A Manifest Detection of Diceplay

This book was written by Gilbert Walker, c. 1550. It is not specifically a book of games, but since it deals in depth with matters such as cheating at dice, it gives a great deal of context for period gaming.

The book was transcribed by Alexx Kay (http://world.std.com/~alexx). Spelling and grammar have been somewhat modernized during transcription.

A manifest de-
tection of the most vile and detestable
use of Diceplay, and other practices like
 the same. a Mirror very necessary for
  all young Gentlemen & others sudden-
    ly enabled by wordly abundance,
      to look in.  Newly set forth
          for their behoof.

Si ie ris vous estes plus folz que ne ries
     de me veoir rire
De vous et de voz actes sont plus que mon
     rire plut dire
Tant ilya a vous redire et aulx plus sages
     de vous tous.
Qui est pleme fol quine rit de vous.

          Fortune vient  point.

GEntle Reader, when you shall read this book,
devised as a mean to show and set forth such
naughty practices as have been, and be
peradventure yet used in houses of Diceplay, think it not to
be written in dispraise of offence of the honest, but for
that under color and cloak of friendship many young
Gentlemen be drawn to their undoing.  And to the
intent that such as have not yet fed of that sour sweet
or hungry bait, (wherewith they at length unawares
be choked,) shall learn, not only to avoid the danger
thereof by knowing their mischevious and most
subtle practice, in getting a prey to spoil the same: But
shall also by means thereof see (as it were in a glass,)
the miserable ends that a sort of handsome Gentlemen
have by this crafty and subtle device come to, imputing,
(for want of knowledge,) their cause of misery to
ill fortune.  Thus having in few words showed the
effect of that which the book shall declare with some more
circumstance, I bid you fare well.

           The names of Dice.
A Bale of bard sink deuces
A bale of flat sink deuces
A bale of flat sixe aces
A bale of bard sixe aces
A bale of bard cater treys
A bale of flat cater treys
A bale of fullans of the best making
A bale of light grauiers[graniers?]
A bale of Langrets contrary to the vantage
A bale of Gourds with as many high men as low men
  for passage
A bale of demies
A bale of long dice for even and odd
A bale of bristles
A bale of direct contraries

  Interloquutars       R.and.M.
HAppely as I roamed me in the
church of Paul's now 20
days ago, looking for
certain my companions, that
hither might have stalled a meeting, there
walked up and down by me in the body of
the Church a gentleman, fair dressed in
Silks, gold, & Jewels, with 3 or 4
servants in gay liveries, all brodered
with sundry colors attending upon him.
I advised him well as one that pleased me
much, for his proper personage and more
for the wearing of his gear, and he again
at each check made in our walking cast
earnest looks upon me, not such as by his
hollow frownings, and piercing aspect
might pretend any malice or disdain:
but rather should signify by his
cheerful countenance that he noted in
me something that liked him well, and
could be content to take some occasion,
to embrace mine acquaintance.

Anon while I devised with my self
what means I might make to understand
his behavior, & what sort he was of
for man's nature (as you know) is in those
things curious, specially in such as
profess courting, he humbled him self far
beneath my expectation, & began to speak
first after this manner.  "Sir it seems to
me that we have both one errand hither
for I have marked you well now more
than half an hour, stalking up & down
alone without any company sometimes with
such heavy and uncheerful countenance
as if you had some hammers working in
your head, and that breech of company
had moved your patience, and I for my
part, what face soever I set on the matter,
am not all in quiet: for had all promises
been kept, I should ere this hour have
seen a good piece of money told here
upon the Font.  And as many indentures
obligations & other writings sealed as
cost me twice 40 s. for the drawing &
council, but as to me: let them that be a-cold
blow the coals, for I am already on the sure
side and if I miss of my hold this way,
I doubt not to pinch them as near by
another shift, though in deed I must
confess, the unkindness & breach of promise
is so much against my nature that nothing
can offend me more.  And you on the other
side, if your grief & tarrying be the same
that I take it, you cannot do better, than
to make little of the matter, for you seem
to be a man that wades not so unadvisedly
in the deep but that always you be sure
of an anchor hold: and therefore let us by
my advice forget such idle griefs and
while noon-tide draws on, talk of
other matters that may quicken our spirits to
make a merry dinner.  Perchance this
occasion may confirm a joyful acquaintance
between us."  "Sir," quoth I, "as touching
the cause of my long abiding here, it is not
very great, neither is it tied to any such
thrift as you speak of, but lack of company
will soon lead a man into a brown
study."  "Well then," quoth he, "if your head

be fraught with no heavier burden it is an
easy matter to lighten your load, for a
little grief is soon forgotten.  But I pray
you sir, 'long you not to the court, me thinks
I have seen you ere now and cannot
cannot call it home where it should be.
M: A good workman by saint Mary: now do I
easily foresee without any instruction
further whereto this matter tends: but
yet tell what further talk had you.
R: I told him I was yet but a raw
Courtier, as one that came from school not many
months afore, and was now become
servant to my Lord Chancellor of England,
partly to see experience of things,
the better to govern my self here after,
& chiefly to have a staff to lean unto
to defend my own.  And he again
commended me much therein, declaring, how
diverse notable persons, rashly by
ignorance misguiding themselves, were suddenly
shaken asunder, and fallen on the rocks
of extreme penury.  And how some other
even goodly wits circumspectly

working in all their doings, have by want
of such a leaning stock, been overthrown
with tirans[titans?] power.  "For which cause," quoth
he, "like as I cannot but praise your wary
working in this your first courting
so for my Lord your master's sake, you
shall not lack the best that I may do for
you.  For albeit that I am much beholding
to all the Lords of the council (as whom
they stick not at all times to take to their
board, and use sometime for a companion
at play) yet is be my singular good Lord
above all the rest, & if I shall confess the
truth, a great part of my living has
risen by his friendly preferment, & though
I say it my self, I am too old a courtier,
and have seen too much to bear nothing
away, and in case our acquaintance
hold, & by daily company gather deep
root: I shall now and then show you a
lesson worth the learning, and to the end
hereafter each of us may be the bolder
of the other, I pray you (if you be not
otherwise bespoken) take a capon with me

at dinner.  Though your fare be but
homely, and scant, yet a cup of good
win I can promise you, & all other lacks
shall be supplied with a friendly welcome."
"I thank you sir," quoth I, "you offer me more
gentleness than I can deserve, but since I
have tarried all this while, I will abide
the last hour, to prove how well my
companions will hold their appointment,
and for that cause I will forbear
to trouble you till another time."  "Nay,
not so," quoth he, "yet had I rather spend
20 P. than that my Lord your Master
should know but that the worst groom
of his stable is as dear to me as any
kinsman I have, and therefore lay all
excuses aside, and shape yourself to keep me
company for one dinner, while your
man and mine shall walk here together
till 12 of the clock, and if your friends
happen to come hither, he shall bring
them home to us.  I love to see Gentlemen
swarm, and cleave together like
M: How then, went you home together?

