[Page] THE SECOND part of Conny-catching. Contayning the discouery of certaine wondrous Coosenages, either superficiallie past ouer, or vtterlie vntoucht in the first. As the na­ture of

  • The blacke Art,Picking of lockes.
  • The Vincents Law.Coosenage at Bowls.
  • The Prigging Law,Horse stealing.
  • The Courbing Law,Hooking at windows.
  • The Lifting Law,Stealing of parcels
  • The Foist,The pickepocket.
  • The Nippe,The cut purse.

With sundry pithy and pleasant Tales worthy the reading of all e­states, that are ennemies to such base and dishonest practises.

Mallem non esse quam non prodesse patriae.

R. G.

LONDON. Printed by Iohn Wolfe for William Wright, and are to be sold at his shop in Pauls Church yard, neare to the French schoole. 1591.


THE SECOND PART of Connie-catching.

TO ALL YOONG GENTLEMEN, marchants, citizens, apprentices, yeomen, and plaine countrey farmers, Health.

WHen Sceuola, Gentlemen, saw his natiue citie besieged by Porsenna, and that Rome the mistresse of the world was readie to be maistred by a professed foe to the publicke estate: hee entred boldly into the enemies camp, and in the Tent of the king (taking him for the king) slew the kings Secretarie, whereupon condemned, brought to the fire, he thrust his right hand into the flame burning it off voluntarie, because it was so infortunat to misse the fatal stab he had intended to his coūtries enimies, and then with an honourable resolution, breathd out this. Mallem non esse quā non prodesse patriae. This instāce of Sceuola greatly hath emboldened mee to thinke no pains nor danger too great that groweth to the bene­fit of my countrie, & though I cannot as he mannadge with my courtlax, nor attempt to vnleager Porsenna: yet with my pen I will indeuour to display the nature and secrets of diuers coosenages more preiudiciall to England then the inuasion of Porsenna was to Rome. For when that valiant king saw the resolutiō of Sceuola: as one dismaid at the honour of his thoughtes, he sor­rowed so braue a man had so desperatly lost his hand, and thereupon grewe friends with the Romans. But gentlemen these Conny-catchers, these vultures, these fatall Harpies, that putrifie with their infections, this flourishing estate of England, as if they had their con­sciences [Page] sealed with a hot iron, & that as men deliue­red vp into a reprobate sence, grace [...]ere vtterly exild from their harts, so with the deafe Adder they not on­ly stop their eares against the voice of the charmer, but dissolutely without any sparke of remorse stand vpon their brauados, and openly in words & actions main­tain their palpa [...]le and manifest coosenages, swearing by no lesse then their enemies bloud, euē by God him selfe, that they will make a massacre of his bones, and cut off my right hand for penning downe their abho­minable practises: but alas for thē poore snakes, words are wind, & looks but glances: euery thunderclap hath not a bolt, nor euery Conny-catchers oath an [...]xecu­tion. I liue still, & I liue to display their villanies, which, gentlemen you shal see set down in most ample maner in this small treatise, but heere by the way, giue me leaue to answere an obiection, that some inferred a­gainst me, which was, that I shewed no eloquent phra­ses, nor fine figuratiue conueiance in my first booke as I had done in other of my workes, to which I reply that [...] a certaine decorum is to bee kept in eue­rie thing, and not to applie a high stile in a base subiect beside the facultie is so odious, and the men so seruile and slauish minded, that I should dishonor that high misterie of eloquence, and derogate from the dignitie of our English toonge, eyther to employ any figure or bestow one choyce English word vpon such disdained rakehels as those Conny-catchers. Therefore humbly I craue pardon, and desire I may write basely of such base wretches, who liue onely to liue dishonestly. For they seeke the spoyle and ruine of all, and like droanes eate away what others labor for. I haue set downe di­uers other laws vntoucht in the first, as their Vincents law, a notable coosenage at bowles, when certain idle companions stand and make bettes, being compacted [Page] with the bowlers, who looke like honest minded citi­zens, either to win or loose, as their watch-worde shall appoint, then the Prigger or Horsestealer, with all his ginnes belonging to his trade, and theyr subtill caw­tels to amend the statute, next the curbing law, which some call but too basely hookers, who eyther diue in at windows, or else with a hook, which they call a curb doe fetch out whatsoeuer, either apparell, linnen, or wollen, that be left abroad. Beside I can set downe the subtiltie of the blacke Art, which is picking of lockes, a coosenage as preiudiciall as any of the rest, and the na­ture of the Lift, which is he that stealeth any parcels, and stily taketh them away. This (Gentlemen) haue I searcht out for your commodities, that I might lay o­pen to the world, the villanie of these coosening cater­pillers, who are not onely abhorred of men, but hated of God, liuing idlely to themselues, & odiously to the worlde, they be those foolish children that Salomon speakes of, that feedes themselues fatte with iniquitie, those vntamed heifers, that will not breake the yoke of labor, but get their liuinges by the painfull thrift of o­ther mens hands. I cannot better compare them, then vnto Vipers, who while they liue are hated & shunned of all men as most preiudiciall creatures, they feed vp­on hemlocke and Aconiton, and such fatall & impoi­soned herbs, but the learned apothecaries takes them, cuts off their heades, and after they be imbowelled of their flesh, they make the most pretious Mithridate: so these Conny-catchers, Foists, Nips, Priggars, & Lifts, while they liue are most improfitable members of the common-wealth: they glut themselues as Vipers vpon the most lothsome, and detestable sinnes, seeking after folly with greedinesse, neuer doing any thing that is good, till they be trust vp at Tiburn: and then is a most wholsome Mithridate made ofthē, for by their deaths [Page] others are forewarned for falling into the like enormi­ties. And as the Gangrena is a disease incurable by the censure of the Chirurgians, vnlesse the member where it is fixt be cut off: so this vntoward generation of loose Libertines, can by no wholsome counsailes, nor aduised perswasions be disswaded from their lothsom kind of life, till by death they be fatally, and finally cut off from the common-wealth, whereof spake Ouid well in his Metamorphosis.

Immedicabile vulnus,
Ense resecandum est ne pars sincera trahatur.

Sith then this cursed crue, these Machauilians, that neither care for God nor deuill, but set with the Epi­cures gaine, and ease, their summum bonum cannot be called to anie honest course of liuing: if the honorable and worshipfull of this land looke into their liues, and cut off such vpstarting suckars that consume the sap from the roote of the Tree: they shall neither loose their reward in heauen, nor passe ouer anie day where­in there wil not be many faithful praiers of the poore, exhibited for their prosperous successe and welfare: so deepely are these monstrous cooseners hated in the common-wealth. Thus Gentlemen I haue discouered in briefe, what I meane to prosecute at large: though not eloquently, yet so effectually, that if you be not al­together careleffe, it may redownd to your commo­ditie: forewarned, forearmed: burnt children dread the fire, and such as neither counsaile, nor other mens harmes may make to beware, are worthie to liue long, and still by the losse. But hoping these secrets I haue set abroach, and my labours I haue taken in searching out those base villanies, shall not be onely taken with thankes, but applied with care: I take my leaue with this farewell. God either confound, or conuerr such base minded Cooseners.

Yours R. G.

THE SECOND PART of Conny-catching.


The discouery of the Prigging Law or nature of horse stealing.

