Popular Science Monthly/Volume 45/September 1894/Seventeenth-Century Astrology
A CURIOUS book is preserved in the National Library of France, the title of which in English would be New Works of Sieur de Conac, Astrologer, Mathematician, Doctor, and Fortune-teller, Advocate of his Majesty. Treating of the Nativity of Men, their Inclination, and what will happen to them through Life. Paris, 1636. But little else is known concerning this Sieur de Conac, except that he wrote a similar book about women. This sage predicts that "the man who is born on Sunday, which is the house of the sun, will be inclined to many callings, offices, and estates, fond of serving the great, and will acquire means according to his quality. If he is noble, he will converse with kings, princes, marquises, barons, and grand lords, and will increase his lordship in quality and make his house illustrious with more grandeur than belongs to it, and his subjects will serve him faithfully; and he will acquire great fame, be subject to headache, toothache, and quartan fever, will be in danger of fire, will travel much, will be lucky in buying horses, and loved by women, and will be married several times; he will not get much from his father, he will be in danger of the plague, and, according to the course of Nature, will live sixty-three years; he will be passionate and sanguine, a little brown and a little red in complexion, and liberal. He will travel much in foreign countries, his secrets will be kept, he will be preserved from his companions and servants, and will make his living by many trades.
"The man born on Monday will have office and authority over the people, will be versed in geometry, arithmetic, and geography. If he is noble, he will receive the rank of king or prince, and will be ambassador, nuncio, or legate; if he is a mechanic, he will be silversmith or goldsmith; if he is in the Church, he will be vicar-general, treasurer, or at least canon; if he is a sailor, he will be captain or master of the ship, pilot or corsair; will be also of phlegmatic nature, subject to catarrhs, will have cross-eyes and toothache, flux, colic, and spleen, swelling of the legs and other parts of the body, and will be hurt in his weak spots. He will be fortunate on the sea, in mills and fisheries, messages, printing offices, most so in agriculture, will be in danger of poison, he will love widows, and will live seventy years. He will be fond of things that come from the water, and will be sculptor, founder, tiller, messenger, or master of fountain and fishes, and will be of fantastic humor.
"The man who is born on Tuesday, his star being Mars, will be hardy, arrogant, threatening everybody, wrathful, a man of good cheer, prompt to attack and ready to meet attack with arms or other arms, according to the kind of person it is; his vocation will be locksmith, furrier, smith, fabricant of all sorts of firearms; he will be inclined to wantonness, a lover of play, a liar, a swearer, promising one thing and doing another, and will have unrighteous quarrels. In station he may reach the rank of captain, master of the camp, general of the army, chevalier, or Grand Master of Malta, governor of the city, of the castle, or military engineer, mathematician, and on account of his valor will be welcome with princes and lords; will live seventy-two years, and will have only one wife and few children, and will not be in danger of sudden death. He will be a good surgeon, a good anatomist, provost, bowman, sergeant, baker, cook, and violent.
"Wednesday, Mercury's day, promises a man of great mind that he shall be a philosopher, orator, doctor, or astrologer, successful in mechanical practice and arts, as with plants, trees, and merchandise, and may arrive to great dignities, as of ambassador, president, counselor, preacher, orator, good writer, doctor, on good terms with pilgrims, messengers, idlers, vagabonds, counterfeiters, a player with false cards, an adept in occult philosophy, will be wicked with the wicked and good with the good; he will suffer from heart disease, trembling of the limbs, and gouts in the joints; he will have three wives, the change-of whom will be good for him; he will have seven or eight children, and will live about fifty years or more. He will be schoolmaster, watchmaker, and instrument maker.
"The star of Jupiter, Thursday, influences a man to great benignity, affability, honesty, discretion, and piety, and to be welcome with princes and kings; he will not be troubled in the courts', and will be rich according to his quality; will be fortunate in marriage, in the service of the prince and great lords, and will reach the quality of nobility or some ecclesiastical dignity; also successful in arms, and with plants, trees, and buildings, minerals, and herbs; and he will profit greatly in voyages, will have a quantity of friends, and will travel in countries where he had no thought of going. If incited by his father or mother, he will have contracts, will be wanton, will have two wives, and many children who will rise in position, and he will live eighty years. He will be a profitable man, liberal, fond of honor, proud, keen, and healthy, affable, jealous of his wives, and will have much knowledge.
"The man who is born on Friday, under the star of Venus, will be by nature very fond of music and of all pleasant things, or will instruct the children of the choir, or will be chapel master, organist, or player of musical instruments, or else a confectioner, glover, perfumer, druggist, or tailor, or something appertaining to polite exercises; will practice embroidery and other gentle work, will be skilled in making embellishments for women, will marry only once, will have more girls than boys, will love gardens and fragrant things, precious stones, and everything that can adorn the ladies; will be welcome among them, and will live seventy-two years or more. He will be a maker of musical instruments, and a skillful dancer and musician.
"The man who is born on Saturday is apparently solitary, melancholy, and idle, will be glad when his work is done, will suffer in his legs and knees; he will be avaricious, trying to borrow and not return, will go to prison for debts, will be badly dressed for fear of want, and will be subject to rash, gall, and other diseases. In fortune he will have luck in finding treasures, will be rich in inheritances; he will live nearly a hundred years, according to the course of Nature; will addict himself to occult sciences, will be fortunate in solid things like wood, iron, stones, etc., will be fond of many evil things which I will not put down here, there being no need to tell everything. He will be indolent, weak, of bad appearance, lame, poor, ill-formed, if he is not looked upon by the sun or by Venus.
"The whole will be according to the will of God."
Having thus made these wonderful predictions, the Sieur de Conac does not fail to look out for himself, and we read the following little personal item:
"The aforesaid astrologer tells fortunes of the past and the future, reads the disposition of persons in their physiognomy, and sells drugs for the cure of diseases, and has other interesting secrets in his line. The said mathematician lives at Château Gaillard, at the end of the Pont-Neuf, near the Hôtel de Nevers."
This pleasant announcement need not surprise us, for do we not find at the end of this century—this century of progress and light—advertisements in the papers making known to the simple of both sexes that Madame X——, the celebrated cartomancist,
predicts the future from the lines of the hand and plays the great game? While the cartomancists of the nineteenth century have their clients, it would be hard to find out why an astrologer should not have had them two centuries and a half ago.—Translated for The Popular Science Monthly from the Revue Scientifique.