wit,
when you finde it againe, where another hath bestowed the very like
peece. But these things without exercise cannot be done, and therefore
I will proceede to shew things to be brought to passe by many, with
lesse difficulty, and yet as strange as the rest, which being
vnknowne, are maruelously commended, but being vnknowne, are derided
and nothing at all regarded.

To make a testor or a groat, leap out of a potte, or
run along vpon a table with words.

You shall see a Iugler take a testor or groate & throw it into a pot,
or lay it on the middest of the table, and with inchanting words cause
the same to leape out of the pot, or run towards him or from him wards
alongest the table, which will seeme miraculous, vntill that you know
that it is done with a long black haire of a womans head, fastned to
the brim of a groat by meanes of a little hole driuen through the same
with a spanish needle: in like sort you may vse a knife or any other
small thing. But if you would haue it to goe from you, you must haue a
confederate by which meanes all Iugling is greased, and amended. This
feate is the stranger if it be done by night, a candle placed betweene
the lookers on and the Iugler: for by that meanes the eysight is
hindred from deserning the conceyt.

A very pretty trick to make a groate or a testor to
sinck thorow a table, and to vanish out of
a hand kercheife very strangely.

A Iugler sometimes will borrow a groate or a testor, and marke it
before you, and seeme to put the same into a hand kercheife, and winde
it so that you may the better see and feele it: then will he take you
the handkercheif and bid you feele whether the groate be there or no:
And he will also require you to put the same vnder a candlestick or
some such thing: then will he send for a Bason and holding the same
vnder the boord right against the candlestick will vse certen words of
inchantments, and in short space you shall here the groat fall into a
bason: this done, one takes of the candlestick and the Iugler taketh
the handcarcheife by the tassell, and shaketh it: but the money is
gone, which seemeth as strange as any feate what soeuer: but being
knowne, the miracle is turned into a bable, for it is nothing but to
sowe a counter into the corner of a handkercher finely couered with a
peece of linnen little bigger then the counter, which corner you must
conuey in steede of the groat deliuered vnto you, in the middle of
your handkercheife, leauing the other eyther in your hand or lappe,
which afterwards you must seeme to pull through the board, letting it
fall into a bason.

To conuey one shilling being in one hand into
an other, holding your armes abroad
like to a roode.

Euermore it is necessary to mingle some merry toyes among your graue
miracles, as in this case of money: Take a shilling in each hand, and
holding your armes abroad, to lay a wager that you will put them both
into one hand without bringing them any whit nerer together: the wager
being layde, hold your armes abroad like a roode, and turning about
with your body, lay the shilling out of one of your hands vppon the
table, and turning to the other side take it vp with the other hand,
and so you shall winne your wager.

Of Cardes and Dice, with good cautions how to
auoyde cosenage therein: speciall rules to conuey and
handle the cardes, and the manner and order
how to accomplish all difficult, & strange
things wrought with cardes.

Hauing bestowed some wast money amonge you, I will set you to Cardes,
and Dice: A cupple of honest friends that drawe both in a yoke
together, which haue bin the ouerthrow, of many a hundred in this
Realme, and these are not the slightest matters whereuppon Iuglers
worke vpon, and shew their feates. By which kinde of Iugling, a great
number haue Iugled away, not only their money, but also their landes,
their health, their time, and their honestie: I dare not (as I could)
shew the lewde Iugling that cheaters practise, least it minister some
offence, to the well disposed: to the simple hurt and losse, and to
the wicked occasion of euill doing. But by the way I will a little
speake of dice, and the vse of them, as caueats, rather to let you
take heede of their cosonings, then to giue you light to follow their
doings: _Non ad imitandum sed ad cuitandum._

First, you must know a Langret, which is a die that simple men haue
seldom heard of, but often seene to their cost, and this is a well
fauoured die, and seemeth good and square, yet is it forged longer,
vppon the Cater, and Trea, then any other way: And therefore it is
called a Langret. Such be also cal'd bard Cater treas, because
commonly, the longer end will of his owne sway drawe downewards, and
turne vp to the eie, Sixe, Sincke, Deuce or Ace. The principall vse
of them is at _Nouum_, for so longe a paire of Bard cater treas be
walking on the bourd, so longe can ye not cast fiue, nor nine, vnles
it be by greate chance, that the roughnes of the table, or some other
stoppe force them to stay, and runne against their kinde: for without
Cater or trea, ye know that fiue or nine can neuer come.

But you will say by this reason, he that hath the first dice, is like
alwaies to stripp and rob all the table about. To helpe this, there
must be for that purpose, an odd Die, called a flat Cater trea ready
at hand, and no other number, for graunting the trea and Cater be
allwaies vppon the one Die, then is there no chance vpon the other
Die, but may serue to make fiue or nine, & cast forth, & loose all.

But now to share you what shifts they haue to bring the flat die in
and out, which is a iolly cunning property of Iugling, with them
called foysting: the which is nothing else but a slight, to carry
easly within the hand, as often as the foister list: so that when
either he or his partner shall cast the dice, the flat comes not
abroad, till hee hath made a great hand and won as much as him
listeth: otherwise the flat is euer one, vnlesse at few times vpon
purpose he suffer the silly soules to cast in a hand or two, to giue
them courage to continue the play, and liue in hope of winning.

These things I know seeme very strange to the simple, and as yet
cannot sinke into their braine, how a man may carry so many dice in
one hand, and chop and change them so often, and neuer be espied: so
as before I tolde you, Iuglers conueyance seemeth to exceede the
compas of reason till you know the feat: but what is it that vse and
labour ouercometh not. To foyst finely and readily and with the same
hand to tell mony to and fro, is a thing hardly learned, and asketh a
bold spirit and long experience, though it be one of the first the
Cheater learneth.

What should I speak any more of false dice, of fullons, high-men,
lowe-men, gourds, and brisled dice, grauiers, demies, and contraries,
all which haue his sundry vses: but it is not my meaning to stand on
this subiect: I would rather vse my pen, and spend my time, to
disswade and perswade all gamesters, to beware not onely with what
dice, but with what company and where they exercise gaming: and be
well assured Gentlemen that all the friendly entertainement you shall
finde amongst them is for no other end, but to perswade you to play,
and therby by to breede your great losse, if not altogether your

Therefore vtterly forbeare to hazard any thing at dice, and liue in
doubt and suspition of cheating, wheresoeuer you play (vnles you know
your company very well) for the contagion of cheating, is now growne
so vniuersall, that they swarme in euery quarter: and therefore ye
cannot be in safety, vnles you shunne the company of such altogether.