TO the effecting of this base villany of Prigging or horse stealing, ther must of necessity be two at the least, and that is the Priggar and the Martar. The Priggar is he that steales the horse, and the Martar is he that re­ceiues him, and chops and chaungeth him away in any Faire, Mart, or other place where a­ny good vent for horses is: and their methode is thus. [Page] The Priggar if he be a Launce man, that is, one that is already horst, then he hath more followers with him, and they ride like Gentlemen, and commonly in the fourme of Drouers, & so comming into pasture grounds or inclosures, as if they ment to suruey for Cattle, doe take an especiall and perfect view where Prankers or horses be, that are of worth, and whether they be tra­meld or no that is whether they haue horselocks or no, then lie they houering about till fit oportunity serue, and in the night they take him or them away, and are skilfull in the blacke Art, for picking open the tramels or sockes, and so make hast til they be out of those quar­ters. Now if the Priggars steale a horse in Yorkeshire, commonly they haue vent for him in Surrey, Kent, or Sussex, and their Martars that receiue them at his hand, chops them away in some blind Faires after they haue kept them a moneth or two, till the hue and cry be ceast and past ouer. Now if their horse be of any great valure and sore sought after, and so branded or eare markt, that they can hardlie sell him without extreame daunger, either they brand him with a crosse brand vp­pon the former, or take away his eare mark, and so keep him at hard meat til he be hole, or else sell him in Corn­wall or Wales, if he be in Cumberland, Lincoln-shire, Northfolke or Suffolke, but this is if the horse bée of great valour and worthy the kéeping: Marry if he bee onely coloured and without brands, they will straight spotte him by sundry pollicies, and in a blacke horse, marke saddle spots, or starre him in the forehead and change his taile, which secretes Iomit least I shoulde giue too great a light to other to practise such lewd villa­nies. But againe to our Launce men Priggars, who as before I said, cry with the Lapwing farthest from their nest and from their place of residence, where there most abode is, furthest from thence they steal their hor­ses, and then in another quarter as farre of they make sale of them by the Martars meanes, without it be som [Page] base Priggar that steales of méere necessity, and beside is a Trailer. The Trailer is one that goeth on foote, but meanely attired like some plaine gran of the Countrey, walking in a paire of bootes without spurres, or else without bootes, hauing a long staffe on his necke, and a blacke buckram bag at his backe, like some poore Cli­ent that had some writing in it, and there he hath his saddle, bridle and spurs, stirhops and stirhop leathers, so quaintly and artificially made that it may bee put in the slop of a mans hose, for his saddle is made without any tree, yet hath both cantle & boulsters, only wrought artificially of cloth and bombast, with foulds to wrap vp in a short roome, his stirhops are made with vices and gins that one may put them in a paire of gloues, and so are his spurres, and then a little white leather headstal and raines with a small Scotish brake or snaffle, all so feately formde, that as I said before they may be put in a buckram bag. Now this Trailer he bestrides the horse which he priggeth, and saddles and bridles him as orderly as if he were his own, and then carries him far from the place of his bréede, and there sels him. Oh will some man say, it is easier to steale a horse then to sell him, considering that her Maiesty and the honoura­ble priuy Counsaile, hath in the last Act of Parliament made a strikt Statute for horse stealing, and the sale of horses, whose Prouiso is this: That no man may buy a horse vntould, nor the toule be taken without lawfull witnesses, that the party that selleth the horse is the true owner of him, vppon their oath and special knowledge, and that who buieth a horse without this certificate or proofe, shall be within the natue of Fellony, as well as the party that stealeth him. To this I aunswere that there is no Act, Statute, nor Lawe so strickt conueyed, but there be straight found starting holes to auoide it, as in this. The Priggar when he hath stollen a horse and hath agreede with his Martar, or with any other his confederate, or with any honest person to sell the horse, [Page] bringeth to the touler, which they call the rifler two ho­nest men eyther apparelled like citizens, or plain coun­trey yeomen, and they not onely affirm, but offer to de­pose, that they know the horse to be his, vpon their pro­per knowledge, although perhaps they neuer saw man nor horse before, and these periurd knaurs be common­ly old knightes of the post, that are soisted off from be ing taken for bale at the kings bench, or other places, and seeing for open periuries they are refused, there they take that course of life, and are wrongly called Querries, but it were necessarie and verie much expe­dient for the common-wealth, that such base roagues should be lookt into, and be punisht as well with the pillorie, as the other with the halter. And thus haue I reuealed the nature of Priggars, or horse-stealers briefly, which if it may profit, I haue my desire, but that I may recreate your mindes with a pleasant historie, marke the sequeale.

A pleasant storie of a horse-stealer.

NOt farre off from Tenro in Cornewall, a cer­taine Priggar, a horse-stealer being a lance­man, surueying the pastures thereaboutes, spied a fayre blacke horse without any white spot at all about him, the horse was so faire and lustie, wel proportioned, of a high crest, of a lusty countenance, well buttockt, and strongly trust, which set the Prig­gars téeth a water to haue him: well he knew the har­dest happe was but a halter, and therefore hee ventered faire, and stoll away the prancer: and séeing his stomack was so good as his limmes, he kept him well, and by his pollicie seared him in the forehead, and made him spot­ted in the backe, as if he had béen saddle bitten, and gaue him a marke in both eares, whereas he had but a mark in one. Dealing thus with his horse, after a quarter of a yeere, that all hurly burly was past for the horse, hée [Page] came riding to Tenro to the market, and there offered him to be sold, the Gentleman that lost the horse, was there present, and looking on him with other Gentle­men, likte him passing well, and commended him: inso­much that he bet the prise of him, bargained, & bought him: and so when he was tould, and that the horsestea­ler clap him good lucke: Well my friend quoth the gen­tleman, I promise thée I like the horse the better, in that once I lost one as like him as might be, but that mine wanted these saddle spots, and this starre in the forehead. It may be so sir, said the Priggar, and so the Gentleman and he parted: the next day after, he caused a letter to be made, and sent the Gentleman word that he had his horse againe that he lost, onely he had giuen him a mark or two, and for that he was wel rewarded, hauing twentie marke for his labour. The gentleman hearing how he was coosened by a horse-stealer, and not onely robd, but mockt, let it passe till he might conue­niently méete with him to reuenge it. It fortuned not long after, that this lanceman Priggar was brought to Tenro Gayle for some such matter, and indeede it was about a Mare that he had stolne: but as knaues haue friends, especially when they are well monied, he found diuers that spake for him, and who saide it was the first fault: and the party plaintife gaue but slender euidence against him, so that the iudge spake fauourably in hys behalfe: the gentleman as then sat in the bench, and cal­ling to minde the Priggars countenance, howe hee had stolne his horse and mockt him, remembred hee had the letter in his pocket that he sent him, and therefore rising vp, spake in his behalf, and highly commended the man, and desired the iudges for one fault he might not be cast away, and besides, may it please you (quoth hee) I had this morning a certificate of his honestie and good beha­uiour sent me, and with that he deliuered them the let­ter, and the iudge and the rest of the bench smiled at this conceite, and askt the fellow if he neuer stoll a horse [Page] from that Gentleman: no quoth the Priggar, I knew him not: your honors mistakes me, said the gentleman he did but borrow a blacke horse of me, and markt him with a stare in the forehead, and askt twenty marke of me for his labour, and so discourst the whole matter: whereupon the quest went vpon him, and condemned him: and so the Priggar went to heauen in a string, as many of his facultie had done before.

The Vincents law, with the discouery therof.

THe Uincents Law is a common deceipt or co­senage vsed in Bowling-allies amongest the baser sort of people, that commonly haunt such leud and vnlawfull places: for although I will not dis­commend altogether the nature of bowling, if the time, place, persons, and such necessary circumstaunces be ob­serued: yet as it is now vsed, practised & suffred, it grow­eth altogether to the maintenāce of vnthrifts that idlely and disorderly make that recreation a coosenage. Nowe the manner and forme of their deuise is thus effected the Bawkers, for so are the common haunters of the Alley termed, apparelled like very honest and substantial citi­zens come to bowle, as though rather they did it for sport then gains, & vnder that colour of carelesnes, doe shadow their pretended knauery: well to bowles they goe, and then there resort of all sortes of people to beholde them, some simple men brought in of purpose by som cosening companions to be stript of his crownes, others, Gentle­men or Marchants, that delighted with the sport, stand there as beholders to passe away the time: amongst these are certaine olde sokers, which are lookers on, and listen for bets either euen or odde, and these are called grypes: and these fellows will refuse no lay if the ods may grow to their aduantage, for the Gripes and the Baukers are confederate, and their fortune at play euer sorts accor­ding as the Gripes haue placed their bets, for the Baw­ker [Page] he marketh how the laies goes, and so throes his ca­sting: so that note this, the bowlers cast euer booty, and doth win or loose as the bet of the Gripe doth lead them, for suppose seauen be vppe for the game, and the one hath three and the other none, then the vincent, for that is the simple man that stands by & is not acquainted with their cosenage, nor doth so much as once imagine that the Bawkers that carry such a countenaunce of honest sub­stantiall men, would by any meanes, or for any gaines be perswaded to play booty. Well this vincent, for so the Cooseners or Gripes please to terme him seeing thrée to none, beginneth to offer ods on that side that is fairest to win: what ods saies the gripe? thrée to one saies the vin­cent, no saies the Gripe it is more, and with that they come to foure for none, then the vincent offers to lay four to one, I take six to one saies the Gripe, I lay it saies the vincent, and so they make a bet of some six crownes, shil­lings, or pence as the vincent is of ability to lay, & thus will sundry take their ods of him: well then, the Baw­kers' go forward with their bowles, and winne another cast which is fiue, then the vincent grows proud, & thinks both by the ods and goodnes of the play, that it is impos­sible for his side to loose, and therfore takes and lais bets fréely, then the Bawkers fortune begin to change, and perhaps they come to thrée for fiue, and stil as their luck changes, diuersitie of bets growes on, til at last it comes to fiue and fiue, and then the Gripe comes vpon the vin­cent and offers him ods, which if the vincent take he loo­seth al, for vpon what side the Gripe laies, that side euer winnes how great soeuer the ods bee at the first in the contrary part, so that the cosenage grows in playing boo­tie, for the Gripe and the Bawker méet at night, & there they share what soeuer tearmage they haue gotten, for so they call the money that the poore vincent looseth vnto them: Now to shadow the matter the more, the bawker that winnes and is afore-hand with the game will lay franckely that hee shall win, and will bet hard and lay [Page] great ods, but with whom, either with them which play with him that are as crafty knaues as himselfe, or els with the Gripe, and this makes the poore vincent stoope to the blow, and to loose all the money in his purse: Be­sides, if any honest men that holdes themselues skilful in bowling, offer to play any set match against these com­mon bawkers, if they feare to haue the woorse or suspect the others play to be better then theirs, then they haue a tricke in watering of the alley to giue such a moisture to the banke, that hee that offers to strike a bowle with a shoare, shal neuer hit it whilst he liues, because the moi­sture of the bank hinders the proportion of his aiming. Diuers other practises there are in bowling tēding vnto coosenage, but the greatest is booty, and therefore would I wish al men that are carefull of their coine, to beware of such coseners, and non to come in such places, where a haunt of such hel-rakers are resident, & not in any wise to stoope to their bets, least hee bee made a vincent, for so manifest and palpable is their cosenage, that I haue séen men ston-blind offer to lay bets franckly, although they can sée a bowle come no more then a post, but onely hea­ring who plaies, and howe the olde Gripes make their laies: séeing then as the game is abused to a deceit, that is made for an honest recreation, let this litle be a caue­at for men to haue an insight into their knauery.