R: What else, would you have me
forsake so gentle a friend, & so necessary
M: Go to, say on.  Lo how
gentle lambs are led to the slaughter
man's fold, how some reckless youth
falls in snare of crafty dealing.
R: Soon after we came home to his house.
The table was fair spread with Diaper
cloths, the Cupboard garnished with
much goodly plate, and last of all came
forth the gentle woman his wife
clothed in Silks and embrodered works,
the attire of her head brodered with gold
and Pearl, a Carkenet about her neck
agreeable thereto, with a flower of
Diamonds pendant thereat, and many
fair rings on her finger.  "Bess," quoth he,
"bid this gentleman welcome," and with
that she courteously kissed me and after
moved communication of my name, my
natural countrym what time my father
died, and whether I were Married yet
or not, always powdering our talk with
such pretty devices, that I saw not a

woman in all my life, whose fashions and
entertainment I liked better.
The good man in the mean season had
been in the kitchen, and suddenly returning
and breaking our talk, somewhat
sharply blamed his wife that the dinner
was no further forward, and whiles she
withdrew her from us, by like to put all
things in a good readiness, "Come on," quoth
he, "you shall go see my house the while, it
is not like your large country houses,
rooms you know in London be straight,
but yet the furniture of them is costly
enough, and victuals be here at such
high prices, that much money is soon
consumed, specially with them that
maintain an idle household, nevertheless
assure your self, that no man is welcomer
than you to such cheer as you find."
And consequently bringing me through
diverse well trimmed chambers, the worst
of them appareled with verdures, some
with rich cloth of Arras, all with beds,
Chairs, and Cushions of Silk, and

Gold, of sundry colors suitably wrought.
"Lo here," quoth he, "a poor man's
lodging, which if you think it may do you
any pleasure (for the Inns of London be
the worst of England) take your choice
and heartily welcome, reserving but one
for my Lord my wife's Cousin, whom I
dare not disappoint lest happely he should
lowre and make the house too hot for us."
I gave him thanks as meet it was I
should, neither yet refusing his gentle
offer, for indeed my own lodging is
somewhat loathsome, and pestered with
company: not yet embracing it, because
hitherto I had not by any means,
deserved so great a pleasure.
  So down we came again into the
parlor, and found there diverse gentlemen,
all strangers to me, & what should
I say more, but to dinner we went.
M: Let me hear then what matters were
moved at dinner time, and how you passed
the afternoon, till the company broke
up, and sundered themselves.

R: That can I readily tell you, I have
not yet forgotten it since, done it was so
late, as touching our fare, though
partidge, and quail, were no dainties, and
wines of sundry grapes flowed abundantly,
yet spare I to speak thereof,
because you have demanded a contrary
question.  So soon as we had well vittled
ourselves, I know not how, but easily it
came to pass that we talked of news,
namely of Bullin, how hardly it was won,
what policy then was practiced to get
it, and what case the Soldiers had in
the siege of it, in so much that the least
progress the King makes into the
inland parts of the Realm, dislodges
more of his train, and leaves them to
their own provision, with less relief of
vittles, than had the worst, unwaged
adventurer there.
>From this the goodman lead us to talk
of home pleasures, enlarging the beauties
of peace, & London pasttimes, & made
so jolly a discourse thereof that to my

judgement he seemed skillfull in all things.
"Methinks," quoth he, "such simple fare as this
taken in peace, without fear & danger
of gunshot, is better than a prince's
purveyance in war, where each morsel he
eats shall bring with it a present fear of
sudden mischance or violent hostility:
& though that in the open camp none
might have more familiar access to the
nobility than here at home, yet for my
part (I thank God) I have no cause to
complain, either because of their gentleness,
no usher keeps the door between me
and them when I come to visit them, or that
the greatest princes refuse not sometimes to
hallow my poor table & house with their
person.  Which (be it, spoken without boast or
imbraiding) does sometimes cost me 20 li.
a day.  I am sure that some of this company
of Lords supped with me the last term,
and I think how you have heard, how
some of them got an 100 li. or 2 by their
coming."  With this and that like talk

consumed was our dinner, and after the
table was removed, in came one of the
waiters with a fair silver bowl full of
Dice and Cards.  "Now masters," quoth
the goodman, "who is so disposed, fall to:
here is my 20 li., win it and wear it."  Then
each man chose his game, some kept
the good man company at the hazard,
some matched themselves as a new game
called Primero.
M: And what did you the while?
R: They egged me to have made one at
Dice, and told me it was a shame for a
gentleman not to keep gentlemen company
for his 20 or 40 crowns.  Nevertheless
because I alleged ignorance, the
gentlewoman said I should not sit idle
all the rest being occupied, and so we 2 fell
to saunt five games a Crown.
M: And how sped you in the end?
R: In good faith, I passed not for the loss of 20 or
40 s., for acquaintance, and so much I
think it cost me, and then I left off,

marry, the Diceplayers stack well by it and
made very fresh play, saving one or two
that were clean shriven, & had no more
money to lose.  In the end when I should
take my leave to depart, I could not by
any means be suffered to break company,
unless I would deliver the gentlewoman
a Ring, for a gage of my return
to supper, & so I did, and to tell you all in
few words, I have haunted none other
since I got that acquaintance, my meat
and drink and lodging is every way so
delicate, that I make no haste to change it.
M: And what pay you, nothing for it?
Have you not an ordinary charge for your meals?
R: None at all, but this device
we have, that every Player at the first
hand he draws, pays a Crown to
the box, by way of a relief towards the
house charges.
M: You may fare well of that price at the
stark staring stews.
R: In good faith and methinks it an
easy burden, for him that will put his 40 P. in

adventure to pay the tribute of a crown,
and fare well for it, whose chance is to
lose a 100 crowns or 2 would never have
spared one to make a new stock withal.
And whose hap is to win, were a very
churl to be a niggard of so little.
M: Is every man a player there or do
some go scotfree?
R: Who so lists not to
put much in hazard plays at mum-chance
for his crown with some one or
other.  So some goes free and some be at
double charge, for always we have
respect that the house be relieved, and it
stands so much the more with good
reason, because that besides the great
charges of vittles, and great attendance
of the servants, and great spoil of napery
and household stuff the good man also
loses his 20 or 40 li. to keep his company.
M: And what do you the whiles?  I
am sure you be not yet so cunning as to
keep such workmen company.
R: And why not I pray you is it so hard a thing
to tell 20 or to remember 2 or 3 chances?