To leaue Dice and returne to Cardes, wherein is as much falsehood and
cosening as in Dice: I will therefore disclose as much in one as in
the other, for I would not giue a point to choose, which of them is
the better, or rather the worse, for there is such a slight in
shuffling and sorting of the Cardes, that play at what game you will,
all is lost before hand, but if there be a confederate: either of the
players or standers bie, the mischiefe can not be auoided.

Beware therefore when you play among strangers of him that seemes
simple or drunken, for vnder their habit the most speciall cosoners
are presented, and while you thinke by their simplicitie and
imperfections to beguile them, (and thereof perchance are perswaded by
their confederates) your very friends as you thinke, you your selfe
will be most of all ouertaken.

Beware also of betters by, and lookers on: and namely on them that bet
on your side: for whilst they looke on your game without suspition,
they discouer it by signes to your aduersaries, with whome they bet,
and yet are they confederates, whereof me thinkes this one aboue the
rest proceedeth from a fine inuention.

A tricke by confederacy at Cardes.

A Gamester, after he had bene often times bitten by Cheators, and
after much losse, grew very suspitious in his play, so that he would
not suffer any of the sitters by to be priuy to his game, for this the
Cheators deuised a new shift, that a woman should sit close by him,
and by the swift and slowe drawing of her needle, giue a token to the
Cheator what was the Cosens game.

Other helpes there be, as to set the Cosen vpon the bench, with a
great Looking glasse behinde him on the wall, wherein the Cheator may
alwaies see what Cardes hee hath in his hand, So that a few ensamples
in stead of many that might be rehearsed, this one conclusion may be
gathered, that whosoeuer is giuen to play, and once sitteth amongst
them, it is great ods but that he shall rise a looser.

But many there be that liue so continently, that nothing can perswade
them to put a penny in aduenture, and some againe are so vnskilfull
that lacke of cunning forceth them to forbeare play: but yet hard it
is for any man to fall into their company, but they will make him
stoope at one game or other: and for this purpose, their first drift
and intent is to seeke, by al meanes possible to vnderstand his
nature, and whereunto he is most inclined: if they find that he taketh
pleasure in the company of women, then seek they to strike him, at the
Sacking law: (as they tearme it) and take this alwaies for a rule,
that all the Baudes in the country be of the Cheaters familiar

Therefore it is not very hard for them at all times to prouide for
their amorous Cosen, a lewd lecherous Lady to keepe him louing
company: then fall they to banquetting, and carrowsing and hunting of
Tauernes, and much is the cost that this silly Cosen shall be at in
Iewels and apparrell, otherwise he shall not once get a graunt to haue
a kisse of his mistris lips: and euer in middle of their conference
she layeth in this reason, for her sake to put in twenty or thirty
crownes in aduenture at Cardes or Dice: you know not (quoth she) what
may be a womans lucke: if he refuse it, Lord how vnkindely she takes
the matter, and cannot be reconciled with lesse then a gowne or a
kirtle of silke.

But now if these Cheaters perceaue that he esteemeth no bruised ware,
but is enamored with virginity, they haue a fine cast within an houres
warning, to make _Ione Siluerpin_ as good a maide as if she had neuer
come to the stewes: but to let these things passe, for offending of
chast eares, whose displeasure I would not incurre, for all the
cheates these gamesters get in a whole yeare. But to our purpose.

There are two sorts of vsing the Cards, the one is in playing (with
one or more) games, as _Primero, Trumpe, Saunte, Decoye, &c._

The other vse of Cardes is to shew feates of Legerdemaine.

Concerning the first, if it be vsed for recreation and not to the
prophaning of Gods holy name, nor hurt of our bretheren and neighbors,
they are to be tollerated: but now (more is the pitty) they are not
vsed in that fashion as they should be, but much hurt oft times
ariseth thereof.

_Primero_ now as it is in great vse, so is there much deceite in it,
some play vppon the prick, some pinch the cardes priuily with their
nailes, some turne vp the corners, some marke them with fine spots of
Inck, some there be that trauell into Spaine and into Italie to learne
fine tricks and quaint conueyances, at cardes and returne home, and
winne much money with them here in England, but yet at the last they
are still ouer-reached by some fine wittes that devise new sleights
here at home.

At _Trumpe, Saunte_, and such other like games, cutting at the nick,
is a great aduantage, so is cutting by _Bumcard_, finely vnder or
ouer: stealing the stock or the discarded Cardes.

At _Decoye_ they drawe twentie hands together and play all vpon
assurance when to winne or loose, other helpes there be as I haue
before set downe, with a looking glasse and confederacy: all which and
such like, tende to cosoning and hurt of our brother: But we will
proceed with the other vse of Cardes, which tendeth to mirth and
recreation of minde and which in themselues simply is no hurt, vnles
they are abused. In shewing feats & Iugling with cardes the principall
poynt consisteth in shuffling them nimbly, and alwaies keeping one
certen carde either in the bottom or in some knowne place of the
stock, foure or fiue cardes from it, hereby you shall seeme to worke
wonders, for it will be easie for you to see or espie one, which
though you be perceiued to doe, it will not be suspected, if you
shuffle them well afterwards, and this note I must giue you, That in
reseruing the bottome carde, you must alwaies (whilst you shuffle)
keepe him a little before, or a little behind, all the cardes lying
vnderneath him, bestowing him (I say) eyther a little beyond his
fellowes before right ouer the fore finger, or else behinde the rest,
so as the little finger of the left hand may meete with it, which is
the esier and the readier, and the better way: in the beginning of
your shuffleing, shuffle as thick as you can, and in the end throw
vppon the deck the nether carde, (with so many moe at the least as you
would haue preserued for any purpose) a little before or behinde the
rest; prouided alwaies that your fore finger if the pack be laide
before, or the little finger if the pack lye behinde, creepe vp to
meete with the bottome carde, and not lye betwixt the cardes, and when
you feele it, you may there holde it vntill you haue shuffled ouer the
cardes againe, still leauing your kept carde below being perfect
herein, you may doe almost what you list with the cardes: By this
meanes what pack soeuer you make, though it consist of eight, twelue,
or twenty cardes, you may keepe them still together vnseuered next to
the nether carde, and yet shuffle them often to satisfie the curious
beholders, as for ensample, and for breuities sake, to shew you diuers
feates vnder one.

