Juggling and fortune-telling by means of cards, whenever introduced, appear to have had many professors in the latter [Pg 118] half of the sixteenth century. A trick performed with cards by a juggler, appears to have excited the inquisitive genius of Lord Bacon when a boy; and his biographer, Basil Montagu, thinks that from this circumstance his attention was first directed to an inquiry into the nature of the imagination. Reginald Scott, in his Discovery of Witchcraft, first published in 1584, has a chapter "Of Cards, with good cautions how to avoid cousenage therein; special rules to convey and handle the cards; and the manner and order how to accomplish all difficult and strange things wrought with cards."
He did so, and drew three Knaves and laid them on the table with their faces downwards, by the wizard's direction, who then told him, if he desired to see the sum of his bad fortunes, to take up those cards
"Having now," says he, "bestowed some waste money among you, I will set you to cards; by which kind of witchcraft a great number of people have juggled away not only their money, but also their lands, their health, their time, and their honesty. I dare not (as I could) show the lewd juggling that cheaters practice, lest it minister some offence to the well-disposed, to the simple hurt and losses, and to the wicked occasion of evil doing. And to let dice pass, (as whereby a man may be inevitably cousened,) one that is skilful to make and use Bumcards may undo a hundred wealthy men, that are not given to gaming; but if he have a confederate present, either of the players or standers-by, the mischief cannot be avoided. If you play among strangers, beware of him that seems simple or drunken; for under their habit the most special couseners are presented; and while you think by their simplicity and imperfections to beguile them, (and thereof, perchance, are persuaded by their confederates, your very [Pg 119] friends as you think,) you yourself will be most of all over-taken.