Thursday, April 30, 2009

Those nut-cracking early moderns: Edmund Gayton on nuts

The 17th century physician and failed wit Edmund Gayton, in his The art of longevity, or, A diaeteticall instition (1659), talking about nuts.

First, the almond, variously medicinal, aphrodisiac, and cosmetic in its uses:

Almonds; the sweet are temperate, the bitter
Better, and for Physical uses fitter:
Their moderate heat and oyly juice
Doth lenifie the throat, yet they refuse
To pass the stomack, unless sugar'd well;
Then urine and obstructions they expel,
And sperm augment: unskinn’d they nourish worse,
Their coats, like bran, a passage for them force.
Skinn’d they are stiptick, and perform good task,
When order’d against bloody Flix and Lask.
The bitter, hot and dry, are wholsomer,
Dissolve gross humours, cleanse the ureter,
Expectorate and sweep the clogged lungs,
And mundifie the Spleen, and Liver dungs.
Their oyl for many uses serve, get grace
For keeping terse the Ladyes skins and face:

In Physick more successful; so we shall
Not give our Almonds only unto * Pal.

‘Pal’ I think for Pol, the parrot, as in ‘An Almond for a Parrot’, a by word for something the recipient adores. Nuts, Gayton goes on to tell us, are in general too dry – if you are of the wrong humour, they will make your head ache, and cause dizziness. (This is a bit of a surprise, for by the doctrine of signatures, nuts were often considered good for the brain.) But Gayton insists:

Nuts are dry whorsons, though the Tree complain,
Shee’s thwack’d and bang’d by every Country-Swain;
'Tis not without a Fault, by Virgil’s leave,
Who did the Nut an innocent fruit conceive.
For simply of themselves they do great harm,
Are most obstructive, and in stomacks warm
And cholerick ingender fumes, and make
The pate virtiginous, and deadly ake.

But the nut can be improved by being infused in sherry, and for a moment Gayton’s verses faintly recall Milton’s wonderful sonnet of wise Epicureanism, ‘Lawrence of Virtuous Father Vertuous Son’:

Infus’d in Sack, their mended quality’s
Approv’d, who wo’nt in Walnuts sacrifice
An afternoon to Bacchus, if it rain,
And moistned skies offend the studious brain?

Next, some kind of internal cleanse made of nuts, figs, rue and salt pounded together in a mortar (Gayton uses the old verb, ‘contund’):

But Nuts, two Figs, and twenty leaves of Rue,
And Salt contunded, (give the Devil his due,
He is a Nutter too) will expel poyson;
Nay, taken fasting keeps off all that’s noysom.

We have all heard about the ‘nut-cracking’ groundlings of the Shakespearean theatre: here, Gayton explains which nuts were eaten, plebeian ones as he sees it, the hazelnut and filbert, and also tells us that this cracking went on between the acts, and only spoiled the hearing of the entr’acte music:

In Hazel-nut, or Filberd, cold and dry
Of temper, doth a windy moysture lye,
Which yeilds but little nourishment, so tough,
It will not passe the stomack soon enough,
But lies like bullet, or small shot of lead,
Yet upon these the vulgar sort do feed.
And at the Play houses, betwixt the Acts,
The Musick Room is drown’d with these Nut-cracks…

I will leave him on the excellence of walnuts, in themselves, and as an oil for the scalp, finally as a sweet:

Walnuts, or Royal Nuts, or Nuts of Jove,
(Here’s name enough to get a noble love)
Are the best sort of Nuts, and newly pluck’d
Delight the taste, but little juyce is suck’d

From its dry kernel, which doth slow descend,
And by its hard concoction doth offend.
Made in oyl like Almonds, they make smooth
The hands and face, like chisel to a booth
Or board, they plane the scurfie head, and scales,
And save the labour of our itching nails.
The green and tender Nut, like Sucket made,
And boyl’d in Sugar (tis Confectioners trade)
Is most delightful and confortative,
And antidoticall: then eat, and live.