How to deliuer out foure Aces, and to conuert
them into foure Knaues.

Make a pack of eight cardes, to wit foure Knaues and foure Aces, and
although all the eight cardes must lie imediately together, yet must
ech Knaue and Ace be openly seauered, and the same eight cardes must
lie also in the lowest place of the bunch, then shuffle them so, as
alwaies at the second shuffling, or at least wise at the end of your
shuffling the said pack, and of the pack one ace may lye nethermost or
so as you may knowe where he goeth and lyeth, and alwaies I say let
your foresaid pack, with three or foure cardes more, lye vnseperablely
together, immediately vppon and with that ace, then vsing some speech
or other deuise, and putting your hand with the cardes to the edge of
the table, to hide the account, let out priuily a peece of the second
card, which is one of the knaues holding forth the stock in both your
hands, and shewing to the standers by the nether Card (which is the
ace or kept Card) couering also the head or peece of the knaue (which
is your next card) with your foure fingers: draw out the same knaue
laying it down an the Table: then shuffle again keeping your packe
whole, and so haue you two aces lying together in the bottome: &
therefore to reforme that disordered Card, as also for a grace and
countenance to that action, take off the vppermost Card of the
bunch, and thrust it into the middest of the Cards, and then take away
the nethermost Card, which is one of your aces, and bestow him
likewise: then may you begin as before, shewing an other ace, and in
stead thereof lay downe another knaue, and so forth, vntill instead of
your foure aces you haue laid downe foure knaues. The beholders all
this while thinking that there lye foure aces on the table, are
greatly abused, and will maruell at the transformation.

How to tell one what Card he seeth in the bottome,
when the same Carde is shuffled into the stock.

When you haue seene a Card priuily, or as though you marked it not,
lay the same vndermost, and shuffle the Cards as before you were
taught, till your Card ly againe belowe in the bottom: then shew the
same to the beholders, willing them to remember it, then shuffle the
Cards or let any shuffle them, for you know the Cardes already, and
therefore may at any time tell them what Carde they saw, which
neuerthelesse would be done with great circumstance and shew of

A strange & excellent tricke to hold foure Kings in the
hand, and by words to transform them into foure
Aces, and after to make them all blancke
Cardes, one after another.

You shall see a Iugler take foure Kings and no more in his hand, and
apparantly shew you them, then after some words and charmes, he will
throwe them downe before you vpon the table, taking one of the Kings
away and adding but one other Card: then taking them vp againe and
blowing vpon them, will shew you them transformed into blancke Cardes,
white on both sides: after vsing charmes againe, throwing them downe
as before, (with the faces downeward) will take them vp againe and
shew you foure Aces, blowing still vpon them, that it may breede the
more wonder, which tricke in my minde is nothing inferiour to the
rest: and being not knowne, will seeme wonderfull strange to the
spectators, yet after you knowe it, you can not but say the tricke is
pretty. Now therefore to accomplish this feate, you must haue Cardes
made for the purpose, (halfe Cardes ye may call them) that is the one
halfe kings the other part aces, so that laying the aces, one ouer the
other, nothing but the kings will be seene, and then turning the kings
downward, the foure aces will be seene: prouided you must haue two
whole, one whole king to couer one of the aces, or els it will be
perceaued, and the other an ace to lay ouer the kings, when you meane
to shew the aces: then when you will make them all blancke, lay the
Cards a little lower, and hide the aces and they will appeare all
white. The like you may make of the foure knaues, putting vppon them
the foure fiues, and so of the rest of the Cardes: But this can not be
well shewed you without demonstration.

Hitherto I haue intreated of the three principall kinds of Iugling,
now it remaineth in order to speake of Iugling by confederacy, which
is either priuate or publike.

Priuate conspiracy is, when one (by a speciall plot laid by himselfe,
without any compact made with others) perswadeth the beholders, that
he will suddenly and in their presence, doe some miraculous feate,
which he hath already accomplished priuately: as for ensample, he will
shew you a carde or any other like thing, and will say further unto
you, behold and see what a marke it hath, and then burneth it, and
neuertheles fetcheth another like Card, so marked out of some bodies
pocket, or out of some corner, where he himselfe before had placed it,
to the wonder and astonishment of simple beholders, which conceaue not
that kinde of illusion, but expect miracles and strange workes.

I haue read of a notable exploit done before a King by a Iugler, who
painted on a wall the picture of a doue, and seeing a pigeon sitting
vpon the top of an house, said to the King, looke now your grace shall
see what a Iugler can doe, if he be his craftes master, & then pricked
the picture with a knife, so hard and so often, and with so effectuall
words, as the pigeon fell downe from the top of the house starke dead,
you may imagine how the matter was taken, what wondring was thereat,
how he was prohibited to vse that feat any further, least he should
imploy it in any other kinde of murder. This story is held yet of
diuers as canonicall, but when you are taught the feat or slight, you
will thinke it a mockery and a simple illusion.

To vnfold you the mistery heereof, so it is that the poore pigeon was
before in the hands of the Iugler, into whom he had thrust a dramme of
_Nux vomica_, or some other such poyson, which to the nature of the
Bird was so extreame a poyson, as after the receit thereof, it could
not liue aboue the space of halfe an houre, and being let loose after
the medicine ministred, she alwaies resorteth to the top of the next
house, which she will the rather doe, if there be any pigeons already
sitting there, and after a short space falleth downe, either starke
dead, or greatly astonished: but in the meane time, the Iugler vseth
words of art, partly to protract time, and partly to gaine credit, and
admiration of the beholders.

As with Cardes you may shew feates by priuate confederacy, so of the
other two, that is to wit, with the balls and the mony, as to marke a
shilling or any other thing, and throwe the same into a riuer or deepe
pond, & hauing hid the shilling before, with like markes, in some
other secret place, bid some goe presently and fetch it, making them
beleeue that it is the very same which you threwe into the riuer the
beholders will maruell much at it: and of such feates there may be
many done, but more by publike confederacy, whereby one may tell
another how much money he hath in his purse and an hundred like toyes.

