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The Square of Sevens An Authoritative Method of Cartomancy with a Prefatory Note   By: (1868-1942)

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[Transcribed by Ruth Hart]

[Transcriber's note: I have made several changes from the original text for this online text edition. First, although I have not indicated it here, in the original text the whole preface (with the exception of the word dukkeripens) is italicized. Next, I have changed all the sidebars to section headings. Next, the illustrations in the original text consisted of rectangular graphs and numbers, and I have made approximations of these diagrams with dashes and vertical bars. The Master Column illustration (Fig. 13) originally had shading in some of the rectangles, which I have indicated by X's. Finally, in the paragraph starting "Let it be minded..." I changed "Sex in Court Cards" to "Six in Court Cards". All other spelling remains the same.]






Copyright, 1896, by HARPER & BROTHERS

All rights reserved


this new forth setting of an old mystery is cordially offered .

Editorial Preface

"'Tis easy as lying." Hamlet

It is safe to presume that even the most inquisitive book hunters of the present day, and few of the fellowship during two or three generations past, have encountered the scarce and curious little volume here presented, as in a friendly literary resurrection Robert Antrobus's "The Square of Sevens, and the Parallelogram." Its mathematical title hardly hints at the amusement that the book affords. With its solemn faith in the gravity of its mysteries, with its uncertain spellings and capital icings such as belong to even the Eighteenth Century's early part, with its quaint phrases and sly observations (all the time sticking strictly close to business), it has a literary character, as well as me occult, that is quite its own.

Fortune telling with cards and belief in fortune telling with cards like a hundred greater and lesser follies of the mind were straws floating along the current of British life, intellectual and social, during the reign of George the Second. This was the case, in spite of the enlightening influences of religion, science, and philosophy. Modish society was addicted to matters over which argument was hardly worth while in which respect we find modish society the same in all epochs. Our ancestresses particularly were often charming women, and almost as often sensible women; but, like the men of Athens, they were too superstitious. Often were they such in a fond and amusing degree. Lady Betty or Lady Selina for that matter, even Sir Tompkin and my lord Puce might be spirited men and women of the world. But they did not repudiate the idea of ghosts. They abhorred a mirror's breakage. They disliked a Friday's errand. They shuddered over a seven times sneeze or at a howling dog at midnight. And the gentle sex, especially, would and did tell fortunes almost as jealously as play quadrille and piquet. Let us be courteous to them. Let us remember that Esoteric Buddhism, Faith Healing, and Psychic Phenomena were not yet enjoying systematic cultivation and solemn propagandism; and that relatively few dying folk were allowed to "go on with their dying" as part of a process of healing which excludes medicine and insists on the conviction that the invalids are not ill!

But to our "Square of Sevens" with which even a Gallio may deign to be diverted especially if in using it the air is found to be full of coincidences. The story of the book is already alluded to, as odd. The inquisitive reader may be referred to "certain copies only." Therein, "inserted by Afterthought on the Author's part" (and therefore in a mere fraction of whatever represented the extremely small edition of the work), may be sought the "Prefatory Explication, made for the Benefit of My Friends, Male and Female... Continue reading book >>

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