But yet in deed I play little myself,
unless it be at the Cards, otherwise I
am the goodman's half for the most part,
and join both our lucks together.
M: How sped you there for the most part?
R: Not always so well as I would wish.
I will be plain with you as with my
friend, it has cost me 40 P. within this
sennight.  But I vouchsafe my loss the
better, I had such fair play for it, and
who would not hazard 20 pounds
among such quiet company, where no
man gives a foul word, at one good
hand, a man may chance as I have
often seen to make his forty pound a
hundred.  And I have seen again a man
begin to play with 500["v.c."?] mark lands
and once yet ere the year went about would
have old land if he had had it.
M: Perchance so to.
R: But his luck was too
bad, the like falls scarcely once in a
hundred years.
M: That is but one doctor's
opinion.  I see it betide every day,
though not in this so large a proportion

and because I see you so raw in these
things, that you account that for most
unfeigned friendship where most deceit
is meant, and being already given to play,
may in few days come further behind
than all your travail of your latter years
can overtake again.  I can neither
forbear thee for the zeal I bear unto
you, or the hatred I bear to the
occupation to make you understand some
parts of the sleights and falsehoods
that are commonly precticed at Dice and
Cards.  Opening and overturning the
things, not so that I would learn you
to put the same in use, but open their
wicked snares.
R: I thank you for your gentle
offer, I would be glad to know the
worst, lest happely I should fall in such
crafty company, but yonder at my
lodging comes none but men of
worship, some mounted upon mules fair
trapped, some upon fine hackneys
with foot clothes, all such as I dare
say would not practice a point of

legerdemain for an hundred pounds.
M: Well, as to that, there lay a straw till
anon, that the matter lead us to speak
more of it.  And in the mean season, let
this be sufficient.  That so soon as you
began your declaration of the first
acquaintance in Paul's, I felt aforehand
the hooks that were layed to pick
your purse with all.
R: Wist I that, I would from henceforth
stand in doubt of my own hands,
the matter hath such appearance of honesty.
M: Well hearken to me a while.  There
is no man I am sure that has experience
of the world, and by reading of
histories confers our time to the days of
our elders, but will easily grant that
as time has grown and gathered
increase by running, so wit first planted
in a few, has in time taken so many
roots, that in every corner you may find
new branches budding and issuing
from the same.  For proof whereof to speak

one thing among many that at this
time may serve our purpose.  Although
the greek and latin histories be full of
notable examples of good princes, that
utterly exiled Dicing, out of their seignories
and countries, or at least held them as
infamed persons yet find I not that in
those our forefather's days, any the like
sleight and crafty deceit was practiced in
play, as now is common in every corner.
Yea and he namely Hodge setter whose
surname witnesses what opinion men
had of him, though 40 years ago was
thought peerless in crafty play, and had
as they say neither mate nor fellow, yet
now towards his death was so far
behind some younger men in that knowledge,
that I myself have known more
than 20 that could make him a fool: and
cannot suffer him to hame the nave [possibly spoonerized "have the name"]
of a workman in that faculty.
And it is not yet 20 years ago since all
that sought their living that way, as
then were few in number, scarcely so

many as were able to maintain a good
fray so were they much of Hodge setter's
estate, the next door to a beggar, now
such is the misery of our time, or such is
the licentious outrage of idle misgoverned
persons, that of only dicers a man
might have half an army, the greatest
number so gayly be seen, and so full of
money that they bash not to insinuate
themselves into the company of the highest, &
look for a good hour to creep into a
gentleman's room of the privy chamber.
And hereof you may right well assure
yourself that if their cost were not
exceeding great, it were not possible by the
only help thereof, to lead so sumptuous a
life as they do always, shining like
blazing stars in their apparell.
By night, taverning with Trumpets,
by day spoiling Gentlemen of their
inheritance, and to speak all at once, like
as all good and liberal sciences had a
rude beginning, and by the industry
of good men, being augmented by

little and by little at last grew to a just
perfection: so this detestable privy robbery
from a few and deceitful rules is in few
years grown to the body of an art, and
has his peculiar terms, and thereof as
great a multitude applied to it, as has
Grammar or Logic, or any other of the
approved sciences, neither let this seem
strange unto you, because the thing is
not commonly known, for this faculty
has one condition of juggling, that
if the sleight be once discovered marred is
all the market.  The first precept thereof
is to be as secret in working, as he that
keeps a man company from London to
Maidenhead & makes good cheer by the
way, to the end in the thicket to turn
his prick upward, and cast a weaver's
knot on both his thumbs behind him, &
they to the intent that ever in all companies
they may talk familiarly in all appearance
& yet so covertly in deed, that their
purpose may not be espied:  They call their
worthy art by a new found name, calling

themselves Cheaters, and the dice
cheaters, borrowing the term from among
our lawyers, with whom all such casuals
as fall unto the Lord at the holding his
lets, as waifs, strays & such like be
called cheats, & are accustomably said to be
escheated to the lord's use.
R: Trow you then
that they have any affinity with our
men of Law?
M: Never with those that
be honest, mary with such as be
ambidexters & use to play on both the hands
they have a great League, so have they
also with all kinds of People, that from
a good order of civility, are fallen and
resolved as it were from the hardness of
virtuous living: to the delicacy and softness
of uncareful idleness, and gainfull
  For gain and ease be the only pricks
that they shoot at.  But what right
or honest means they might acquire it,
that part never comes in question
among them.
  And hereof it rises that like as law

When the term is truly considered,
signifies an ordinance of good men, established
for the common wealth, to repress all
vicious living: so these Cheaters turned
the cat in the pan, giving to diverse vile
patching shifts, an honest, and godly title,
calling it by the name of a law.  Because
by a multitude of hateful rules a multitude
of dregs and draffe, as it were all
good learning, govern and rule their
idle bodies, to the destruction of the good
laboring people.  And this is the cause
that diverse crafty sleights devised only
for guile, hold up the name of a Law,
ordained you know to maintain plain
dealing.  Thus give they their own
conveyance the name of cheating law, so do
they other terms, as sacking law, high
law, Figging law, and such like.
R: What mean you hereby, have you spoken
broad English all this while, & now begin
to choke me with mysteries, and quaint terms?
M: No not for that but always
you must consider, that a carpenter has many

terms familiar enough to his prentices
that other folk understand, not at all, &
so have the cheaters not without great
need for a falsehood (once detected) can
never compass the desired effect: neither is
it possible to make you grope the bottom
of their art, unless I acquaint you with
some of their terms.  Therefore note
this at the first: that Sacking Law
signifies whoredom, High law, robbery,
Figging law, pick purse craft.
R: But what is this to the purpose, or
what have cheaters a do with whores or thieves?
M: As much as with their very
entire friend, that hold all of one corporation.
For the first originall ground of
Cheating is, a counterfeit countenance in all
things: a study to seem to be, & not to be
in deed.  And because no great deceit
can be wrought but where special trust
goes before, therefore the cheater when he
pitches his hay to purchase his profit
enforces all his wits to win credit
& opinion of his honesty, and uprightness