Of publike confederacie and whereof
it consisteth.

Publike confederacy is, when there is before hand a compacte made
betwixt diuers persons: the one to be principall, the other to be
assistant in working of miracles, or rather in cosoning and abusing
the beholders, as when I tell you in the presence of a multitude, what
you haue thought or done, or shall doe or thinke, when you and I were
thereupon agreed before: and if this be cunningly and closely handled,
it will induce great admiration to the beholders, especially when they
are before amased and abused, by some experiment of art, magicke or
legerdemaine. I will in briefe set you downe some pretty conclusions,
and so I will proceede with other feates in other kindes.

To tell you how to know whether one caste Crosse or
Pile; by the ringing

Lay a wager with your confederate (who must seeme simple or obstinate
opposed against you) that standing behinde a dore, you will (by the
sounding or ringing of the mony) tell him whether he cast crosse or
pile, so as when you are gone, and he hath phillepped the money before
the witnesses who are to be cosoned, he must say _What is it_ if it be
crosse, or _What i'st_ if it be pile, or some other such signe, as you
are agreed vpon; and so you neede not faile to gesse rightly. By this
meanes if you haue any inuention, you may seeme to doe an hundred
miracles, & to discouer a mans thought, or words spoken a far off.

How to tell where a stolne horse is become.

By meanes of confederacy _Cuthbert Conycatcher_, and one _Swart
Rutter_, two that haue taken degrees in _Whittington_ Colledge, abused
notably the country people: for _Cuthbert_ would hide away his
neighbours horses, kine, colts, &c: and send them to _Swart Rutter_,
(whom he before had told where they were) promising to send the
parties vnto him, whome he described, and made knowne by diuers
signes: so as this _Swart_ would tell them at their first entrance
vnto the dore, wherefore they came, and would say that their horses
kine &c. were stolne, but the theefe should be forced to bring them
backe againe, and leaue them within one mile (south and by west, &c.)
of his house: euen as the plot was laid, and the pack made before by
Cuthbert & him. This Cuthbert is esteemed of some, & thought to be a
witch of others, he is accounted a coniurer, but commonly called a
wise man, and are able of themselues, to tell you where any thing that
is stolne is, as to build Pauls steeple vp againe.

To make one daunce naked.

It hath bene reported of such fellowes, and such, that they can doe
rare feates, as to make one daunce naked. To the effecting of this,
make a poore boy confederate with you: so as after charmes and words
spoken by you, he vnclothe himselfe and stand naked: seeming (whilst
he vndresseth him) to shake, stampe, and crie, still hastening to be
vnclothed, till he be starke naked: or if you can procure none to goe
so farre, let him only begin to stamp and shake &c. and to vnclothe
him, and then you may (for reuerence of the company) seeme to release

To make a pot of any such thing standing fast on a cupbord,
to fall downe thence by vertue of words.

Lett your cupbord be so placed, as your confederate may hould a black
Threed without in the courete, behinde some windowe of that roome,
and at a certen lowe word spoken by you, he may pull the same threed,
being wound about the pot. And this was the feate of _Eleazer_ the
_Iewe_, which _Iosephus_ reporteth to be such a miracle.

Now that we haue spoken of the three principle actes of Legerdemayne
and of confederacy, I will go forward, and touch some fewe ordinary
feates, which are pretty, yet not altogether to be compared with the
rest; I meane for conceipt and nimblenes of the hand, yet such as to
the ignorant, and those that knowe not the carriage, will seeme
strange and wonderfull.

Of Boxes to alter one graine into another, or to consume
the graine or corne to nothing.

There be diuers iugling boxes with false bottomes, wherein many false
feates are wrought. First they haue a boxe couered or rather footed
alike at each end, the bottome of the one end being no deeper then as
it may containe one lane of corne or pepper, glewed there vpon. Then
vse they to put into the hollow end thereof some other kind of graine,
ground or vnground: then doe they couer it, and put it vnder a hat or
candlesticke, and either in putting it thereinto, or pulling it
thence, they turne the boxe, and open the contrary end, wherein is
shewed a contrary graine, or else they shew the glewed end first,
(which end they suddenly thrust into a bag of such graine as is glewed
already therevpon) and secondly the empty boxe.

How to conuey (with words and charmes) the corne
conteyned in one Box, into another.

There is another boxe fashioned like a bell, whereinto they put so
much and such corne as the foresaid hollowe boxe can conteine: then
they stop and couer the same with a peece of lether as broad as a
tester, which being thrust vp hard to the middle part or waste of the
said bell, will sticke fast and beare vp the corne, and if the edge of
the same lether be wet, it will hold the better: then take they the
other boxe, dipped (as is aforesaid) in corne, and set downe the same
vpon the Table, the empty end vpward, saying, that they will conuey
the graine therein, into the other boxe or bell, which being set downe
somewhat hard vpon the table, the leather & corne therein will fall
down, so as the said bell being taken vp from the table: you shal see
the corne lying thereon, & the stopple wilbe hidden therewith, &
couered, & when you vncouer the other box nothing shal remaine
therein, but presently the corne must be swept downe with one hand,
into the other, or into your lapp or hatt: many feates may be done
with this boxe, as to put therein a toade, affirming the same to be so
turned from corne, and then many beholders will suppose the same to be
the Iuglers deuill, whereby his feates and myracles are wrought.

How to pull laces innumerable out of your
mouth; of what colour or length you list, and
neuer any thing seene to be therein.

As for pulling of laces forth of the mouth it is now somewhat stale,
whereby Iuglers get much mony among maydes, selling lace by the yarde,
putting into their mouthes one round bottome, as fast as they pull out
another, & at the iust ende of euery yarde they tie a knott, so as the
same resteth vppon their teeth, then cut they off the same, and so the
beholders are double and treble deceaued, seeing so much lace as will
be conteined in a hat, and the same of what collour you list to name,
to bee drawne by so euen yards out of his mouth, and yet the Iugler to
talke as though there were nothing at all in his mouth. There are
diuers iugling trickes which I am loath to describe for some reasons
before alleaged, whereof some are common some rarer and some
desperate: I wil therefore shew a few desperate and dangerous iugling
knackes, wherein the simple are made thinke, that a silly Iugler with
words can hurt and helpe, kill and reuiue any creature at his
pleasure: and first to kill any kinde of pullen and to make them

To kill a Hen, chicken or Capon and
giue it life againe.