A Table of the Lawes contay­ned in this second part.

1 Blacke arte.Picking of lockes.
2 Courbing Law.Hooking at windowes.
3 Vincents Law.Coosenage at Bowls.
4 Prigging Law.Horse stealing.
5 Lifting Law.Stealing of any parcels.

The discouery of the wordes of Art vsed in these Lawes.

In blacke Art.
  • The Pickelocke, is called a Charme.
  • He that watcheth, a Stond.
  • There engins, VVresters.
  • Picking the lock, Farsing.
  • The gaines gotten, Pelfrey.
In Cour­bing Law.
  • He that hooks, the Courber.
  • He that watcheth, the VVarpe.
  • The hooke, the Courbe.
  • The good, Snappings.
  • The gin to open the windowe, the Trickar.
In Lifting Law.
  • He that first stealeth, the Lift.
  • He that receiues it, the Markar.
  • He that standeth without and carries it away, the Santar.
  • The goods gotten, Garbage.
In Vincents Law.
  • They which play booty, the Bankars.
  • He that betteth, the Gripe.
  • He that is coosend, the Vin­cent.
  • Gaines gotten, Termage.
In Prigging Law.
  • The horse stealer, the Priggar.
  • The horse, the Prancar.
  • The towling place, All-hallo­wes.
  • The towler, the Rifler.
  • The suerteis, Querris.

For the Foist and the Nip, as in the first Booke.

THE SECOND PART of Conie-chatching.


THe professours of this Law, beeing somewhat dasht, and their trade grcatlie impoue­rished by the late editions of their secret villanies, séeke not a newe meanes of life, but a newe methode how to fetch in their Connies and to play their pranckes: for as gréeuous is it for them to let slippe a Countrey farmer come to the tearm that is well apparelled, and in a dirtie pair of boots (for that is a token of his newe comming vp, and a [Page] full purse) as it was for the boyes of Athens to let Diogenes passe by without a hisse. But the country men hauing had partly a caueat for their coosenage, feare their fauorable spéeches and their courteous salutations, as deadlie as the Gréekes did the whi­stle of Poliphemus. The Conie-catcher now no soo­ner commeth in company, and calleth for a paire of cards, but straight the poore Conie smokes him, and saies: maisters, I bought a booke of late for a groate that warnes me of Card-play, least I fall amongst Conie-catchers: What, doest thou take vs for such, saies the Uerser? no Gentlemen saies the cony, you may bee men of honest disposition, but yet pardon me, I haue forsworne cards euer since I read it: at this replie God wot, I haue many a cosening curse at these Connie-catchers handes, but I solcmpnly sticke to the old prouerbe: the Foxe the more he is curst, the better hee fares: but yet I will discouer some of their newest deuises, for these caterpillers resemble the nature of the Syrens, who sitting with their watching eies vpon the rockes to allure Sea­passengers to their extreame preiudice, sound out most heauenlie melodie in such pleasing cords, that who so listens to their harmony, lends his eare vnto his owne bane and ruine: but if anie warie Ulisses passe by and stop his eares against their inchaunt­ments, then haue they most delightfull iewels to shewe him, as glorious obiectes to inueagle his eie with such pleasant vanities, that comming more nie to beholde them, they may dash their shippe against a rocke and so vtterly perish. So these Conie-cat­chers, for that I smoakt them in my last booke, and laid open their plots and policies, where with they drew poore Connies into their haie, seeking with the [Page] Orators Beneuolentiam captare, and as they vse rethoricall tropes and figures, the better to drawe their hearers with the delight of varietie: so these moathes of the Common-wealth, apply their wits to wrap in wealthy farmers with straunge and vn­coth conceits. Iush, it was so easie for the Setter to take vppe a Connie before I discouered the cose­nage that one stigmaticall shamelesse companion a­mongst the rest, would in a brauerie were parsly in his hat, and said he wanted but Aqua vitae to take a Connie with but since he hath lookt on his féet, and valed his plumes with the Peacocke, and sweares by all the shooes in his shop, I shall be the next man bee meanes to kill, for spoyling of his occupation: but I laugh at his brauadoes, and though he speaks with his Enuches voice, and weares a long sworde like a morrice pike, were it not I thinke hee would with Batillus hang himselfe at my inuectiue, his name should bee set downe with the nature of his follies: but let him call himselfe home from this course of life and this cosenage, and I shall bee con­tent to shadow what he is with pardon, but frō this degression againe to the double diligence of these Connie-catchers, whose new sleights, because you shall the more easily perceiue, I will tell you a story pleasant and worth the noting.

A pleasant tale of the Connie-chatchers.