Who has a great outward show of
simplicity than the pick purse? or what woman
will seem so fervent in love as will the
common harlot? so as I told you before the
foundation of all those sorts of people is
nothing else but mere simulation, & bering [???]
in hand.  And like as they spring all from
one root, so tend, they all to one end, idly
to live by rape, and raven, devouring the
fruit of other men's labors, all the odds
between them be in the mean actions, that lead
towards the end & final purpose.
R: I am almost weary of my trade already to hear
that out gay gamblers are so strongly allied
with thieves, and pickpurses.  But I pray
you proceed & let me hear what sundry
shifts of deceit they have to meet all
well together at the close?
M: That is more
than I promised you at the beginning, &
more than I intended to perform at this
time, for every of them keeps as great
schools in their own faculty, as the cheaters do.
And if I should make an open discourse
of every wynkel they have to cover and

work deceit withal, I should speak of
more sundry quaint conveyances, than be
rocks in Milford haven, to defend the
ships from the boisterous rage of weather.
But I will first go forward with that I
have in hand, & by the way as occassion shall
serve, so touch the rest that you may see their
workmanship, as it were afar off, more
than half a kenning.  The cheater for the
most part never receives his scholar to
whom he will discover the secrets of his
art, but such one as before he had from
some wealth and plenty of things, made
so bare, and brought to such misery, that
he will refuse no labor, nor leave no stone
unturned, to pick up a penny underneath.
And this he does not, but upon a great
skill.  For like as it is an old Proverb
and a true, that he must needs go,
whom the Devil drives, so is there
not such a Devil to force a man to an
extreme refuge, as is necessity and want,
specially where it has proceeded of abundance.

Therefore the cheater using necessity for &
great part of persuasion, when he has
sucked this needy companion so dry that
there remains no hope too press any
drop of further gain from him, takes
some occassion to show him a glimpse of his
faculty, and if happely he find him eagle-
eyed & diligent to mark, anone shapes
him in such a fashion, as that he will raise
a new gain by him, and with all somewhat
relieve his urgent poverty.  Then
walking aside into some solitary place
he makes the first way to his purpose
after this or the like manner.  "I am sure
it is not yet out of your remembrance
how late it is since you first fell into my
company, how great loss you had at play
before we entered in any acquaintance, &
how little profit redounded unto me, since
you first haunted my house, neither can you
forget on the other side, how friendly I
have entertained you in every condition
making my house, my Servants, my
Horses, my apparel, and other things

whatsoever I had, rather common to us
both than private to myself.  And now I
perceive that of a youthfull wantonness &
as it were a childish oversight, you have
suddenly brought yourself (unwares to me)
so far under the hatches, and are shaken
with lavish dispence that you cannot find the
way to rise again, and bear any sail
among men as heretofore you have done,
Which thing whiles I deeply consider
with myself, I can not but lament much
your negligence, and more the harm
that is like to ensue upon it: For first your
friends being as I have heard many
in number, and all of worship, shall
conceive such inward grief of your unthriftiness,
that not one will vouchsafe a gentle
plaster to quench the malice of this
fretting corosie, that penury has
applied.  And I again because my hap
was to have you in my house, and to
gain a little of other men's leavings, shall
be counted the cause of your undoing, &
slandered for taking a few feathers out

of the nest when other had stolen the birds
already, for which causes, & specially to help
you to maintain yourself like a gentleman
as hitherto of yourself you have been able.
I can be content to put you in a good way
so as treading the steps that I shall appoint
you, neither shall you need to run to your
friends for succor, & all men shall be glad to
use you for a companion.  But wist I that I
should find you crafting with me in any point
& void of that fidelity, & secretness (some sparks
whereof I have noted in your nature)
assure yourself, that I would never make
you privy to the matter, but give you over
to your own provision, perchance to end
your life with infamy & wretchedness."  The
young man that lately flowed in plenty &
pleasures, & now was pinched to the quick with
lack of all things, humbled himself anon
to be wholly at his devotion, & gave him
a thousnad thanks for his great kindness.
Then forth goes the cheater, and further
says: "Though your experience in the
world be not so great as mine, yet am I

sure you see that no man is able to live an
honest man, unless he have some privy way to
help himself withal, more than the world is
witness of.  Think you that noble men could
do as they do if in this hard world they
should maintain so great a port only upon
their rent?  Think you that lawyers could
be such purchasers if their pleas were
short, & all their judgements, justice, &
conscience?  Suppose you that offices would be so
dearly bought, & the buyers so soon enriched
if they counted not pillage an honest point
of purchase?  Could merchants without lies
false making their wares, & selling them
by a crooked light to deceive the chapman in
the thread or color grow so soon rich, & to
a baron's possessions, & make all their
posterity gentlemen?  What will you more who so
has not some anchorward way to help
himself, but follows his nose (as they say
always straight forward) may well hold
up the head for a year or 2, but the 3rd he must
needs sink & gather the wind into begger's
haven.  Therefore my advice shall be that you
beat all your wits, & spare not to break
your brains always, to save and help one
Your acquaintance I know is great,
among your country men, such as be rich
and full of money, nevertheless more
simple than that they know what good may
be done in play, and better it is that each
man of them, smart a little, than you to live
in lack.  Therefore seek them out besely [???] at
their lodgings but always bear them
in hand that you met them by chance, then
will it not be hard to call them hither to
take part of a supper, and having them
once within the house doors doubt you not
but they shall have a blow at one pasttime
or other, that shall lighten their purses
homeward, myself will lend you money
to keep them company, & nevertheless make
you partaker of the gain, & to the end you shall
not be ignorant by what means I will
compass the matter, come on go we unto
my closet, & I shall give you a lesson worth
the learning."  Then brings he forth a great
box with dice, & first teaches him to know

a langret.
R: A god's name what stuff is it?
I have often heard men talk of false dice,
but I never yet heard so dainty a name given them.
M: So much the sooner may you
be deceived, but suffer me a while & break
not my talk, & I shall paint you anon a
proper kind of pouling, "Lo here," says the
cheater to this young Novice, "a well-favored
die that seems good & square: yet is the
forehead longer on the cater and trey, than
any other way, and therefore holds the
name of langret, such be also called bard
cater treys, because commonly the longer
end will of his own sway draw downwards,
and turn up to the eye sixe sink,
deuce or ace, the principal use of them is
at Novem quinque.  So long as a pair of
bard cater treys be walking on the board
so long can you cast neither 5 nor 9 unless
it be by a great mischance that the roughness
of the board, or some other stay, force
them to stay and run against their kind.
For without cater trey, you know that, 5
nor 9 can never fall.
R: By this reason