Take a hen &c. and trust a naule, or a fine sharpe pointed knife
through the middle of the head thereof, the edge toward the bill, so
as it may seeme impossible for her to escape death. Then vse words or
incantations, and pulling out the knife, lay otes before her and she
wil eate and liue, being nothing at all greeued or hurt with the
wound, because the braine lyeth so farre behinde in the head as it is
not touched, though you thrust your knife betweene the combe and
it:[*] And after you haue done this, you may conuert your speech and
accions, to the greeuous wounding, and recouering of your owne selfe.

[* Sidenote: The naturall cause why a Hen thrust through the head
with a Bodkin doth liue notwithstanding.]

To eate a Knife, and to fetch it forth
of another place.

Take a knife, and conuey the same betweene your two hands, so as no
parte be seene thereof, but a little of the poynt, which you must so
bite at the first as noyse may be made therwith: then seeme to put a
great parte therof into your mouth, and letting your hand slip downe,
there will appeare to haue bin more in your mouth, then is possible to
be conteyned therein: then send for drinke, or vse some other delaye
vntill you haue let the said knife slip into your lap, holding both
your fists close together as before, and then raise them so from the
edge of the table where you sit (for from thence the knife may most
priuily slippe downe into your lappe) and in steede of biting the
knife, knab a little vppon your naile, and then seeme to thrust the
knife into your mouth,[*] opening the hand next vnto it, and thrust vp
the other, so as it may appeare to the standers by, that you haue
deliuered your hands thereof, and thrust it into your mouth: then call
for drinke, after countenance made of pricking, and daunger &c.
lastly, put your hand into your lap, and taking that knife into your
hand, you may seeme to bring it out from behinde you, or from whence
you list: but if you haue another like knife, and a confederate, you
may doe twentie notable wonders hereby: as to send a stander by into
some garden or Orchard, describing to him some tree or herbe vnder
which it sticketh: or else some strangers sheath or pocket &c.

[* Sidenote: This is pretty if it be cleanely done.]

To thrust a bodkin through your head,
without any hurt.

Take a Bodkin so made, as the haft being hollow, the blade thereof may
slip thereinto: as soone as you holde the poynt downeward, and set the
same to your forehead, and seeme to thrust it into your head: and so
(with a little sponge in your hand) you may wringe out blood or wine,
making the beholders thinke the blood or wine (whereof you may say you
haue drunke very much) runneth out of your forehead: Then after
countenance of paine and greefe, pull away your hand suddenly, holding
the poynt downeward, and it will fall so out, as it will seeme neuer
to haue bin thrusted into the hafte: But immediately thrust that
bodkin into your lappe or pocket, and pull out another playne bodkin
like the same, sauing in that conceite.

To cut halfe your nose in sunder, and to heale
it againe presently without any salue.

Take a knife, hauing a round hollow gappe in the middle, and lay it
vppon your nose, and so shall you seeme to haue cut your nose in
sunder:[*] prouided alwaies that in all these, you haue another like
knife without a gap to be shewed vppon pulling out of the same and
words of inchauntments to speake: Blood also to bewraye the wounde,
and nimble conueyance.

[Sidenote: This is easily don, howbeit being nimbly done it
will deceaue the sight of the beholders.]

To put a Ring through your cheeke.

There is pretty Knack, which seemeth dangerous to the cheeke: for the
accomplishment whereof, you must haue two rings of like coullour and
quantity, the one filed asunder, so as you may thrust it vpon your
cheeke: the other must be whole and conueyed vpon a sticke, holding
your hand therevpon in the middle of the sticke, deliuering each end
of the same sticke to be holden fast by a stander by, then pulling the
ring out of your cheeke, cleanely strike it against same part of the
sticke, keeping it still in your hand, then pull your other hand from
the sticke, and pulling it away, whirle about the ring, and so it will
be thought that you haue put thereon the Ring which was in your

Many other pretty feates of this nature might be here sett downe, as
to cut of ones head and to laye it in a platter, which Iuglers cal the
decollation of _S. Iohn_ the Baptist, also to thrust a dagger or
bodkin through your gutts very strangely, and to recouer imediately:
after another way then with the bodkyn before rehearsed, also to draw
a corde through your nose, mouth or hande so sencibly, as is wonderful
to see, al which with many more, I here forbeare for breuities sake.
There is a very pretty trick to make wine or beere, to come out of
your browe, or eare, with a funnell after you haue drank the same, the
which I am loath to discouer, as not willing to haue all the poore
Iugglers trickes made known at once: there is a way to make fire to
come out of your mouth by burning of towe, all which for reasons
before aleadged, I wil here omit to discouer. But will hie me to
another sorte of Iugglers, or rather cosoners, calling themselues by
the name of alchimistes, professing themselues learned men, and to
haue the Philosophers stone, these professors of the mysty or smokie
science, studie and cast about how to ouer-reach and cosen the simple,
and such as are giuen to coueteousnes or greedy desire after gaine,
with such they insinuate themselues by little and little, professing a
shew of honesty and plainnes, vntill they are acquainted with their
desires, and found the length of their foote: telling them that they
can doe wonders, make siluer of copper, and golde of siluer. Such a
one a while agoe was in Battersey, who comming poore to towne, made
some of the towne beleeue he had the Philosophers stone: wherevpon,
one of the rest beleuing him, desired to be better acquainted with
him: insomuch, that he requested him to take a poore bed at his house,
and offred him great kindenesse, hoping in time to get some skil of
him towards the attaining of the Philosophers stone: vpon a day as
this Smith (for so imagine him to be) and beggerly Artist were
together, desired him of all loues to impart to him some of his
learning, assuring him, if it lay in his power to doe him a pleasure,
he should not faile, protesting that both his purse and himselfe were
both at his comaund: Herevpon, to be short, my Gentleman at the first
was somewhat scrupilous, yet at the earnest request of his newe
friend, did at last condiscende, charging him to be secret in what he
should disclose vnto him. The Smith swore to be silent: then my
cosoning copesmate instructs him as followeth.