Gayton was a ‘physician and hack writer’ (ODNB). I quite enjoyed his mock sermon, Walk knaves, walk (1659), in which a vamper of waxed boots, got into a puritan pulpit, recommends his product to the congregation. Wit revived: or, a new and excellent way of divertisement, digested into most ingenious questions and answers. By Asdryasdust Tossoffacan (1655-6) never lives up to that pseudonym. The ODNB entry quotes Anthony Wood on Gayton’s writings for bread: Gayton ‘lived … in London in a sharking condition, and wrote trite things merely to get bread to sustain him and his wife’. At his death Dr Fell condemns his University’s former beadle as “such an ill husband, and so improvident, that he had but one farthing in his pocket when he died”.

Image, Georg Flegel (b. 1566, Olomouc, d. 1638, Frankfurt am Main), ‘Dessert Still Life’, from the Web Gallery of Art.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Donne quoted in the coffee-house

The Author of The women’s petition against coffee representing to publick consideration the grand inconveniencies accruing to their sex from the excessive use of that drying, enfeebling liquor: presented to the right honorable the keepers of the liberty of Venus by a well-willer (1674) is almost certainly the same as the author of the sequel pamphlet from the same year, The Mens answer to the womens petition against coffee vindicating their own performances and the virtues of that liquor from the undeserved aspersions lately cast upon them by their scandalous pamphlet.

This is well written knockabout stuff, five minutes of amusement for a coffee house goer. The women’s petition is a complaint of male sexual failings since men took to coffee drinking:

“to our unspeakable Grief, we find of late a very sensible Decay of that true Old English Vigour; our Gallants being every way so Frenchified, that they are become mere Cock-sparrows, fluttering things that come on Sa sa, with a world of Fury but are not able to stand to it, and in the very first Charge fall down flat before us…

The Occasion of which Insufferable Disaster, after a serious Enquiry, and Discussion of the Point by the Learned of the Faculty, we can Attribute to nothing more than the Excessive use of that Newfangled, Abominable, Heathenish Liquor called COFFEE, which Riffling Nature of her Choicest Treasures, and Drying up the Radical Moisture, has so Eunuch[ed] our Husbands, and Crippled our more kind Gallants, that they are become as Impotent, as Age, and as unfruitful as those Desarts whence that unhappy Berry is said to be brought.

For the continual sipping of this pitiful drink is enough to bewitch Men of two and twenty, and tie up the Codpiece-point without a Charm. It renders them that use it as Lean as Famine, as Rivvel’d as Envy, or an old meager Hag over-ridden by an Incubus. They come from it with nothing moist but their snotty Noses, nothing stiff but their Joints, nor standing but their Ears: They pretend 'twill keep them Waking, but we find by scurvy Experience, they sleep quietly enough after it.”

At the high point of the comedy occurs a misquotation from Donne – it was probably made from memory, and if the author checked afterwards, he might have kicked himself, as the original words even more apposite:

“can any Woman of Sense or Spirit endure with Patience, that when priviledg’d by Legal Ceremonies, she approaches the Nuptial Bed, expecting a Man that with Sprightly Embraces, should Answer the Vigour of her Flames, she on the contrary should only meet A Bedful of Bones, and hug a meager useless Corpse rendered as sapless as a Kixe, and dryer than a Pumice-Stone, by the perpetual Fumes of Tobacco, and bewitching effects of this most pernitious COFFEE, whereby Nature is Enfeebled, the Off-spring of our Mighty Ancestors Dwindled into a Succession of Apes and Pigmies: and

---The Age of Man
Now Cramp’t into an Inch, that was a Span.”

The tag derives from AN ANATOMIE OF THE WORLD The first Anniversary, when Donne laments the shortness of human life in this decayed world, and then makes a rapid transition to our diminished stature:

Old Grandsires talk of yesterday with sorrow:
And for our children we reserve to morrow.
So short is life, that every peasant strives,
In a torn house, or field, to have three lives.
And as in lasting, so in length is man,
Contracted to an inch, who was a span

As I say, Donne’s original words would have gone better in the bawdy context. One can see that the author remembered that Donne was talking about longevity (who could forget those resonant first couple of lines in the quotation?), but forgot about the shift to our diminished ‘length’.