NOt long since, certaine Exceter marchants came vp to London to traffick such wares as their Citty commodities affoords, & one of them whose name I conceale called maister F. hauing leasure at will, walked about [Page] the Citie to visite his friendes, and by chance mette with two or three conny-catchers? amongst whome was one of his old and familiar acquaintance. This gentleman at that time taking the Setters office vpon him seeing such a fat Connie so fit for his pur­pose began to pitch his haie with this courteous and clawing gratulation. What maister F. (quoth he) welcome to London, and well are you mette; I sée time may draw friends together, little did I thinke to haue séene you héere, but sith oportunitie hath granted me such a fauour to meete with such an vn­lookt-for [...]an, wele at the next Tauerne drinke a pint of wine together, to your welcome, and the health of our friendes. The Marchant hearing the gentleman ply him with such plausible entertain­ment: stoopt as a poore Connie, and granted to take his courtesie, and with them went the Uerser, a lu­stie fellow, well apparelled, and as smooth toonged as if euery worde came out of an Orators inck­horne: this iolly squire that plaied the Uerser, when hée came at the Tauerne doore, would needs drop away, and offered to be gone▪: but the Setter said to him, nay I pray you sir stay, and drink with this friend of mine, for I haue not a more familiar acquaintance in Exeter: The Marchant simply al­so intreated him, and with few wordes he was sa­tisfied, and as thrée of them went in together, and asked for a rounie, the boy shewed them vp into a chamber, and assoone as they came to the Uerser, hauing a payre of Cardes in his pocket, for they thought it too suspitious to call for a payre, stept to the window, and clapt his hand on the ledge, and laught, [...]ogs wounds (quoth he) a man can neither come into Tauerne, nor Alehouse, but he shall find [Page] a payre of Cardes in the window: Here hath béene some praying, and haue left their bookes behinde them. Boy (quoth he) throw me a couple of fagots on the fire, and set a pottle of Secke too, and burne it, and sir he sayes to the Setter, thou and I will play at Cardes who shall pay for it. Content saies the Setter, so you will plaie at a game that I can play at, which is called Mum-chance. I knowe it well, saies the Uerser: haue with you for a pottle of burnt Secke, and so to it they go, as before in my first part I describe it vnto you: the poore Marchant the simple honest Connie, calling the Card▪ well the Uerser lost, and at last they reueale the pollicie to the Conny, who wondered at the strange deuise, and solemnly swore it was impossible for him ey­ther to loose, or the other to winne: As thus they sat drinking the Setter shewed him diuers trickes at Cardes, to passe away the time, because theyr Bar­nacle staied ouer long, who at last, attiered like a Seruing-man, came and thrust open the doore, and saide, maisters by your leaue, I looke for a grey­hound that hath broken my slip, & is run into this house. In faith friend, quoth the Setter, héere is none, nor did we see any: Then by your leaue gen­tlemen (quoth he) and sit you merrie, I had rather haue giuen fortie shillinges then haue lost the dog: Nay staie sir (quoth the Uerser) and drinke a cup of Secke with vs: at that the Barnacle came in, and courteously tooke it of them, and made sore la­ment for his dogge, saying, he durst scarse looke his maister in the face: but I hope (quoth he) he is run to the farmers house, where hee was brought vp, and therefore Ile séeke him no where to day, with that he called for a pint of wine, to requite theyr [Page] courtesies withall, and the Uerser answered that they would take none of him as a gift, but if he would play for a pint or a quart hee should be wel­come into their companie: at this he sate down, and said hee woulde, then they induced him to play at mum-ch [...]nce, and the Conny cald the Card, so the Barnacle lost all, who being in a great chafe, curst his lucke, and the Cards, and offered to play thrée games, xii. pence: the Setter tooke him vp, and se­cretly askt the Cony if he would be his half, or play with him himselfe. In faith saies the marchant, I dare play with him, as long as fiue shillinges last, and so much I will venter: with that the Barnacle drew out a purse with some thrée or foure pence in it, and to this game they go, with vie and reuie till the Barnacle had lost all his money, then hee blas­phemed the name of God mightily, and laide his sword and his cloke to pawne to the good man of the house, and borrowed money of it, to the value of some xx. shillings. The Conny smiled at this for he counted all his own, & winkt vpon the Uerser, and the Setter, againe they go to it, and they make fiue games for ten shillinges, and euery Card to be vied at the loosers pleasure, the Conny wonne three of them, and the Barnacle neuer a one: then he exclai­med against Fortune, and swore hee woulde make short worke, and of a ring he borrowed thirtie shil­lings more, and vied hard: wel that game he woon, and got so me twentie shillinges of the Conny, who thought it was but a chance, that coulde not hit in seuen yeares againe, and the next game they vied, and laied some fiue pound by on the belt, so that the v [...]e and call, came to some seuen pound, then the Barnacle stroke in his chopt Card, and wipe the [Page] Connies mouth cleane for trobling his purse, with any of those crowns, yea he so handled ye poore mar­chaunt, that of nine pound he had in his purse, these thrée base Conny-catchers left him neuer a penny, although he was sore nipt on the head, with this hard Fortune, yet he brookt it with patience, and li­tle suspected that his Countrey man the Setter had sifted him out of his money, and therefore druncke to him friendly, and tooke his leaue without smoa­king them at all, and went quiet though discontent to his lodging. The Conny-catchers they shard the purchase, and went singing home as winners doe that haue leaue and leisure to laugh at the spoile of such wealthie and honest marchants. Not long af­ter this, the cony chanced to come to my chamber to visit me for old acquaintance, where he found a book of Cony-catching new come out of the presse which when he had smilde at, for the strangenesse of the ti­tle: at last he began to reade it, and there saw how simplie hee was made a conny, and stript of hys crownes: with that he fetcht a great sigh, and sayd: sir, if I had séene this booke but two dayes since, it had saued me nine pound in my purse, and then hée rehearst the whole discourse, howe kindly hee was made a conny. Thus you may sée that these base conny-catchers spare not their owne acquaintance nor familiar friends: but like Uultures seek to pray vpon them, and like the Harpie, infectes that house wherein they harbour: so odious is their base and detestable kind of coosenage, that the very Nips, the cut-purses I meane, desire to smoake them, and haue them in as great contempt, as they themselues are despised of others: holding the conny-catcher for their inferiour: for say the Nips I disdaine to vse [Page] my occupation against any friend, or so drawe a purse from him that I am familiarly acquainted with: whereas the conny-catcher praieth moste vp­on his countreymen and friendes, and at the first hand comes with a smiling face to embrace that man, whome presently he meanes to spoyle and coo­sen. Againe, the Nip vseth his knife, and if he sée a Boung lie faire, strikes the stroke, and venters his necke for it if he be taken, which is a certaine point (say they) of resolution, though in the basest degree: but the conny-catcher, like a coward keepes himself within compasse of lawe, as the picture of a faint hearted coosener: like a fawning curre wagges hys tayle vppon him, hee meanes most deadly to bite. then let this be a caueat for all men, and all de­grees to take héede of such preiudiciall pesants: who like wormes in a nut eat the kernell, wherein they are bred, and are so venemous minded, that like the Uiper they desparage whomsoeuer they light on: I know I shall haue many braues vttered against me for this inuectiue: but so I may profit my coun­trimen I will hazard my selfe against their déepest villanies: and therefore sléeping neuer a whit the worse for their brauado, I commit such enemies of the flourishing Estate of England, to the considera­tion of the Iustices who I hope will looke into the loose life of bad, base, and dishonest caterpillers.



A pleasant Tale of a Horse, how at Vxbridge, hee coosened a Conny-catcher, and had like to brought him to his Neckuerse.

IT fortuned that not long since certaine Conny-catchers met by hap a Prancar or hors steale at Uxbridge, who took vp his inne wher those honest cruel lodged, & as one vice follows another, was as redy to haue [Page] a cast at cardes as he had a hazard at a horse, the Conny-catchers who supt with him, féeling him pliāt to receiue the blow, began to lay the plot how they might make him stoope all the money in his purse, & so for a pint of wine drew him in at cards, by degrees as these rakehels do, Lento gradu, mea­sure all things by minutes, he fell from wine to money, and from pence to pounds, that hee was stript of all that euer he had, as well Crownes, ap­parell, as Iewels, that at last to maintain the main and to checke v [...]es with reuies he laide his horse in the hazard and lost him, when the Priggar had smoakt the game, and perceiued he was bitten of all the bite in his bung, and turned to walke peny­lesse in M [...]rke lane, as the old prouerbe is, he be­gan to chase, and to sweare, and to rap out goggs Nownes, and his pronouns, while at voluntarye he had sworne through the eight parts of speech in the Accidence, auowing they had coosened him both of his money and horse. Whereuppon the grosse Asse more hardy then wise, vnderstanding the Con­ny-catchers were gone, went to the Constable and made hue & cry after them, saying: They had robde him of his horse, at this the head Boroughs follow­ed amaine, and by chaunce met with an other hue and cry that came for him that had stollen, which hue and cry was serued vpon the horse stealer, and at that time as farre as I can either coniecture or calculate, the Conny-catchers were taken suspici­ous for the same horse, and the rather for that they were found loose liuers & could yéeld no honest me­thode or meanes of their maintenance, vppon this for the horse they were apprehended, & bound ouer to the Sessions at Westminster, to aunswer what [Page] might be obiected against them in her maiasties be­half. Well the horse stealer brake from his keepers and got away, but the rest of the rascall crue; the Conny-catchers I mean, were brought to the place of iudgement, and there like valiaunt youths they thrust twelue men into a corner, who founde them guiltlesse for the fact, but if great fauor had not bin showen they had ben condemned & burnt in the ears for rogues. Thus the horse stealer made hue & cry after the Conny catchers, and the man that had lost the horse he pursued the horse stealer, so that a dou­ble hue and cry passed on both sides, but the Cony­catchers had the worse, for what they got in the bri­dle they lost in the saddle, what they coosened at cardes had like to cost them their necks at the Ses­sions, so that when they were frée and acquited, one of the Conny-catchers in a merry vaine, said, he had catcht many Connies, but now a horse had like to caught him, and so déepely quoth he, that Miserere mei had like to haue beene my best mattins. Thus we may see Fallere fallentem non est fraus, euery deceipt hath his due, he that maketh a trap falleth into the snare him selfe, and such as couet to coosen all, are [...]rost them selues often times almost to the crosse, and that is the next neighbor to the gallows. Well Gentlemen thus I haue bewraied much and gotten little thankes, I mean of the dishonost sort, but I hope such as measure vertue by hir honours, will iudge of me as I deserue Marry the good men Conny-catchers, those base excrements of dishone­sty, they in their huffes report they haue got one ( ) I will not bewray his name, but a scholler they say he is, to make an inuectiue against me, in that he is a fauourer of those base reprobates, but [Page] let them, him, and all know, the proudest peasant of them all, dare not lift his plumes in disparage­ment of my credit, for if he doe, I will for reuenge onely appoint the Iakes farmers of London, who shall caze them in their filthy vesselles, and carrye them as dung to manure the barrain places of Ti­bourne, and so for Conny-catchers an end.

A discourse, or rather discouery of the Nip and the Foist, laying open the nature of the Cut-purse and Picke-pocket.