In the month of Iuly, search for the seede of Fearne, which must be
first and principall matter of working this, and effecting this hidden
secret, and qd. he, if you had but an ounce of this fearneseede, thou
shalt be made for euer, for it is very hard to finde: heerevpon he
gets vp the next morning (for it was about the same time of the yeare
which he prescribd him to search for this inestimable seede) and
lookes very dilligently about the heath, (where store of fearne
growes: but hauing) spent most part of the day in searching and
looking, his backe ready to cracke with stooping, and his throate furd
with dust, for want of small beere, so that the poore Smith was ready
to faint for want of foode: by chance one of the towne came by, and
seeing him search so dilligently vp & downe, and could not guesse for
what, asked him what he sought for so busily? O quoth the Smith, for a
thing that if I could finde, I should be made for euer: why quoth the
fellow what I prethee ist? O no quoth the Smith I may not tell you:
not tell me quoth the fellow, why what ist? I prethee tell me: at
last, at the earnest entreaty of the fellow, the smith told he looked
for fearne seede: with that the fellow laughed a good, and asked him
who willed him to looke for that? that did M. _Etseb_ quoth the smith,
and if I can but finde one ounce of it, it would be of much worth:
worth quoth the fellow, he that set thee to looke for that was a foole
and thou art an Asse, for there was neuer any fearne seede as yet
seene: therefore get thee home to the forge, for he makes but a foole
of thee: at this the smith was blancke, and got him home to his
anuill: but how the smith and the Alcumister, agreed vpon the
reckoning for his cosening him, I meane not heere to deliuer: but this
I bring in by the way, to shew that their art is nothing but deceipt,
and themselues cosoners, which by two pretty tales I will declare vnto

How an Alcumister cousoned a priest.

_Chaucer_ in one of his Canterbury tales, rehearseth this test of a
cousoning Alcumist: espying on a day a coueteous priest, whose purse
he knew to be well lyned: assaulted him with flattery and kinde
speech, two principall points belonging to this art: at length he
borrowed mony of this priest, which is the third part of this art,
without the which the professors can doe no good, nor endure in good
estate: then he at his day repayed the mony, which is the most
difficult poynt in this art, and a rare experiment: finally to requite
the priests curtesie, he promised vnto him such instructions, as
therby within short time he should become infinitely rich, and all
through this art of multiplication: and this is the most common point
in this science, for heerein they must be skilfull before they be
famous or attaine to any credit: the Preist disliked not his proffer,
especially because it tended to his profit, and embraced his curtesie:
then the foole-taker bad him send forthwith for three ounces of
quicke-siluer, which hee said he would transubstantiate (by his art)
into perfect siluer: the Priest thought nothing of deceit, but with
great ioy accomplished his request.

And now forsooth goeth this iolly Alcumist about his busines, and
worke of multiplication, and causeth the Priest to make a fire of
coles, in the bottome whereof he placeth a croslet, and pretending
onely to helpe the Priest to lay the coles handsomely, he foysteth
into the middle ward or lane of coles, a beechen cole, within which
was conueyed an ingot of perfect siluer, (which when the cole was
consumed slipt down into the croslet, that was I say directly vnder
it.) The Priest perceaued not the fraud, but receaued the ingot of
siluer, and was not a little ioyfull to see such certen successe
proceed from his own handy worke, wherein could be no fraud (as he
surely conceaued) and therefore very dilligently gaue the knaue forty
pounds, for the receit of this experiment, who for that summe of mony,
taught him a lesson in Alcumistry, but he neuer returned to heare
repetitions or to see how hee profited.

A merry tale how a cosoning Alcumist deceaued
a country Gentleman.

A Gentleman in Kent of good worth, not long sithence was ouertaken by
a cosoning knaue, who professed Alcumistry, Iugling, Witch craft, and
coniuration, and by meanes of his companions and confederates, found
the simplicitie and abilitie of the said Gentleman, & learnt his
estate and humors to be conuenient for his purpose, and at last came a
wooing to his daughter, to whome hee made loue cunningly in words,
though his purpose tended to another end: and among other illusions
and tales, concerning his owne commendations, for wealth, parentage,
inheritance, alliance, learning and cunning, be bosted of the
knowledge and experience in Alcumistry, making the simple Gentleman
beleeue that he could multiply, and of one Angell make two or three,
which seemed strange to the Gentleman: insomuch as he became willing
enough to see that conclusion: whereby the Alcumister had more hope
and comfort to attaine his desire, then if his daughter had yeelded to
haue married him: to bee short, he in the presence of the said
Gentleman, did include within a little ball of virgins ware a couple
of Angells, & after certaine ceremonies and coniuring words, he seemed
to deliuer the same vnto him, but in truth, through Legerdemaine, he
conueyed into the Gentlemans hand, another ball of the same scantling,
wherein were inclosed many more Angells then were in the ball which he
thought he had receaued, Now (forsooth) the Alcumister bad him lay vp
the same ball of ware, and also vse certaine ceremonies, (which I
thought good heere to omit) and after certaine daies, houres, and
minutes, they returned together according to the appointment, and
found great gaines by multiplication of the angels, insomuch that he
being a plaine man, was heereby perswaded that he should not onely
haue a rare and notable good sonne in law, but a companion that might
helpe to ad vnto his wealth much treasure, and to his estate great
fortune and felicity: and to encrease this opinion in him, as also to
winne his further fauour: but especially to bring his cunning
Alcumistry, or rather his lend purpose to passe, he tolde him that it
were folly to multiply a pound of gold, when as easily they might
multiply a million, and therefore counselled him to produce al the
money he had, or could borrowe of his neighbours, and freendes, and
did put him out of doubt, that he would multiply the same, & reduble
it exceedingly, euen as he sawe by experience how he delt with the
smal somme before his face: this Gent. in hope of gaines and
preferment, consented to his sweete motion, & brought out and layd
before his feete, not the one halfe of his goodes, but all that he
had, or could make or borrowe any manner of waye: then this Iuggling
Alchimister hauing obtayned his purpose, foulded the same in a ball in
quantity far bigger then the other. And conuaying the same vnto his
bosome or pocket, deliuered another Ball (as before) in the like
quantity, to be reserued, and safely kept in his cheste, whereof
(because the matter was of importance) eyther of them must haue a
keye, and a seuerall lock, that no interruption might be made to the
ceremuny, or abuse by either of them in defrawding eche other. Now
forsooth the circumstances, and ceremonies being ended & the
Alchimisters purpose thereby performed, he tould the Gent. that vntil
a certen day and hower lymited to retorne, either of them might
imploye themselues about theire busines, and necessarie affaires, the
Gent. to his busines, and he to the citty of London. And in the meane
tyme the gould should multiply, But the Alchimister (belike) hauing
other matters of more importance, cam not iust at the hower appoynted
nor yet at the day, nor with in the yere, so as although it were som
what, against the Gent. conscience to violate his promise or break the
league yet partly by the longing he had to see, & partely the desire
he had to enioy the frute of the excellent experiment, hauing for his
own securitie (& the others Satisfaction) some testimonie at the
opening thereof, to witnes his sincere dealing, he brake vp the
coffer, & loe, he soone espied the Ball of ware which he himselfe had
layd vpp there with his owne handes, so as he thought, if the hardest
should fall, he should finde his principall, and why not as good
incrase now, as of the other before? But alas, when the ware was
broken and the mettall discouered, the gould was much abased and
became perfect lead.