he that has the first dice is like always
to strip, & rob all the table about?
M: True it is, were there not another help, &
for that purpose an odd man is at hand, called
a flat cater trey, & none other number.  The
granting that trey or cater be always
one upon the other die, if there is no chance
upon the other die but may serve to make
5 or 9 & so cast forth & lose all.  "Therefore,"
says the master, "mark well your flat &
learn to know him surely when he runs
on the board, the whiles he is abroad, you
forbear to cast at much, & keeping this rule to
avoid suspection, because I am known
for a player, you shall see me bring all the gain
into your hands."
R: But what shift have
they to bring the flat in & out?
M: A jolly
fine shift that properly is called foisting, &
it is nothing else but a sleight to carry easily
within the hand, as often as the foister
lift.  So that when either he or his partner
shall cast the dice, the flat comes not abroad,
till he have made a great hand, and won
as much as him list.  Otherwise the flat

is ever on unless at few times that of purpose
he suffer the silly fools to cast in a hand
or 2 to give them courage to continue
their play and live in hope of winning.
R: This gear seems very strange unto me,
& it sinks not yet into my brain, how a
man might carry so many dice in one hand
& chop them & change them so often & the
thing not be espied.
M: So juggler's conveyance
seems to exceed the compass of reason
till you know the feat.  But what is it that
labor overcomes not?  And true it is, to
foist finely, & readily, & with the same hand to
tell money, to & fro is a thing hardly learned,
& asks a bold sprite, & long experience
though it be one of the first be learned.
But to return to the purpose, if happely
this young scholar have not so ready and
so skillfull an eye, to discern the flat at
every time that he is foisted in (for use
makes mastery, as well in this as in other
things) then partly to help this
ignorance withal, and partly to teach
the young Cock to crow, all after the

cheater's kind, the old cole instructs the
young in the terms of his art after this
manner.  "You know that this outrageous
swearing and quarrelling that some use in
play, gives occassion to many to forebear,
that else would adventure much money at
it, for this we have a device among us that
rather we relent & give place to a wrong,
than we would cause the play, by strife to
cause any company to break, neither have
we any oaths in use but lightly these: of
honesty, of truth, by salt, Martine, which
when we use them affirmatively, we
mean always directly the contrary.  As
for example, if haply I say unto you when
the dice come to your hands 'of honesty
cast at all,' my meaning is that you shall
cast at the board or else very little.  If
when a thing is offered in gage I swear
'by saint Martine I think it fine gold.'
then mean I the contrary, that it is but
copper.  And like as it is a gentle and old
proverb, Let losers have their words"
so by the way take forth this lesson, ever

to show gentleness to the silly fools, & creep
if you can into their very bosoms.  For harder
it is to hold them when you have them,
then for the first time to take them up.  For
this young wits be so light, & so wavering,
that it requires great travel, to make
them always dance after one pipe.  But to
follow that we have in hand be they young
be they old, that falls into our laps, &
be ignorant of our art, we call them all
by the name of a cousin, as men that we
make as much of, as if they were of our
kin in deed.  The greatest wisdom of our
faculty rests in this point, diligently
to foresee to make the cousin sweat, that is to
have a will to keep play, & company, and
always to beware that we cause him not
smoke, lest that having any feel or savor
of guile intended against him, he slip
the collar as it were a hound, & shake us
off for ever.  And whensoever you take up
a cousin, be sure as near as you can to know
aforehand what store of byt he has
in his buy, that is what money he has in

his purse, & whether it be in great cogs
or in small, that is gold or silver, and at
what game he will soonest stoop that we
may feed him with his own humor & have
coules ready for him.  For thousands there
be, that will not play a groat at novem &
yet will lose a hundred pounds at the hazard, &
he that will not stoop a dodkin at the dice,
perchance at cards will spend God's cope,
therefore they must be provided for every
way.  Generally your fine cheats though
they be good, made both in the king's bench
& in the marshallsea, yet Bird in Holburn is
the finest workman, acquaint yourself with
him, and let him make you a bale or 2 of
squariers of sundry sizes, some less, some
more, to throw into the first play, till you
perceive what your company is.  Then have in
a readiness to be roisted in when time shall
be, your fine cheats of all sorts, be sure to
have in store of such as these be.  A bale of
bard sink deuces & flat sink deuces, a bale of
bard 6 aces, & flat 6 aces: a bale of bard
cater treys, & flat cater treys.  The

advantage whereof is all on the one side, &
consists in the forging.  Provide also a bale
or 2 of Fullans for they have great use
at the hazard, and though they be square
outward. Yet being within at the corner
with lead, or other ponderous matter stopped,
minister as great an advantage as
any of the rest.  You must also be furnished
with high men, & low men for a mumchance, &
for passage.  Yea, a long die for even and
odd, is good to strike a small stroke withal
for a crown or 2 or the price of a dinner.
As for Gourds and bristle dice be now to
gross a practice to be put in use, light
graviers there be, demies, contraries & of all
sorts, forged clean against the apparent
vantage.  Which have special, and
sundry uses.  But it is enough at this time
to put you in a remembrance what tools
you must prepare to make you a workman.
Hereafter at more leisure I shall
instruct you of the several uses of them
all, and in the mean season take with you
also this lesson, that, when fine squariers

only be stirring, there rests a great help in
cogging, that is when the undermost die
stands dead by the weighty fall of his
fellow, so that if 6 be my chance, and 10
yours, grant that upon the die I cog
and keep always an ace, deuce, or trey, I
may perhaps soon cast 6, but never 10 and
there be diverse kinds of cogging, but of
all other the spanish cog bears the bell,
& seldom raises any smoke."  "Gramercy,"
says the scholar, and now thinks he
himself so ripely instructed, that though
he be not yet able to beguile others, yet he
supposes himself sufficiently armed
against all falsehood that might be wrought
to bring him to an afterdeal, and little
sees he the while how many other ends
remain, how many points there be in
slippery cheaters science, that he shall not yet
be skillful enough to tag in their kind,
perchance in 4 or 5 years practice.
R: Why?  Have they any deeper reaches to lift
a man out of his saddle, and rid him of
his money, than you have opened already?