NOw Gentlemen, Marchants, Farmers, and termers, yea who soeuer he be, that v­seth to carrie money about him, let him at­tentiuely [Page] heare what a péece of newe fond Philoso­phie, I will lay open to you whose opinions, prin­ciples, Aphorismes, if you carefully note and retain in memorie, perhappes saue some crownes in your purse ere the yeare passe, and therefore thus: The Nip & the foist, although their subiect is one which they worke on, that is, a well lined purse, yet their manner is different, for the Nip vseth his knife, and the Foist his hand: the one cutting the purse, the o­ther drawing the pocket: but of these two scuruie trades, the Foist holdeth himselfe of the highest de­gree, and therefore, they tearme themselues Gen­tlemen foists, and so much disdaine to be called cut­purses, as the honest man that liues by his hand or occupation, in so much that the Foist refuseth euen to weare a knife about him to cut his meat with al, least he might be suspected to grow into the nature of the Nippe, yet as I said before is their subiect and haunt both alike, for their gaines lies by all places of reso [...]t and assemblies, therfore their chiefe walks is Paules, Westminster, the Exchaunge, Plaies, Beare garden, running at Tilt, the Lorde Maiors day, any festiual méetings, fraies, shootings, or great faires: to be short, where so euer there is any extra­ordinarie resort of people, there the Nippe and the Foist haue fittest oportunity to shewe their iugling agillitie. Commonly, when they spie a Farmer or Marchant, whome they suspect to be well monied, they followe him hard vntill they sée him drawe his purse, then spying in what place he puts it vppe, the stall or the shadows beeing with the Foist or Nip, méets the man at some straight turne & iustles him so hard, that the man marueling, and perhaps quar­reling with him, the whilest the foist hath his purse [Page] and bids him fare-well. In Paules (especiallie in the tearme time) betwéene ten and eleuen, then is their howers, and there they walke, and perhaps, if there be great presse, strike a stroke in the middle walk, but that is vpon some plaine man that stands gazing about, hauing neuer séene the Church before but their chiefest time is at diuine seruice, when men deuoutly giuen doe go vp to heare either a ser­mon, or els the harmonie of the Queere and the Or­ganes: their the Nip and the Foist as deuoutly as if he were some zealous parson, standeth sob [...]rlie with his eies eleuated vnto heauen when his hand is ei­ther on the purse or in the pocket, surueing euerie corner of it for coyne, then when the seruice is done and the people presse away, he thrusteth amidst the throng, and there worketh his villanie. So like wise in the markets, they note how euery one putteth vp his purse, and there either in a great presse, or while the partie is cheayning of meat, the Foist is in their pocket and the Nip hath the purse by the strings, or some times [...]uts out the bottome, for they haue still their stals following them, who thrusteth and iust­leth him or her whome the Foist is about to draw▪ So likewise at plaies, the Nip standeth there lea­ning like some manerly gentleman against the doore as men go in, and there finding talke with some of his companions▪ [...]pieth what euerie man hath in his purse, and where, in what place, and in which sleene or pocket he puts the voung, and accor­ding to that so he worketh eyther where the thrust is great within, or els as they come out at the dores: but suppose that the first is smoakt, and the man misseth his purs, & apprehendeth him for it then straight, he either conuaieth it to his [...]all, or els dro­droppeth [Page] the boong, and w [...]h a great braue hee defi­eth his accuser: and though the purse be found at his foote, yet because he hath it not about him, hee comes not within compasse of life. Thus haue they their shifts for the law, and yet at last, so long the pitcher goeth to the brooke that it commeth broken home, and so long the Foists put their villanie in practise, that west-ward they go, and there solemnely make a rehearsall sermon at Tibourne. But againe, to their places of resort, Westminster I marie, that is their chiefest place that brings in their profite, the Tearme-time is their haruest: and therefore, like prouident husband-men they take time while time serues, and make hay while the Sunne shines, fol­lowing their clients, for they are at the Hall verie early and there they worke like bees, haunting eue­rie Court, as the Exchecquer chamber, the Starre­chamber, the Kings-bench, the Common-pleas, an [...] euerie place where the poore Client standeth to heare his Lawyer handle his matter, for alasse the poore Countrey Gentleman or Farmer is so busied with his causes, and hath his mind so full of cares to sée his counsell and to plie his Atorney, that the least thing in his thought is his purse: but the Eagle­eied Foist or Nip he watcheth, and séeng the Client draw his purse to pay some charges or fees necessa­rie for the Court, marketh where he putteth it, and then when he thrusteth into the throng, either to an­swere for himselfe, or to stand by his Counseller to put him in minde of his cause, the Foist drawes his pocket and leaues the poore client pennilesse. This do they in all courts, and go disguised like Seruing­men, wringing the simple people by this iugling subtelie, well might therefore the honorable & wor­shipfull [Page] of those courts doe to take order from suche vilde and base minded cutpurses, that as the lawe hath prouided death for them if they be taken, so they might be rooted out especially from Westmin­ster where the poore clients are vndone by such ro­gish catchers. It boots not to tell their course at e­uerie remooue of her Maiestie when the people flock together, nor at Bartholmew faire, on the Quéens day, at the Tilt-yard and at al other places of assem­blie: for let this suffice, at any great presse of people or méeting, there the Foist and the Nippe is in his kingdome: Therefore let all men take this caueat, that when they walke abroad amid anie of the fore­named places or like assemblies, that they tak great care for their purse how they place it, and not leaue it carelesse in their pockets or hoase, for the Foist is so nimble handed that hee excéeds the iugler for agi­lity, and hath his legier de maine as perfectly: ther­fore an exquisite Foist must haue thrée properties that a good Surgion should haue, and that is an Ea­gles eie, a Ladies hand, and a Lyons heart, an Ea­gles eie to spie a purchase, to haue a quicke insight where the boong lies, and then a Lyons heart not to feare what the end will bee, and then a Ladies hand to be little and nimble, the better to diue into the pocket. These are the perfect properties of a Foist: but you must note that there be diuersities of this kind of people, for there be cittie Nips & coun­trey Nips, which haunt from faire to faire, and ne­uer come in London, vnlesse it be at Bartholmewe faire, or some other great and extraordinarie assem­blies: Nowe there is a mortall hate betweene the Countrey Foist and the Cittie Foist, for if the citie Foist spie one of the connies in London, straight he [Page] séekes by some meanes to smoake him, and so the Countrey Nip if he spie a Cittie Nip in any faire, then hee smoakes him straight, and brings him in danger, if he flée not away the more spéedilie, beside there be women Foists and women Nips, but the woman Foist is most daungerous, for commonlie there is some olde hand, or snoutfair strumpet, who inueigleth either some ignorant man or some yong youth to folly, she hath straight her hād in his poket, and so foiste him of all that hee hath: but let all men take héed of such common harlots, who either sit in the stréets in euenings, or els dwel in baudy houses and are pliant [...] euery mans lure, such are alwaies Foists and Pickepockets, and séeke the spoile of all such as meddle with them, and in cosening of such base minded leachers as giue thēselues to such lend companie, are woorthy of what so euer befals, and sometime they catch such a Spanish [...] pip, that they haue no more hair on their head then on their nails. But leauing such strumpets to their soules confusi­on and bodies correction in Bride-well: Againe, to our Nips and Foists, who haue a kind of fraternity or brother-hood among them, hauing a hall or place of méeting, where they confer of waightie matters, touching their worke-manship, for they are proui­dent in that, euerye one of them hath some trustie friend whom he calleth his treasurer, and with him he laies vp some ratable portion, of euery purse hee drawes, that when need requires, and he is brought in danger, he may haue money to make composition with the partie: But of late, there hath bene a great scourge fallen amongst them, for now if a purse bee drawen of any great valew, straight the partie ma­keth friends to some one or other of the Counsell or [Page] other inferior hir Maiesties Iustices, and then they send out warraunts if they cannot learne who the Foist is, to the kéepers of Newgate that they take vp all the Nips and Foists about the cittie, and let them lie there while the money be reanswered vn­to the party, so that some pay thrée pound, nay fiue pound at a time according as the same losse did a­mount vnto, which doth greatly impouerishe their trade, and hinder their figging law. Therefore a­bout such causes grows their meeting, for they haue a kinde of corporation, as hauing wardens of their company, and a hall: I remember their hall was once about Bushops gate, néere vnto fishers follie, but because it was a noted place, they haue remoo­ued it to Kent-stréet, and as far as I can learne, it is kept at one Laurence Pickeringes house, one that hath bene if he be not still a notable Foist. A man of good calling he is, and well allied brother in law to Bull the hangman, there kéepe they their feasts and wéekely méetinges, fit for their company. This haue I partlye set downe the nature of the Foist, and the Nip, with their speciall haunts, as a caueat to al estates to beware of such wicked persons, who are as preiudiciall to the Common-wealth as anie other faculty what soeuer; and although they be by the great discretion of the Iudges and Iustices dai­lie trust vp, yet still there springeth vppe yoong that grow in time to beare fruit fit for the gallowes: let then euery man be as carefull as possibly hee may, and by this caueat take héed of his purs, for the pray makes the théefe, and there and end

A merry tale how a Miller had his purse cut in New gate market.