Hitherto haue I spoken somewhat of the knauerie of Alcumisry, now I
will conclude with a pretty dialogue that _Petrarke_ a man of great
wisdome and learning, and of no lesse experience, hath written who as
in his time, sawe the fraudulent fetches of this compassing craft, so
hath there bin no age, since the same hath bin broached, but that some
wise men haue smelt out the euill meaning of these shifting marchants,
and bewrayed them to the world.

_Francis Petrarke_, (I say) treating of the same matter, in forme of a
dialogue, introduceth a deciple of his, who fancied the foresaid
profession and practise, speaking on this manner.

_Decip._ I hope for a prosperous successe in Alcamistrie.

_Pet._ It is a wonder from whence that hope should spring, sith the
fruite thereof did neuer yet fall to thy lotte: nor yet at any time
chance to another, as the report commonly goeth, that many rich men,
by this vanity and madnes, haue bin brought to beggery, whilst they
haue wearied their wealth, in trying of conclusions: to make gould
ingender gould.

_Decip._ I hope for gould according to the workemans promise.

_Petra._ He that promised the gould, will runne away with the gould,
and thou neuer the wiser.

_Decip._ He promiseth me greate good.

_Petr._ He will first serue his owne turne, and releeue his priuate
pouerty, for Alcumisters are a beggerly kinde of people, who though
they confesse themselues bare, and needy: yet wil they make other
rich, and wealthie, as though others pouertie did molest, and greeue
them more then their owne, so far the words of _petrarke_.

_Albert_ in his booke of mineralls, reporteth that _Auicen_ treating
of Alcumistry: saith, Let the dealers of Alcumistry vnderstand, that
the very nature of things, can not be changed: but rather made by
arte, to resemble the same in shew, and likenes: so that they are not
the very thing indeede, but seeme so to bee in appearance: As Castles
and Towers doe seeme to be built in the ayre, whereas the
representations there shewed, are nothing else, but the resemblance of
certaine obiects belowe, caused in some bright, and cleere cloude:
when the aire is voyde of thicknes, and grossenes, a sufficient proofe
hereof may be the looking-glasse: and wee see (saith he) the yellow
orringe cullour layde vppon red, seemeth to be gould.

Thus much for the fond, and vaine arte of Alcumistry, I will now drawe
to an ende, leauing to speake of the innumerable charmes of
coniurours, bad Phisitions, lewd Surgions, melancholy Witches, and
cosoners, especially for such: as bad Phisitions and Surgions, knowe
not how to cure: as against the falling euill, the biting of madde
doggs, the stinging of a Scorpion, the tooth-ache, for a woman in
trauell, for the kings euill: to get a thorne out of any member, or a
bone out of ones throate: for sore eies, to open locks, against
spirits: for the botts in a horse, for sower wines, and diuers others.

There are also diuers books imprinted, as it should appeare by the
authoritie of the Church of Rome, wherin are conteyned many medecinall
prayers, not only against all deseases of horses, but also for euery
impediment, and fault in a horse, in so much as if a shooe fall in the
middest of his iorney; there is a prayer to warrant your horses hoofe
so as it shall not breake, how farre soeuer he be from the smythes
forge: But these of all the rest are the fondest toyes, that euer were
deuised, therefore we wil passe them ouer, and yet how many in these
dayes are addicted to the beleefe of these charmes it is incredible, I
will giue you a taste of two or three, because you shall see the
foolery of the rest.

A Charme to be said each morning by a Witch
fasting, or at least before she goe

The fire bites, the fire bites, the fire bites: hogs turde ouer it,
hogges turde ouer it, hoggs turde ouer it. The Father with thee, the
Sonne with me, the holy Ghost betweene vs both to be, thrise, then
spitt ouer one shoulder, and then ouer the other, and then three times
right forward.

An olde womans Charme wherewith she did much
good in the cuntrie and grew famous

An olde woman that healed all deseases of cattell (for the which she
neuer tooke any reward but a penny and a loafe) being seriously
examined, by what words she brought these things to passe, confessed
that after she had touched the sick creature, she alwaies departed
immediately saying.

_My loafe in my lap,
My penie in my purse:
Thou art neuer the better,
And I am neuer the worse._

A slouenly Charme for sore eies.

The Deuill pull out both thine eies,
And _etish_[*] in the holes likewise.

[Sidenote: spel this word backward and you shall see what a
slouenly charme this is _etish_.]

A Miller that had his eeles stolne by night, made mone to the priest
of the parish, who indeede was the principall of the theeues that
stole the eeles, Sir Iohn willed him to be quiet, for said he I will
to curse the theeues, and their adherents with bell, booke, and
candle, that they shall haue small ioy of their fish, and therefore
the next sonday Sir Iohn gotte him vp to the pulpit with his surplis
on his back, and his Gole about his neck, and pronounced these words
following, in the audience of the people.

All ye that haue stolne the myllers Eeles
_Laudate Dominum in coelis:_
And all they that haue consented therunto
_Benedicamus Domino._

By this little you may plainely perceaue the foppery of the Church of
Rome, who hould such toyes as authenticall, and also there knauery to
make the people beleeue, lies for truth, and falshod for honestie,
Bearing them in hand, as in this, so in all the rest, with blindenes,
and ignorance but hereof ynoughe.