The pamphlet author, working at speed, gives an amusing enough account of the working relationship between coffee and alcohol, with the male clientele alternating between coffee house and ale house:

“Some of our Sots pretend tippling of this boiled Soot cures them of being Drunk; but we have reason rather to conclude it makes them so, because we find them not able to stand after it: 'Tis at best but a kind of Earthing a Fox to hunt him more eagerly afterward: A rare method of good-husbandry, to enable a man to be drunk three times a day! Just such a Remedy for Drunkenness, as the Popes allowing of Stews, is a means to prevent Fornication: The Coffee-house being in truth, only a Pimp to the Tavern, a relishing soup preparative to a fresh debauch: For when people have swill’d themselves with a morning draught of more Ale than a Brewers horse can carry, hither they come for a pennyworth of Settle-brain, where they are sure to meet enough lazy pragmatical Companions, that resort here to prattle of News, that they neither understand, nor are concerned in; and after an hours impertinent Chat, begin to consider a Bottle of Claret would do excellent well before Dinner; whereupon to the Bush they all march together, till every one of them is as Drunk as a Drum, and then back again to the Coffee-house to drink themselves sober; where three or four dishes a piece, and smoking, makes their throats as dry as Mount Aetna enflam’d with Brimstone; so that they must away to the next Red Lattice to quench them with a dozen or two of Ale, which at last growing nauseous, one of them begins to extol the blood of the Grape, what rare Langoon, and Racy Canary may be had at the Miter: Sayst thou so? cries another, Let's then go and replenish there· with our Earthen Vessels: So once more they troop to the Sack-shop till they are drunker than before; and then by a retrograde motion, stagger back to Soberize themselves with Coffee.”

The Mens answer to the womens petition, which I imagine the writer had ready for the very next week, voices the male response, which protests against the immoderate demands of the women, representing men knocking themselves out to give the women of England pleasure:

“Have we not condescended to all the methods of Debauchery? Invented more postures than Aretine ever dreamed of? Been Pimps to out own Wives, and Courted Gallants even with the hazard of our Estates, to do us the Civility of making us not only Contented, but most obliged Cuckolds…

That our Island is a Paradise for Women, is verified by the brisk Activity of our Men, who with an equal Contempt scorn Italian Padlocks, and defy French Dildo’s, knowing that a small Doze of Natures Quintessence, satisfies better in a Female Limbeck, than the largest Potion infused by Art.”

“Tis not this incomparable settle Brain that shortens Natures Standard”, the pamphlet exclaims, and even offers the argument is that coffee houses keep men in sexual top form: “Every coffee house has a Tawdry Woman, a wanton daughter, or a Buxom Maid.”

And anyway, it says, the long hours men take at the coffee shop are just another sexual opportunity for women: “The news we chat of there, you will not think it Impertinent, when you consider the fair opportunities you have thereby, of entertaining an obliging friend in our absence, and how many of us have you dubb’d knights of the Bull-Feather, whilst we have sate innocently sipping the Devils holy-water.”

From the earliest, quasi-medical, or traveler’s reports of coffee in the 1650’s, by 1662 there is an exuberance of coffee house titles, some of them very racy. The Maidens complaint against coffee, 1663, is a playlet. I will leave with the pungent sentiments of ‘Dorothy’ about men who drink too much coffee:

“Before I’le fling my self away upon any such dry whorson as drinks Coffee, I’le wrap my Maiden-head in my smock, and fling it into the Ocean to be bugger’d to death by young Lobsters.”

My illustration is from Coffee-house jests 1686.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

'Astrologi peritissimi': Lilly's tomb, Walton-on-Thames

Over this Easter Saturday to Walton-on-Thames, and the Church of St Mary there, to see where the old fox William Lilly went finally to earth. Thanks to his friend Elias Ashmole, Lilly far outlasted the old accusations of spirit-calling, and got interred in the chancel of the church. The slab is worn, and cracked. I could make out:


The excellent parish guide offers a translation perhaps from days when the slab was better preserved: 'Let not the urn of William Lilly, a most learned astronomer, be destroyed by oblivion, who yielded to destiny on the 9th of June, in the Julian year of Christ, 1681. Elias Ashmole, Knight, placed over him this monument of love'. Perhaps 'most expert astrologer' would be a better translation of 'astrologi peritissimi', the version of 'hoc illi posuit' also seems expansive. But the general sense seems right; I like Ashmole specifying that this is a death dated under the Julian calendar. Though portrait engravings usually have the astrologer with his astrolabe and birth chart, there is no specifically astrological imagery on the tombstone. But that doesn't surprise me, it would have been a bit of a shock to see an astrological motif in the chancel of a church. The 'urna' may just be conventional words, or perhaps there once was a corresponding wall-mounted urn.

