Samuel Rid.

The Art of Iugling or Legerdemaine online

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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

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Online LibrarySamuel RidThe Art of Iugling or Legerdemaine → online text (page 2 of 4)