And now to conclude, lett vs backe againe with one pretty knack, which
is held to be meruilous and wonderfull. And that is to make a horse
tell you how much money you haue in your purse: and I reade of a
pretty story of an asse at _Memphis_ in Egypt, that could do rare
feates, among other Iuggling knackes, there and then vsed: there was
one that tooke paynes with an asse, that he had taught him, all these
quallities following, and for game he caused a stage to be made, and
an assembly of people to meete, which being downe in the manner of a
play, he came in with his asse, and sayde: The _Sultan_ hath great
neede of asses, to helpe to carry stones, and other stuffe towards his
great building which he hath in hande: the asse immediately fell downe
to the ground, and by all signes shewed himself to be sick, and at
length to giue vp the ghost, so as the Iuggler begged of the assembly
money towards his asse, and hauing gotten all that he could, he saide,
now my masters you shall see mine asse is yet aliue, and doth but
counterfeit, because he would haue some money to buy him prouender,
knowing that I was poore and in some neede of reliefe: heere vpon he
would needes lay a wager that his asse was aliue, who to euery mans
seeing was starke dead: and when one had laid mony with him therevpon,
he commaunded the asse to arise, but hee lay still as though he were
dead: then did he beate him with a Cudgell, but that would not serue
the turne, vntill he had addressed his speech to the Asse, saying as
before in open audience, the _Sultane_ hath commaunded that all the
people shall ride out to morrow, and see the triumph, and that the
faire Ladies will ride vpon the fairest Asses, and will giue notable
prouender to them, and euery Asse shall drinke of the sweete water of
Nylus: and then, loe the Asse did presently start vp, and aduance
himself exceedingly. Loe quoth his master, now I haue wonne: but in
troth the Maior hath borrowed my Asse for the vse of the old
il-fauoured witch his wife: and therevpon immediately he hung downe
his eares and halted downe right, as though he had bene starke lame:
then said his Master, I perceaue you loue young pretty wenches: at
which the asse looked vp as it were with a ioyfull cheere, and then
his master bad him choose out one that should ride vpon him, and he
ran to a very hansome woman, and touched her with his head.

Such a one is at this day to be seene in London, his master will say,
sirra, heere be diuers Gentlemen, that haue lost diuers things, and
they heare say that thou canst tell them tydings of them where they
are: if thou canst, prethee shew thy cunning and tell them: then
hurles he downe a handkercher or a gloue that he had taken from the
parties before, and bids him giue it the right owner, which the horse
presently doth: and many other pretty feates this horse doth, and some
of those trickes as the Asse before mencioned did, which not one among
a thousand perceaues how they are done, nor how he is brought to
learne the same: and note that all the feates that this horse doth, is
altogether in numbering: as for ensample, His master will aske him how
many people there are in the roome: the horse will pawe with his foote
so many times as there are people: and marke the eye of the horse is
alwaies vpon his master, and as his master moues, so goes he or stands
still, as he is brought to it at the first: as for ensample, his
master will throw you three dice, and will bid his horse tell how many
you or he haue throwne, then the horse pawes with his foote whiles the
master stands stone still: then when his master sees hee hath pawed so
many as the first dice shewes it selfe, then he lifts vp his shoulders
and stirres a little: then he bids him tell what is on the second die,
and then of the third die, which the horse will doe accordingly, still
pawing with his foote vntill his master sees he hath pawed ynough, and
then stirres: which the horse marking, will stay and leaue pawing. And
note, that the horse will paw an hundred times together, vntill he
sees his master stirre: and note also that nothing can be done, but
his master must first know, and then his master knowing, the horse is
ruled by him by signes. This if you marke at any time you shall
plainely perceaue.

Now that we are come to our iournies end, let vs sit downe and looke
about vs, whether we are al sonnes of one father, if there be no
knaues among vs: St. _Boniface_ light me the candle. Who doe I see?
what the lustie lad of the Myter, that will binde beares, and ride his
golden Asse to death but he will haue his will? Birlady, birlady sir,
you of all the rest are most welcome, what how doth your stomack after
your carrowsing banquet? what gorge vpon gorge, egges vpon egges, and
sack vpon sack, at these yeares? by the faith of my body sir you must
prouide for a hot kitchen against you growe olde, if you mean to liue
my yeares: but happy the father that begot thee, and thrise happy the
Nurse that soffred such a toward yonker as thy selfe: I know thy
vertues as well as thy selfe, thou hast a superficiall twang of a
little something: an Italian ribald can not vomit out the infections
of the world, but thou my pretty Iuuinall, an English Dorrell-lorrell,
must lick it vp for restoratiue, & putrifie thy gentle brother ouer
against thee, with the vilde impostumes of thy lewd corruptions: God
blesse good mindes from the blacke enemy say I: I know you haue bene
prying like the Deuill from East to West, to heare what newes: I will
acquaint thee with some, & that a secret distillation before thou
goest. He that drinketh oyle of prickes, shall haue much a doe to
auoyd sirrope of roses: and he that eateth nettles for prouender, hath
a priuiledge to pisse vpon lillies for litter. I prethee sweete
natures darling, insult not ouermuch vpon quiet men: a worme that is
troden vpon will turne againe, and patience loues not to be made a
cart of Croyden. I doe begin with thee now, but if I see thee not mend
thy conditions, Ile tell you another tale shortly: thou shalt see that
I can doot, I could bring in my Author to tell thee to thy face, that
he hath found a knaue in grosse, of thee: but I can say, I haue found
thee a foole in retaile: thou seest simplicity can not double, nor
plaine dealing cannot dissemble, I could wish thee to amend thy life,
and take heede of the Beadle.

_Vale qui rediculose haec legeris._


[Transcriber's notes: Obvious typographical errors that were not
plausible as historical or phonetic spellings were corrected. In the
original, these read

"looke now your grace shall see what a Iugler can doe" originally "loo"

"bid some goe presently and fetch it" originally "fecth"

"so I will proceede with other feates" originally "proceene"

"the one filed asunder" originally "the the one"

"A slouenly Charme for sore eies" originally "eiet"

Abbreviations have been silently expanded. Where opening and closing
parentheses were mismatched, commas were turned into parentheses (or
vice versa) to make them match.]


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