M: Alas this is but a warning, and as it
were the shaking of a rod to a young boy,
to fear him from places of peril.  All
that I have told you yet or that I have
minded to tell you, 'grees not to the
purpose, to make you skillful in cheaters
occupation.  For as soon would I teach
you the next way to Tyburn, as to learn
you the practice of it: only my meaning is
to make you see as far into it, as should
a cobbler into a tanner's faculty, to know
whether his leather be well liquored, and
well & workmanly dressed or not.  And like
as I would with a cobbler and a currier, lest
two sundry occupations running together
into one, might perhaps make a lewd
London medley in our shoes, the one
using falsehood in working, the other facing
and lying in uttering.  So seek I to
avoid, that you should not both be a
courtier (in whom a litlle honest moderate
play is tolerable) and withal a Cheater,
that with all honesty has made an
indefensible dormant defiance.  For even

this new nurtured novice (notwithstanding
he is received into the College of
these double dealers, & is become so good
a scholar that he knows readily his flats
and bars, and has been snapper with the
old cole at 2 or 3 deep strokes, yea and
though he have learned to verse, and lay
in the reason well favoredly to make the
cousin stoop, all the cogs in his buy) yet
if he once were slow in seeking out cousins,
and be proud of his new thrift, & so goodly
a passage to recover his old losses, the
knap of the case, the goodman of the
house, calls secretly upon him the third
person for the most part a man that might
be warden of his company, & talks with
him after this manner.  "Here is a young
man in my house, if you know him, that
has been one of the sweetest cousins alive,
so long as he was able to make a groat,
now at the last I know not how he
came by it, but he has gotten some
knowledge and talks of a great deal more
than he can in deed.  Mary a langret he

knows meetly well and that is all his skill.
I made much of him all this month
because he has great acquaintance of men
of the country, and specially the cloth
men of the west parts, and at the beginning
would every day fill the case with jolly
fat cousins, and albeit he had no
knowledge to work any feat himself, yet
did I use him always honestly, and gave
him his whole snap, to the end he
should be painfull and diligent to take
the cousins up, and bring them to the
blow.  Now waxen is he so proud of his
gain because he has gotten a new chain
fyet new apparel, and some store of
bite, that I can not get him once out of
the door, to go about any thing.  'Take
some pains yourself,' says he, '& bring
some of your own Cousins home or else
jet all alone for me.'  Thus if you see that
nothing mars him, but that he is too fat,
& might we make him once lean again
as he was within this month, then should
we see the hungry whoreson trudge.

There should not be stirring a cousin in any
quarter but he would wind him straight.
Therefore come you in anon like a stranger
& he shall see him take you by roundly.
If you lack contraries to crossbite him
withal, I shall lend you a pair of the
same size that his cheats be.
R: Is there no more fidelity among them can they
not be content one false knave to be true
to his fellow, though they conspire to rob
all other men?
M: Nothing less.  Did not
I warn you in the begining that the
end of the science is mere deceit, & would
you have themselves against their kind,
to work contrary to their profession?  Nay
they be ever so like themselves, that when
all other deceits fail, look which of
them in play gets any store of money
into his hands, he will every fote as he
draws a hand, be figging more or less
and rather than fail cram it & hide it
in his hose, to make his gain greatest.
Then when they fall to the division of
the gain, & the money that the cousin has

lost is not forthcoming, nor will be confessed
among them, it is a world to hear what
rule they make, & how the one imbradeth
the other with dishonesty, as if there were
some honesty to be found among them.  What
should I then speak of swearing & staring
wer they always liberal of alms, as
they be of oaths, I had rather bring a
dagger to have the reward of a cheater, than
to the best alms knights room that the king
gives at Windsor.  But these florins never
fall but in secret counsels within themselves
& then peradventure the stronger part will
strip the weaker out of his clothes rather
than he should flock away with the stuff,
& make them lout to labor for his lucre.
R: Then is it but folly to recover my losses
in yonder company, & if there can not be
one faithful couple found in the whole band
how might I hope that am but a stranger
to win an unfeigned friend amongst them?
M: As for in that case never speak more of
the matter, & be as sure as you are of your
Creed, that all the friendly entertainment you

have at your lodging is for no other end
but for to persuade you to play, & bring
you to loss, neither was it any better than
falsehood in fellowship when the goodman
got you to be half, and seemed unwillingly
to lose both your moneys.
R: By these means other must I utterly forbear to
hazard any thing a the dice, or live in doubt
& suspection of my friend, whereofre I fall to play.
M: No question thereof, for that
contagion of cheating is now so universal that
they swarm in every quarter, & therefore
you cannot be in safety from deceit, unless you
shun the company of hazarders, as a man
would fly a scorpion.
R: Then am I sufficiently
lessoned for the purpose, but because
at the first our talk matched Dice and
cards together like a couple of friends
that draw both in a yolk, I pray you is
there as much craft at cards as you have
rehearsed at the dice?
M: Altogether, I
would not give a point to choose, they have
such a sleight in sorting, and shuffling
of the Cards, that play at what game

you will all is lost aforehand.  If 2 be
confederated to beguile the third, the thing
is compassed with the more ease, than if
one be but alone, yet are there many ways
to deceive.  Primero now as it has most
use in court, so is there most deceit in it,
some play upon the prick, some pinch
the cards privily with their nails, some
turn up the corners, some mark them with
fine spots of ink.  One fine trick brought
in a spaniard, a finer than this invented an
Italian, & won much money with it by our
doctors, & yet at the last they were both
overreached by new sleights devised
here at home.  At trump, saint, & such
other like, cutting at the neck is a great
vantage, so is cutting by a bum card (finely)
under & over, stealing the stock of the
discarded cards if there brode laws be
forced aforehand.  At decoy, they draw
easily 20 hands together, & play all upon
assurance when to win or lose.  Other
helps I have heard of besides, as to set the
cousin upon the bench with a great looking

glass behind him on the wall, wherein
the cheater might always see what cards
were in his hand.  Sometimes they work
by signs made by some of the lookers on.
Whereof methinks this among the
rest proceeded of a fine invention.  A
gamester after he had been oftentimes bitten
among the cheaters, & after much loss, grew
very suspicious in his play, that he could
not suffer any of the sitters by to be privy
to his game: for this the cheaters devised
a new shift.  A woman should sit sewing
besides him, & by the shift or slow drawing
her needle, give a token to the cheater
what was the cousin's game, so that a few
examples instead of infinite that might be
rehearsed, this one universal conclusion
may be gathered, that give you to play, &
yield yourself to loss.
R: I feel well that
if a man happen to put his money in
hazard, the odds are great that he will rise a
loser, but many men are so continent of
their hands that nothing can cause them
to put ought in adventure: & some again

unskillful, that lack of cunning forces them
to forbear.
M: I grant you well both.
But nevertheless I never yet saw man so
hard to be vanquished but they would
make him stoop, at one law or another.
And for that purpose their first travel is
after that they have taken up the cousin & made
him somewhat sweat, to seek by all means
they can to understand his nature, and
whereunto he is inclined.  If they find that
he takes pleasure in the company of females,
then seek they to strike him at the sacking
law.  And take this always for a maxim
that all the bawds in a country be of the cheaters
familiar acquaintance.  Therefore it shall
not be hard at all times to provide for this
amorous knight, a lewd lecherous lady,
to keep him loving company.  Then fall they
to banqueting, to minstrels, masking, and
much is the cost that the silly cousin shall be
at in Jewels, apparel and otherwise: he
shall not once get a grant to have scarcely
a lick at this dainty lady's laps.  And
ever among she lays in this reason.

