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The History of the Life and Adventures of Mr. Duncan Campell A Gentlen, who, tho' Deaf and Dumb, Writes down any Stranger's name at first Sight;   By: (1661?-1731)

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First Page:

THE

HISTORY

OF THE

LIFE

AND

ADVENTURES

OF

MR. DUNCAN CAMPBELL,

A Gentleman, who, tho' Deaf and Dumb, writes down any Stranger's name at first Sight; with their future Contingencies of Fortune.

Now Living

In Exeter Court over against the Savoy in the Strand .

Gentem quidem nullam video neque tam humanam atque doctam; nequtam immanem tamque barbaram, quæ non significari futura et a quie busdam intelligi prædicique posse censeat.

Cicero de Divinatione, lib. x.

LONDON :

Printed for E. CURLL: And sold by W. MEARS and T. JAUNCY, without Temple Bar , W. MEADOWS in Cornhill , A. BETTESWORTH in Pater Noster Row . W. LEWIS in Covent Garden and W. GRAVES in St. James's Street. M.DCC.XX. (Price 5 s. )

TO THE LADIES AND GENTLEMEN OF GREAT BRITAIN.

I am not unacquainted, that, ever since this book was first promised by way of advertisement to the world, it was greedily coveted by a great many persons of airy tempers, for the same reason that it has been condemned by those of a more formal class, who thought it was calculated partly to introduce a great many new and diverting curiosities in the way of superstition, and partly to divulge the secret intrigues and amours of one part of the sex, to give the other part room to make favourite scandal the subject of their discourse; and so to make one half of the fair species very merry, over the blushes and the mortifications of the other half. But when they come to read the following sheets, they will find their expectations disappointed, but I hope I may say too, very agreeably disappointed. They will find a much more elegant entertainment than they expected. Instead of making them a bill of fare out of patchwork romances of polluting scandal, the good old gentleman who wrote the Adventures of my Life, has made it his business to treat them with a great variety of entertaining passages, which always terminate in morals that tend to the edification of all readers, of whatsoever sex, age, or profession. Instead of seducing young, innocent, unwary minds into the vicious delight which is too often taken in reading the gay and bewitching chimeras of the cabalists, and in perusing the enticing fables of new invented tricks of superstition, my ancient friend, the writer, strikes at the very root of these superstitions, and shows them how they may be satisfied in their several curiosities, by having recourse to me, who by the talent of the second sight, which he so beautifully represents, how nature is so kind frequently to implant in the minds of men born in the same climate with myself, can tell you those things naturally, which when you try to learn yourselves, you either run the hazard of being imposed upon in your pockets by cheats, gipsies, and common fortune tellers, or else of being imposed upon in a still worse way, in your most lasting welfare, by having recourse to conjurors or enchanters that deal in black arts, and involve all their consulters in one general partnership of their execrable guilt; or, lastly, of imposing worst of all upon your own selves, by getting into an itch of practising and trying the little tricks of female superstition, which are often more officiously handed down by the tradition of credulous nurses and old women, from one generation to another, than the first principles of Christian doctrine, which it is their duty to instil early into little children. But I hope when this book comes to be pretty generally read among you ladies, as by your generous and numerous subscriptions I have good reason to expect, that it will afford a perfect remedy and a thorough cure to that distemper, which first took its rise from too great a growth of curiosity, and too large a stock of credulity nursed prejudicially up with you in your more tender and infant years.

Whatever young maid hereafter has an innocent but longing desire to know who shall be her husband, and what time she shall be married, will, I hope, when she has read the following sheets of a man that can set her right in the knowledge of those points, purely by possessing the gift of the second sight, sooner have recourse innocently to such a man than use unlawful means to acquire it, such as running to conjurors to have his figure shown in their enchanted glasses, or using any of those traditional superstitions, by which they may dream of their husbands, or cause visionary shapes of them to appear on such and such festival nights of the year; all which practices are not ordinarily wicked and impious, but downright diabolical... Continue reading book >>




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