Page:Elizabethan People.djvu/120

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through it than we can into a looking-glass through the wooden case thereof. . . .

"My own experience is but small, yet thus much can I say by his warrantize, that those fatal brands of physiognomy which condemn men for fools, and for idiots, and on the other side for treacherous circumventors and false brothers, have in a hundred men I have known been verified in the contrary."

Nash is one from whom we shall quote often in the following pages; for he, together with Robert Greene, profligate and debauchee himself, were most energetic in exposing the abuses of this time. The same pamphlet from which the above is quoted furnishes the following relative to the conjurors or "cunning" men of the time:

"Shall I impart unto you a rare secrecy how these famous conjurors ascend by degrees to tell secrets as they do. First and foremost they are men that have had some little sprinkling of grammar learning in their youth; or at least I will allow them to have been surgeons or apothecaries prentices, these, I say, having run through their thrift at the elbows, and riotously among harlots and makeshifts spent the annuity of half-penny ale that was left them, fall a beating their brains how to botch up an easy gainful trade, and set a new nap on an old occupation.