IT fortuned that a Nip and his staul drin­king at the thrée Tuns in Newgate mar­ket, sitting in one of the roomes next to the stréete, they might perceiue wher a meale man stood selling of meale, and had a large bag by his side, where by coniecture there was some store of money, the old Coole, the old cut purse I mean, spying this, was delighted with the shew of so glo­rious an obiect, for a full purse is as pleasing to a Cut purse eie, as the curious Phisnomy of Venus was to the amorons God of war, and entring to a merry vaine as one that counted that purchase his own, discouered it to the Nouice and bad him goe & nip it, the young toward scholler although perhaps he had striken some few stroks before, yet séeing no great presse of people, and the meale-mans hande often vppon his bagge, as if hee had in times past smoakte some of their faculty, was halfe afraide and doubted of his owne experience and so refused to doe it. Away villaine saith the old Nippe, art thou fainte harted, belonges it to our trade to des­paire? If thou wilt onely doe common worke, and not make experience of some harde matters to at­tempt, thou wilt neuer be maister of thine occupa­tion, therefore try thy wits and doe it, at this the young stripling stalkes me out of the Tauern, and féeling if his Cuttle boung were glibbe and of a good edge, went to this meale-man to enter combate hand to hand with his purse, but séeing the meale­mans eye was still abroade, and for want of other sport that he plaied with his purse, he was afraide to trust eyther to his witte or Fortune, and there­fore [Page] went backe againe without any act athieued. How now saith the olde Nip what hast thou done, nothing quoth he, the knaue is so wary, that it is vn possible to get any purchase there, for be stands pla­ing with his purse for want of other exercise. At this his fellow lookes out and smiles, making this reply. And doest thou count it impossible to haue the meale-mans boung, lend me thy knife for mine is left at home, & thou shalt sée me strike it straight, and I will shew thée a Method, how perhaps here­after to doe the like after my example, and to make thee a good scholler, and therefore goe with me and doe as I shall instruct thée, begin but a fained quar­rell, and when I giue thée a watche woord, then throwe flower in my face, and if I misse his purse let me be hanged for my labour, with that he gaue him certaine principles to obserue, and then paide for the wine and out they went together. As soon as they were come to the meals-man, the olde Nippe began to iest with the other about the Mil­lers sacke, and the other replied as knauishlye, at last, the elder called the younger Roague, Roague thou Swaine, quoth hee, doest thou or darest thou dishonour mee with such a base title? And with that taking a whole hand full of meale out of the sacke, threw it full in the olde Nippes necke and his brest, and then ranne away. Hee being thus dusted with meale, intreated the meale man to wipe it out of his necke, and stoopte downe his head, the meale man laughing to sée him so rayed and whited, was willing to shake off the meale, and the whilst, while hee was busie about that, the Nippe had stroken the purse and done his feate, and both courteously thanked the meale man and close­ly [Page] went away with his purchase. The poore man thinking little of this Cheate, began againe to play with his purse stringes, and suspected nothing till he had soulde a pecke of meale, and offered to change money, and then hee found his purse bottomlesse, which strooke such a colde quandary to his stomack, as if in a frosty morning hee had druncke a draught of small béere next his heart, hee began then to ex­claime against such villaines, and called to minde how in shaking the dust out of the Gentlemans necke, he shakte his money out of his purse, and so the poore meale man fetch a great sigh, knit vp his sacke and went sorowing home.


A kinde conceipt of a Foist performed in Paules.

WHile I was writing this discouery of foi­sting, & was desirous of any intelligence that might be giuen mee, a Gentleman a friend of mine, reported vnto me this pleasant tale, of a Foist, & as I well remember it grew to this ef­fect. Ther walked in the middle walk a plain coun­trey farmar a man of good wealth, & that had a well lined purse, onely barely thrust vppe in a round slop which a crue of Foists hauing perceiued, ther harts were set on fire to haue it, and euery one had a fling at him but all in vaine, for he kept his hand close in his pocket, and his purse fast in his fist like a subtil churle, that either had béen forewarnd of Paules, or else had afore time smoakte some of that faculty, well how so euer, it was vnpossible to doe any good with him he was so wary. The Foists spying this, strained their wits to the highest string how to cō ­passe this boung, yet could not all their polliticke conceipts fetch the farmar ouer, for iustle him, that with him, offer to shake him by the hand, all would not serue to get his hand out of his pocket. At last one of the crue that for his skil might haue bin Do­ctorat in his mistery, amongst them all chose out a good Foist, one of a nimble hand & great agility, and said to the rest thus: Masters it shal not be said such a base peasaunt shall slip away from such a crue of Gentlemen Foistes as wee are, and not haue his purse drawen, and therfore this time Ile play the staule my selfe, and if I hitte him not home, count me for a bungler for euer, and so he left them and went to the farmar and walkt directly before him & next him three or foure turnes, at last standing still [Page] he cryed alas honest man helpe me, I am not well, and with that suncke downe suddenly in a sowne, the poor Farmer seeing a proper yong gentlemā (as he thought) fall dead afore him, stept to him, helde him in his armes, rub'd him and chafte him: at this there gathered a greate multitude of people about him, and the whilst the Foiste drewe the Farmers pursse and awaye: by that the other thought the feate was done, he began to come somthing to him­selfe again, and so halfe staggering, stumbled out of Poules, and went after the true where they had a­pointed to méete, and there boasted of his wit and experience. The Farmer little suspecting this vil­lanye, thrust his hand into his pocket and mist his pursse, searcht for it, but lyning and shelles and all was gon, which made the Country man in a great maze, that he stood still in a dump so long, that a gen tleman perceiuing it asked what he ayid: what aile I sir quoth he, truely I am thinking how men may long as well as women, why doost thou coniecture that honest man quoth he? marry sir answers the Farmer, the gentlemā euen now that sowned here I warrant him breeds his wines child, for the cause of his sodain quaime that he fell downe deade grew of longing: the gentleman demaūded how he knew that, well inough sir quoth he, and he hath his lon­ging too, for the poore man longed for my pursse, and thankes be to God he hath it with him. At this all the hearers laught, but not so merrilye as the Foiste and his fellowes, that then were sharing his money.

A quaint conceite of a Cutler & a cutpursse.

A Nippe hauing by fortune lost his Cuttle boung or hauing not one fit for his purpose, wente to a cunning Cutler to haue a newe made, and prescribed the Cutler such a me­thod and forme to make his knife and the fashion to be so stronge, giuing such a charge of the finenes of the temper and well setting of the edge, that the Cutler wondred what the gentlemā would do with it, yet because he offred so largely for the making of it, the Cutler was silent and made fewe questions onely he appointed him the time to come for it, and that was three daies after: Well, the time beeing expired, the Gentleman Nip came, and seeing his knife liked it passing well, and gaue him his money with aduantage. The Cutler desirous to know to what vse hee woulde put it, saide to the Cutpurse thus, sir quoth he I haue made many kniues in my dayes, and yet I neuer sawe any of this forme, fa­shion, temper or edge, & therefore if without offence I pray you tell me how or to what will you vse it? While thus he stood talking with the Nippe, he spy­ing the pursse in his aprone, had cut it passing cun­ningly, and then hauing his purchase close in his hand, made answer, in faith my freend to dissemble is a folly, tis to cut a pursse withall and I hope to haue good hansell, you are a merry gentlemā quoth the Cutler, I tell true said the Cutpursse and away he goes. No sooner was he gone from the stalle, but there came an other and bought a knife and should haue single money againe, the Cutler thinking to put his hand in his bagge, thrust it quight through at the bottom, all his money was gone, & the pursse [Page] cut, perceiuing this and remembring how the man praide he might haue good hansell, he fetcht a great sigh and saide, now I see he that makes a snare, first falles into it himselfe: I made a knife to cut other mens pursses and mine is the first hansell, well re­uenge is fallen vpon me, but I hope the roape will fall vpon him, and so he smoothed vp the matter to himselfe, least men should laugh at his strange for­tune.

The discouery of the Lifting Law.