My other image is one of the Selwyn brasses. The full set have been lifted from the floor and reset out of harm's way on the wall. He was John Selwyn, keeper of her Majesty's park of Oteland (Oaklands, in Surrey). He died in 1587: his wife Susan and their 11 children are also depicted, and the proud note that all the children were 'lyving at his death', this as something quite remarkable.

But the main picture is the greatest moment of his career, the thing that he was remembered by: apparently, during a royal hunting party, Selwyn leapt off his horse onto a stag, kept his seat on the terrified and doomed animal, steered it round, then gave it the coup de grace right in front of the Queen.

The brass hinges out, to reveal another version of the same scene, almost identical but less confidently incised: Selwyn has lost his hat in this other version. The story was collected in 1773, way after living memory, the the aged sexton involved was probably transmitting a true story, even though it might have been extrapolated from the brass and its inscription: there was probably a local tradition.

I dare say that the present Elizabeth would respond quite well to some adept fellow finishing off a stag with such aplomb right in front of her, but obviously it would get a bad press these tender-hearted days (when you can adopt a red deer stag in Richmond Park for £50 a year, or £500 for life). Those stags in Richmond Park are impressively sized animals: Selwyn obviously took a big risk. Queen Victoria apparently approved an even gorier version of the same incident for the Ascot Gold Cup, the Queen's Vase of 1847.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Falling out with Genethlialogia

One for my fellow blogger at Wynken de Worde – a rather interesting set of highly personal marginal annotations in one of the EEBO copies of John Gadbury’s Genethlialogia, or, The doctrine of nativities [1658]. My images consist of the title page, with Gadbury’s face rudely scrawled over, and an abusive line inserted below the picture, “His father a Knave, mother a whore & himself the most malicious Taylor and Botcher ever breathed. A bold impudent Scorpionist”, and a composite image I put together of other marginalia in the text.

I confess that I am blogging before finishing the research on this – the copy of Parker’s Familiar to All book about Lilly is out on loan from Reading University library, so I am not sure if Parker mentions this particular attack. And the other thing I want to see is a specimen on William Lilly’s handwriting, for, even though some of the annotations refer to ‘Lilly’ as if Lilly were a third party, I am fairly sure that the annotations are by him. (A trip to the Bodleian is in order: this EEBO text is the Bodley copy, perhaps via Ashmole. Plenty of Lilly manuscript material to check against, draft almanacs etc.)

Here’s my transcript of the remarks written on pages 262-3:

“The Rascall was a meer poor Taylor, till Lilly taught him Astrology 1654

G a meer Atheist hee then thrust a minister at London wall out of his pulpitt, and prated there beeing drunk as hee hath oft reported [himself?]

Hee wrought 4 yeares to Lilly, made him new cloths, & mended his old – his mother had 2: husbands alive when hee viz the author was was born, and also many personall servants, as Mullenay the farmer whom shee undid, shee lived somtymes at Walton near Windsor, wher shee rann away 40[?]. In debt to the poor people thereabouts, Gadburys father never lived wth her aboue 2 or 3 yeares, hee a most absurd […] fellow

A poor sneaking Taylor, never any workman, lived in Strand Lane in a Bawdy house All the generation of the Gadburies most litigious Knave & hated of their neighbours – this John the author was apprentice to one Nichols a poor taylor in Oxford, and was putt out by the parish – els hee must have been of no Trade, in 1646. hee became covenant(?) servant to John Thorn a woamans taylor over against the Talbot in the Strand: and when Thorn was constable at his feast, sang ballads to his guests.”