For her sake to put his 20 or 40 crowns
in adventure.  "You know not," says she, "what
may be a woman's luck."  If he refuse it,
lord how unkidly she takes the water
& cannot be reconciled with less than a gown
or a kirtle of silk, which commonly is a
reward unto her by knap of the case, and the
cut-throats his complites, to whom the
matter is put in daying.  Yea and the more
is if haply they perceive that he esteemed not
brousid ware, but is enamored with virginity,
they have a fine cast within an hour's
warning, to make John silverpin as
good a maid, as if she had never come
at stewes nor opened to any man her
quiver.  The mystery thereof you shall
understand by this my tale which I myself
saw put in experience.  A young roisterly
gentleman desiring a maiden make
to content his wanton lust, resorted to a
bawd, and promised her good wages to
provide him a maid against the next day
he declared unto her that he took more
pleasure in virginity, than beauty, but if both

came together the pleasure was much the
more thankful, & her reward should be the
better.  This mother bawd undertook to
serve his turn according to his desire, &
having at home a well painted, mannerly
harlot as good a maid as fletcher's mare
that bore three great foals, went in the
morning to the Apothecary's for half a
pint of sweet water that commonly is called
Surfuling water, or Clinkerdevice, &
on the way homeward turned into a
noble man's house to visit his cook, an old
acquaintance of hers:  vnneth [?} had she set
her feet within the kitchen, & set down
her glass the more handsomely to warn
her afore the range, but anon the Cook
had taken her in his arms, and whiles
they wrestled more for manners sake of the
light, than for any sqeamish besines, had
she been behind the door.  Down fell the glass
& spilled was the water.  "Out, alas," quoth the woman.
"Quiet yourself," quoth the cook, "let us go into the
buttery to breakfast, & I will buy you a new
glass, & pay for the filling."  Away they went

out of the kitchen, & the boy that turned
a couple of spits delighting with the savor
of the water, let first one spit stand &
after another always with one hand taking
up the water as it dropped from the board by
him, & washed his eyes, his mouth, & all
his face withal.  Soon after that this liquor
was with the heat of the fire dried, & soaked
up in the boy's face, down came the cook
again into the kitchen, & finding the breast
of the capon all burnt, for lack of
turning, caught up a great basting stick to
beat the turnspit, & haply casting a
sour look upon him, espied the boy's
mouth & eyes drawn so together & closed
that neither had he left an eye to look withal,
and scarcely might you turn your little
finger in his mouth.  The cook abashed
with the sudden chance, ran about the
house half out of his wit, and cried "the
kitchen boy is taken, he can neither see nor speak,"
& so the poor boy with his starched face
continued more than half an hour w
wondering stock to all the house, till a man

of experience, bade bathe his face with hot fat
beef broth, whereby forthwith he was restored
to as wide a mouth, & as open eyes as
he had before.
R: A good miracle & soon
wrought.  If maids be so easy to make
no marvel is it we have such store in
London.  But forth I pray you with your
purpose, when whoredom has no place
what other shifts have they to raise their
thrift upon?
M: A 100 more than I can
rehearse, but most commonly one of these that
follow.  If it be winter season when
masking is most in use, then missing of their
cheaped helps, they spare not for cost of the
dearer.  Therefore first do they hire in one
place or other, a suit of right masking
apparel, and after invite diverse guests to
a supper all such as be there of estimation
to give them credit by their acquaintance
or such as they think, will be liberal to
hazard some thing in a mumchance: by
which means they assure themselves at the
least to have the supper scot free.
Perchance to win 20 li. aboute.  And how

soever the common people esteem the thing
I am clean out of doubt that the more half
of your gay masks in London are grounded
upon such cheating crafts, and tend only
the pouling, & robbing of the king's
subjects.  another jolly shift for the
subtle invention and fineness of wit exceeds
far all the rest, is the barnard's law.
Which to be exactly practiced asks 4
persons at the least, each of them to play a
long several part by himself.  The first is
the taker up, of a skillful man in all things,
who has by long travel cunned without the
book a 100 reasons to insimate himself into
a man's acquaintance.  Talk of matters
in law, and he has plenty of cases at his
fingers ends that he has seen tried &
ruled in every of the king's courts.  Speak
of grasing and husbandry no man knows
more shires than he, no man knows
better where to raise a gain: & how the
abuses & overture of prices might be
redressed.  Finally enter into what discourse
of things they list, were it a browm

man's faculty, he knows what gain
they have for old boots & shoes, & whence
their gain comes, yea & it shall escape
him hard, but that ere your talk break off
he will be your country man at least, &
peradventure either of kin, or ally, or some
soul sib unto you, if your reach surmount
not his too far.  In case he bring to pass
that you be glad of his acquaintance, and
content with his company, played is the
chief of his part, and he gives place to
the principal player the barnard,
nevertheless he lightly has in his company a
man of more worship than himself, that has
the countenance of a possessioner of land
and he is called the verser.  And though
it be a very hard thing to be a perfect
taker up, and as it were a man universally
practiced in all accidents of a man's life,
yet does the Barnard go so far beyond
him in cunning, as does the sun's summer
brightness exceed the glimmering light
of the winter stars.  This body's most
common practice is, to come stumbling into

your company, like some rich farmer of
the country, a stranger to you all, that had
been at some market town there abouts,
buying and selling, & there tippled so much
Malmsy, that he had never a ready word
in his mouth, & is so careless for his
money that out he throws a hundred
or 2 of old angels upon the board's end,
and standing somewhat aloof calls
for a pot of ale and says, "Masters, I am
somewhat bold with you, I pray you be
not aggreived that I drink my drink by
you," and ministers such idle drunken talk,
that the verser who counterfeits the
gentleman comes stoutly, and sits at your
elbow, praying you to call him near, to
laugh at his folly, between them 2 that
matter shall be so workmanly conveyed & so
finely argued, that out comes a pair of old cards
whereat the barnard teaches the verser a
new game, that he supposes cost him 2
pots of ale for the learning not past an hour,
or 2 before.  The first wager is drink, the
next 2 pence, or a groat, & lastly to make the