THe Lift, is he that stealeth or prowleth any Plate, Iuells, boultes of Satten, Ueluet, or such parcels from any place by a slight cōuey­ance vnder his cloke, or so secretly that it may not be espyed: of Lifts there be diuers kindes as their natures be different, some base roges that lift when they come into Alehouses quart potts, plat­ters, clokes, swords, or any such paltrie trash which commonly is called pilfering or petulacerie, for vn­der the cullour of spending two or three pots of ale, they lift awaye any thing that commeth within the compasse of their reache, hauing a fine & nimble agilitie of the hand as the Foist had: these are the common and rascall sortes of Lifts, but the higher degrees and gentlemen Lifts haue to the perfor­mance of their faculty thrée parties of necescitie the Lift, the Marker and the Santar: the Lift attired in the forme of a ciuell Country gentleman, comes with the Marker into some Mercers shop, Haber­dashers, Goldsmiths, or any such place where any particular parcels of worth are to be conuaid, and there he calles to sée a boulte of Satten, Ueluet or any such commoditie, and not liking the pyle, culler or bracke, he calles for more, and the whiles he be­gins [Page] to resolue which of them most fitly may be lif­ted, and what Garbage (for so he calles the goods stolne) may be most easily couuaid, then he calles to the Mercers man and sayes, sirrha reach me that péece of veluet or satté, or that Iuel, chaine or péece of Plate, and whilst the fellow turnes his backe, he commits his Garbage to the Marker: for note, the Lift is without his cloke, in his dublet & hose to auoide the more suspicion: the Marker which is the receiuer of the Lifts luggage, giues a winke to the Santar that walkes before the windowe and then the Santar going by in great hast, the Marker cals him & saies, sir a worde with you, I haue a message to do vnto you from a very frend of yours, and the errand is of some importaunce, truely sir saies the Santar I haue very vrgent busines in hand and as at this time I cannot staye, but one worde and no more saies the Marker, and then he deliuers him whatsoeuer the Lift hath conuaide vnto him, and then the Santar goes his way, who neuer came within the shop, and is a man vnknone to them all: suppose he is smoakte and his liftinge is lookt into, then are they vpon their pantophles, because there is nothing sound about them: they defie the world for their honestie, because they be as dishonest as a­ny in the world, and sweare as God shall iudge thē they neuer sawe the parcell lost, but Oathes with them are like winde out of a bellowes, which being coole kindleth fier: so their vowes are without con­science and so they call for reuenge: Therefore let this be a caucat to all occupacions, sciences and mi­s [...]eryes, that they beware of the gentleman Lift, and to haue an eye to such as cheapen their wares and not when they call to see new stuffe to leaue the olde behinde them, for the fingers of Lifts are [Page] fourmed of Adamant, though they touche not yet they haue vertue attractiue to drawe any pelfe to them as the Adamant dooth the Iron. But yet these Lifts haue a subtill shift to blinde the worlde for this close kind of cosonage they haue when they want money, one of them apparelles him selfe like a Country Farmer, & with a Memorandū drawen in some legall forme, comes to the chamber of some Counsayler or Sargeant at Law with his Marker and his Santar, and there telles the Lawyer his case and desires his Counsaile, the whilest the Mar ker and the Santar lay the platforme for any Ra­pier, dagger, cloake, gowne or any other parcell of worth that is in the withdrawing or vtter chāber, and assoone as they haue they goe their way: then when the Lawyer hath giuen his opiniō of the case the Lift requires, then he puts in some demurre or blinde, and saies he will haue his cause better disco­uered and then he will come to his worship againe, so taking his leaue without his ten shillings fee, he goes his waies to share what his companyons had gotten: the like method they vse with Scriueners, for comming by the shop and seeing any Garbage worth the lifting on, starteth in to haue an Obliga­tion or Bill made in haste, and while the Scriuener is busie, the Lift bringeth the Marker to the blow, and so the luggage is carried away. Now, these Lifts haue their speciall receiuers of their stolne goods, which are two sundrye parties, either some notorious Bawdes in whose houses they lye, and they kéep commonly tapping houses and haue yong trugges in their house which are consortes to these Lifts and loue them so déere, that they neuer leaue them till they come to the gallowes, or else they be Brokers, a kind of idle sort of liuers as pernitious [Page] as the Lift, for they receiue at their handes what­soeuer Garbage is conuayed, be it linnen, wollen, plate, Iuells, and this they do by a bill of saile, ma­king the bill in the name of Iohn a Nokes or Iohn a Styles, so that they shadow the Lift & yet kéepe them selues without the danger of the law. Thus are these Brokers and Bawdes as it were, effici­ent causes of the Lifters villany, for were it not their alluring speeches and their secret consealings, the Lift for wante of receiuers should be faine to take a new course of life, or else be continually dri­uen into great extreames for selling his Garbage, and thus much bréefely for the nature of the Lift.

The discouery of the Courbing Law.

THe Courber, which the common people call the Hooker, is he that with a Curbe (as they tearme it) or hooke, do pull out of a windowe any loose linnen cloth, appare [...]l or [...] o­ther houshold stuffe what soeuer, wh [...] stolne par­cells, they in their Art call snappinges: to the per­formance of this law there be required, onely two p [...]sons, the Courber and the Warpe: the Courber h [...] office is to spye in the day time sit places where his trade may be practised at night, and comming to any window if it be ope, then he hath his purpose if shut, then growing into the nature of the blacke Art, hath his trickers, which are engines of Iron so cunningly wrought, that he will cut a barr of Iron in two with then so easilye, that scarcelye shall the standers by heare him: then when he hath the win­dow open and spyes any fat snappings worth the Curbing, then streight he sets the Warp to watch, who hath a long cloak to couer whatsoeuer he gets, [Page] then doth the other thrust in a long hooke some nine foote in length (which he calleth a Curbe) that hath at the end a crooke with thrée tynes turned contrary so that tis vnpossible to misse if there be anye snap­pinges abroade: Now this longe hooke they call a Curbe, and because you shall not wonder how they carry it for being espyed, know this that it is made with ioyntes like an angle rod, and can be conuaid into the forme of a trunchion & worne in the hand like a walking staffe, vntill they come to their pur­pose and then they let it out at the length and hooke or curbe what soeuer is loose and within the reache, and then he conueyes it to the Warpe, and from thence (as they list) their snappinges goes to the Broker or to the Bawd, and there they haue as ready money for it as Merchants haue for their ware in the Exchaunge: beside, there is a Dyuer which is in the very nature of the Courber, for as he puts in a hooke, so the other puts in at the win­dowe some little figging boy who playes his parte notably, and perhaps the youth is so well instructed that he is a scholler in the blacke Arte, and can pick a locke if it be not to crosse warded, and deliuer to the Dyuer what snappinges he findes in the cham­ber. Thus you heare what the Courber doth and the Dyuer, and what inconuenience growes to many by their base villanyes: therefore I do wish all men seruants and maids, to be carefull for their Masters commodities, and to leaue no loose endes abroade, especially in chambers where windowes open to the streete, least the Courber take them as snappinges, and conuaye them to the couseninge Broker.

Let this suffise, and now I will recreate your wits with a merry Tale or two.

Of a Courber, & how cūningly he was taken.

IT fortuned of late that a Courber & his Warpe went walking in the dead of the night to spy out some window open for their purpose, & by chance same by a Noble mans house about London and saw the windowe of the porters lodge open, and loo­king in, spyed fatte snappings and bad his Warpe watch carefully for there would be purchase, & with that took his Courb and thrust it into the chamber, and the Porter lying in his bed was a wake & sawe all, and so was his bedfellow that was yeoman of the wine seller, the Porter stole out of his bed to marke what would be doone, and the firste snap­ping the Courber light on, was his Liuerye coate, as he was drawing it to the windowe, the Porter easilye lifted it off and so the Courber drew his hook in vaine, the whilste his bedfellow stole out of the chamber and raysed vptwo or thrée more and went about to take them, but still the rogue he plyed his busines and lighted on a gowne that he vsed to sit in in the Porters lodge, and warily drew it, but when it came at the windowe, the Porter drew it off so lightly that the hooker perceiued it not: then when he saw his Courbe would take no holde, he swore and chafte and tolde the Warp he had holde of two good snappes and yet mist them both and that the fault was in his Courb, then he fell to sharping and hammering of the hook to make it kéep better hold, and in againe he thrusts it and lightes vpon a paire of buffe hose, but when he had drawen them to the windowe the Porter tooke them off againe, which made the Courber almost mad, & swore he thought the deuill was abrode to night he had such hard for­tune: [Page] naye sayes the yeeman of the seller, there is thrée abroade, and we are come to setche you and your hookes to hell so they apprehended these base rogues & carried them into the Porters lodge and made that their prison. In the morning a crue of Gentlemen in the house, satte for Iudges (in that they would not trouble their Lord with such filthy Caterpillers) and by them they were found guiltie, and condemned to abide forty blowes a peece with a bastinado, which they had sollempnly paide, and so went away without any further damage.

Of the subtilty of a Curber in coosoning a Maide.

A Merrye iest and a subtile, was reported to me of a cunning Courber, who had appar­reld him selfe maruelous braue, like some good welfauoured yong Gentleman, and in stead of a man had his Warpe to waite vpon him: this smoothe faced rogue comes into More F [...]lds, and caused his man to carry a portell of Ipocras vnder his cloak, and there had learnd out amongst others that was drying of clothes, of a very well fauoured maide that was there with her Flaskit of linnen, what her Maister was, where she dwelt, and what her name: hauing gotten this intelligéce, to this maide he goes, and courteously salutesher, and after some prittye chatte, tels her how he sawe her sundry times at her Masters doore, and was so besotted with her beauty, that he had made inqui­ry what her qualities were, which by the neigh­bours he generally heard to be so vertuous, that his desire was the more inflamed, and therevpon in signe of good will, and in further acquaintance h­had [Page] brought her a pottle of Ipocras: the maid sée­ing him a good proper man, tooke it very kindelye, and thankt him, and so they drunke the Wine, and after a little Louers prattle, for that time they parted.