tale short they use the matter so that he that
has 80 years off his back, and never
played for a groat in his life, cannot
refuse to be the verser's half, & consequently
at one cutting of the Cards to lose all
they play for, be it a 10 li. and if perhaps
when the money is lost, the cousin
begins to smoke and swear that the drunken
knave shall not get his money so then
stands the rubber at the door, and
draws his sword, and picks a quarrel to
his own shadow: if he lack an ostler,
or a tapster, or some other to fall out withal.
That whiles the street & company
gather to the fray, as the manner is, the
barnard steals away with all the stuff, &
picks him to one blind tavern or other,
such as before is appointed among them,
& there abides the coming of his
companions to make an equal portion of the
gain, & whensoever these shifts may not
take place, then lead they the cousin to the gaze
of an interlude, or the bear baiting at
paris garden, or some other place of throng

where by fine fingered Fig boy, a
grounded disciple of James Elis, picked
shall be his purse, and his money lost in a
moment, or else they run to the last refuge
of all, and by a knot of lusty companions
of the high law, not only shake the harmless
body out of all his clothes, but bind
him, or bob him to bote, that less had
been his harm to have stooped low at the
first, and so to have stopped their greedy
mouths, than to save himself so long,
and in the end to be fleeced as bare as a
new shorn sheep, and perchance so far
from his friends, that he shall be forced to
trip on his ten toes homeward for lack
of a hackney to ride on, and beg for his
charges by the way.
R: Now speak you
indeed of a ready way to thrift but it has
an ill-favored success many times.
M: I know what you mean, you think they
come home by Tyburn, or S. Thomas
of Watrings, and so they do in deed, but
nothing so soon as a man would suppose,
they be but petty figgers, and unlessoned

lads that have such ready passage to the
gallows.  The old thieves go through with
their vices well 20 or 30 years together
& be seldom taken, or tainted, specially the
fig bodies, that have a goodly corporation
for the relief.  Their craft of all others
requires most sleight, and has a marvelous
plenty of terms & strange language,
and therefore no man can attain to be
a workman thereat, till he have had a good
time of schooling, and by that means they
do not only know each other well, but
they be subject to an order, such as the
elders shall prescribe.  No man so sturdy to
practice his feat but in the place appointed,
nor for any cause once to put his foot
in another's walk.  Some 2 or 3 have
Paul's church in charge, other have
Westminster hall in term time.  Diverse
cheapside with the flesh and fish shambles,
some the borough & bearbaiting, some the
court, & part follow markets & fairs in
the country with peddler's footpacks,
and generally to all their places of assembly.

Some of them are certainly appointed as
it were by their wardens to keep the haunt
with commission but a short while, and
to interchange their places as order
shall be made to avoid suspicion.  By
occasion whereof whensoever any stroke is
workmanly stricken though it were at
newcastle the rest of the Fig boys that
keep resident in London, come forth
with pronosticate by whom the worthy
feat was wrought, & one great provision
they have: that is a sovereign salve at all
times of need a treasurer they choose in some
blind corner, a truly secret friend.  That
whensoever there comes any Jewels plate,
or such gear to their share, the present
sale thereof might chance to discover the
matter, the same els[is?] committed into his
hands in pledge as it were of money lent,
& he takes a bill of sale in default of
repayment as if all things were done by
good faith, and plain dealing.  So that
whensoever he shall seek to make money
of this gages, at the end of 2 or 3

months, if any question arise how he came
by them he shows anon a fair bill of
sale for his discharge, from John a knock
or John a stile, a man that never was,
never shall be found.  And such theft by this
occasion is ever mannerly covered.
  Another help they have that of every
purse that is cleanly conveyed, a ratable
portion is duely delivered into the
treasurer's hands, to the use that whensoever
by some misadventure any of them happen
to be taken, & laid in prison, this
common stock may serve to satisfy the party
grieved and to make friends to save them
from hanging.  Now have you a calendar
as it were to put you in remembrance of
the chief points & practices of cheating,
enough I suppose to serve for a warning
that you withdraw yourself from yonder
costly company, wherein if my experience
may serve to give you occasion to eschew
such evils, I shall be glad of this our happy
R: Yes, doubt you not
thereof but that this talk has wrought

already such effects in me that though I
live a 100 years, I shall not lightly fall into
the cheater's snares.  But because you spoke
of the principal points, whereby I
conceive that yet some small sparks remain
untouched, I pray you put me out of
doubt thereof, and then on gods name you
shall gladly depart, with as many
thanks as if you had disbursed a large sum of
money for redemption of my land, & saved
it from selling.  For had not forewarning
come, the merchant and I must within
few days have coped together, as
did my bedfellow but now the last week,
whose losses I pity so much the more,
as that now I understand by what
cheatery it was won.
M: The feat of losing
is easily learned, & as I told you in the
beginning that the cheaters beat & busy their
brains, only about a fraud & subtlety,
so can it not be chosen but give themselves
over all to that purpose, & must every
day forge out one new point of knavery
or other, to deceive the simple withal: as of

late I knew a young gentleman so wary
in his doings that neither by dice or cards
nor by damsels of dalliance, nor of the
ways afore rehearsed, could be made stoop
one penny out of his purse.  For this the
cheater consulted with the lewd lady in
this case devised.  That she should dally
with the gentleman, & playing with his
chain should find the means to keep it a
while, till they might fig a link or 2,
to make a lyke by.  Done it was anon,
& within few days after another made
of copper equal in length to that.  At the
gentleman's next returning to the house,
the Damsel dallied long with the
chain, sometimes putting it about her
neck, and sometimes about his, that in
the end she foisted the copper chain in
the other's place and thereby robbed him
of better than 40 P.  This and the like
shifts I forbear to remember.  Sooner
because the deceit rests not in any sleight
practice at dice, and cards, nevertheless
because cheaters were the first inventors

as well of this as of all other falsehood in
fellowship that now daily is put in use
at all manner of games, as when one man
lost not many years ago an 100 li. land
at shooting, by occassion that some that
shot with him on his side, were booty
fellows against him, another was rid of
600 li. at the tennis in a week, by the
fraud of his stopper.  Methinks they can
not be better rewarded than sent home
to the place they came fro.
  And since cheaters were the first authors
thereof, let them also bear the blame.  And
having disclosed unto you as briefly as
  I can the principal practices of the
    cheaters crafty faculty, & other
      workmen of their alliance,
       I will bid you farewell,
            for this time.

     Imprinted at London, in Paul's
        church yard at the sign
         of the Lamb, by Abra-
              ham Vele.