The Maids hart was set on fire, that a Gentle­man was become a suter vnto her, and she began to think better of her selle then euer she did before, and wered so proud that her other suters were counted too base for her, and there might be none welcome but this new come gentleman her louer. Wel, diuerse times they appointed meetings, that they grew very familiar, and he oftentimes would come to her Mai [...]ters house, when all but she and her fellow maides were a bed so that he and the Warpe his man did almost know euerye corner of the house: It fortuned that so long he dallied, that at length he meant earnest, but not to marrye the Maide whatsoeuer he had done els, and comming into the Feeldes to her on a washing daye, sawe a mightie deale of fine Linnen worth twenty pound as he coniectured: whereupon he thought this night to set downe his rest, and therefore he was very pleasant with his Louer, and tolde her that that night after her Maister and Mistris were to bed he would come and bring a bottell of Sacke with him and drinke with her: the maide glad at these newes, promised to sit vp for him and so they parted: till about tenne a clock at night, when he came and brought his man with him, and one o­ther Courber with his tooles, who should stand without the doores. To be breef, welcome he came, and so welcome as a man might be to a maide: he that had more minde to spie the clothes, then to [Page] looke on her fauour, at last perceiued them in a Par lour that stood to the street ward, and there would the maid haue had him sit, no sweeting quoth he, it is too néere the streete, we can neither laugh nor be mery but euery one that passeth by must heare vs: vpon that they remoued into another roome, and pleasaut they were, and tippled the Sacke round, till all was out, and the Gentleman swore that he would haue another pottle, and so sent his man, who tolde the other Courber that stoode without, where the window was he should worke at, & a­way goes he for more Sacke and bringes it verye orderly, and then to their cuppes they fall againe, while the Courber without had not left one ragge of Linnen behinde. Late it grew, and the morning began to war graye, and away goes this Courber and his man, leauing the maid very pleasant with his flattering promises vntill such time as poore soule she went into the Parlor, and mist all her Maisters Linnen, then what a sorrowfull hart she had, I refer to them that haue greeued at the like losse.

The Discouerie of the Blacke Art.

THe Black Arte is picking of Lockes, and to this busie trade two persons are required, the Charme and the Stand, the Charm is he that doth the feate, and the Stand is he that watcheth: There be more that belong to the bur­glary for conuaying away the goods, but only two are imploide about the lock: the Charme hath ma­ny keyes and wrests, which they call picklocks, and for euery sundry fashion they haue a sundry term, [Page] but I am ignorant of their woords of art, and ther­fore I omit them, onely this, they haue such cun­ning in opening a Lock, that they will vndoo the hardest Lock though neuer so weil warded. euen while a man may turne his backe, some haue their instruements from I take made of steele, some are made heere by Smiths, that are partakers in their villanous occupations: but howsoeuer, well may it be called the blacke Art, for the Deuil cannot doo b [...]tter then they in their facultie. I once saue the experience of it my selfe, for being in the Counter vpon a commaundement, there came in a famous fellow in the blacke art, as strong in that qualitye as Sam [...]on: The partle now is dead, and by for­tune died in his bed, I bering that he was a charm began to e [...]ter familiaritie withhim, and to haue an insight into his art, a [...]ter some acquaintance he tolde me much, and one day being in my Chamber I shewed him my Des [...]e, and as [...]t him if he could pick that little lock that was so well warded, and too little as I thought for any of his ginnes. Why sir saies he, I am so experienced in the blacke Art, that if I doo but blowe vpon a Lock [...]t shall fly opē, and therfore let me come to your Deske, and doo but turne fiue times about, and you shall see my cunning, with that I did as he bad me, and ere I had turned fiue times, his hand was r [...]fling in my Deske verye orderlye, I wondred at it, and thought verily that the Deuill and his Dam was in his fingers, much discommodity growes by this black Art in shops and noble mens houses for their plate therefore are they most seuerely to be lookt in to by the honourable and worshipfull of England, and to end this discourse as pleasantly as the rest, [Page] I wil rehearse you a true tale done by a most wor­shipfull Knight in Lancashire, against a Tinker that professed the Black Art.

A true and merry Tale of a Knight, and a Tinker that was a pick-locke.

NOt far off from Bolton in the Mores, there dwelled an auncient Knight, who for curte­sie and hospitallitie was famous in those partes: diuers of his Tenuantes making repaire to his house, offred diuers complaintes to him how their lockes were pickt in the night and diuers of them vtterly vndoon by that meanes, and who it should be they could not tell, onely they sus­pected a Tinker that went about the Country and in all places did spend verye lauishlye: the Knight willing, heard what they exhibited, and promised both redresse and reuenge if he or they could learne out the man. It chanced not long after their com­plaintes, but this ioilye Tinker (so experte in the black arte) came by the house of this Knight, as the olde gentleman was walking afore the gate and cryed for worke, the Knight [...]raight coniecturing this should be that famous rogue that did so much hurt to his Tennantes, cald in and askt if they had any worke for the Tinker, the Cooke aunswered there was three or foure old Kettles to mend, come in Tinker, so this fellowe came in, laide downe his budget and fell to his worke, a black Iacke of beere for this Tinker sayes the Knight, I know tinkers haue drye soules: the Tinker he was pleasant and thankt him humblye, the Knight sate down by him and fell a ransacking his budget, and asked where­fore [Page] this toole serued and wherfore that, the tinker tolde him all, at last as he tumbled amongst his old brasse the Knight spyed three or fower bunches of pick-lockes, he turnd them ouer quickly as though he had not seene them and said, well tinker I war­rant thou art a passing cunning fellow & well skild in thine occupacion by the store of tooles thou hast in thy budget: In faith if it please your worship quoth he, I am thankes he to God my craftes mai­ster: I, so much I perceiue that thou art a passing cunning fellowe quoth the Knight, therefore let vs haue a fresh Iacke of beere and that of the best and strongest for the [...]inker: thus he past away the time pleasantlye, and when he had done his worke he asked what he would haue for his paines? but two shillinges of your woorship quoth the Tinker, two shillinges sayes the Knight, alas Tinker it is too little, for & see by thy tooles thou art a passing cunning workeman, holde there is two shillinges come in sha [...]t drinke a cup of wine before thou goest but I pra [...] to [...] tell me which way trauailest thou: faith sir quoth the Tinker all is one to me; I am not much out of my way whersoeuer I goe, but now I am going to Lanca [...]er: I praye thee Tinker then quoth the K [...]ight carry me a Letter to the Iaylor, for I sent in a fe [...]lon thither the other day and I would send word to t [...]e Iaylor he should take no bale for him, marry that I will in most dutifull manner quoth he and much more for your woorship then that: giue him a cup of wine quoth the Knight and sirrha (speaking to his Clarke) make a Letter to the Iaylor, but then he whisperd to him and bad him make a mittimus to send the Tinker to prison, the Clarke answered he knewe not his name, Ile [Page] make him tell it thee him selfe sayes the Knight and therefore fall you to your pen: the Clarke began to write his mittimus, and the Knight began to aske what Countryman he was where he dwelt & what was his name, the Tinker tolde him all, and the Clarke set it in with this prouiso to the Iaylor that he should keep him fast bolted or else he would break awaye. Assoone as the mittimus was made, sealed and subscribed in forme of a Letter, the Knight took it and deliuered it to the Tinker and said, giue this to the cheefe Iaylor of Lancaster & here's two shil­lings more for thy labour, so the Tincker tooke the Letter and the money and with many a cap & knee thanked the olde Knight and departed: and made haste til he came at Lancaster, and staid not in the town so much as to taste one cup of nappy ale, be­fore he came at the Iailor, and to him very briskly he deliuered his letter, the [...]ailor took it and read it and smilde a good, and said tinker thou art wel [...]om for such a Knights sake, he bids me giue thee y best entertainement I may, I sir quoth the tincker the Knight loues me wel, but I pray you hath ye cour­teous gentlemā remembred such a poor man as I? I marry doth he tincker, and therofore sirra ꝙ. he to one of his men, take the tinker in y lowest w [...]rd clap a strong pair of bolts on his heeles, and a basil of 28. pound weight, and then sirra see if your pick locks wil serue the turne to bale you hence? at this the tinker was blank, but yet he thouhgt the [...]ailor had but iested, but whē he heard the Mittimus, his hart was colde, and had not a word to say his con­science accused, and there he lay while the next ses­sions, and was hangd at Lancaster, and all his skil in the black art could not serue him.


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