In ‘To the Reader’, against Gadbury’s 1654 tribute to his mentor: ‘When I first of all adventured upon this Task, I made my intention known unto my truly-honoured Friend, Mr. William Lilly, who, upon the hearing thereof, very nobly, and like a true and faithful Propagator of art and Learning, gave me many encouragements to perfect the thing I intended’, the defacer of the book has written, “& yet, see how this Villain requited Lilly in 1659 and 1660 – in writing 6 or 7 Libelling pamphlets against him.”

The commendatory epistle in the 1654 text of Gadbury’s work, by Lilly himself gets two comments: ‘An impudent rogue – Lilly gave him Directions in the whole.’ The print signature, ‘William Lilly, Student in Astrology’ is carefully overwritten into illegibility.

Pages 256 (‘Graceless Gadbury his nativity most absurdly set and fals (?) by himselfe’) and 257 (‘as bad as can bee witness his severall pamphlets against Lilly, who was his maker, hee is a monster of Ingratitude’) are marked. The annotator was looking through for passages of generalisation that can be laid, as astrologically determined bad qualities, to Gadbury in particular. The p.257 marginal comment is made against ‘the Native should be of Inclination and Manners harsh enough’ in Gadbury’s text.

On page 98, appended to a note of Gadbury’s own acknowledgment of Thomas May as author of some astrological verses: ‘These Verses have I borrowed from the works of that worthy Poet, Mr Tho May’ the annotator puts in, “tis very true, and all the whole book from Lilly, Origanus-Argol, and Sconer, nothing is this pimping fooles but the Tautology.”

At p. 130, sighting the unwary remark, ‘who ever hath Mars and Venus in their Nativities’, the annotator pounces: “Noddy Gadbury, hath not every Native Mars and Venus in their Nativity – oh memorable Coxcomb, oh precious Nonsense”

Other annotations I have spotted in the EEBO copy include, “‘here ♂ is entering Combustion’ – Aly, hee is separating”. “‘A large Reporter of his own acts; slights, derides and contemns all things in comparison of Victory’ – J Gadbury his Conditions exactly” (p.68). “‘Ex venter matri’ Good Latin Jack Gadbury, taylors fustian” (p119). “ ‘Scorpio … the most Pestilent Sign of the Twelve’ – Gadbury’s ascendant” (p.154). “This lying Rascal understands not the word of Greek or Latin” (p.169), and on p.170, by a passage on friendship, “such a Saucy Jack the Author is Jack Gadbury taylor”

As I say, despite the references to ‘Lilly’ as a third party, I am fairly convinced that the annotator must be Lilly himself. The title page gives the first clues, when the author’s name ‘John Gadbury’ has ‘Taylor, and monster of ingratitude’ added to it. In Lilly’s History of his Life and Times’ (1822 edition, page 86), occurs virtually the same phrasing: ‘that monster of ingratitude my quondam taylor, John Gadbury’. Gadbury’s chosen self-honorific, ‘philomathatikos’ (in Greek) is written over on the title page – one can see in one of Lilly’s print attacks on Gadbury that he was irritated by ‘the terrible Rattle in Heathen Greek that commonly attends his name’ (A just reward for unreasonable service, 1675).

Lilly was entirely accustomed to writing about himself in the third person: he does this throughout his pose as ‘Bentivolio Philo-Huff-Lash’ in A just reward for unreasonable service (1675), with its monstrous fib, “I never (to my knowledge) saw Mr Lilly in my life’. Lilly posed as a neutral party to defend himself, and attack Gadbury. The obsessions with his antagonist were very personal: of no distinguished birth himself, Lilly never let go of Gadbury having been his personal tailor, and ‘Bentivolio Philo-Huff-Lash’ just happens to be able to produce two tailor’s bills and receipts exchanged between Gadbury and Lilly. Or one could compare the marginal comment, cited above, “G a meer Atheist hee then thrust a minister at London wall out of his pulpitt, and prated there beeing drunk as hee hath oft reported [himself?]” with “At least when he took upon him to be a Tub-preacher, and held forth at London wall, taking for his Text --- And Jeptha was the son of a concubine (somewhat Analogous to his own concerns)”, on p.22 of Philo-Huff-Lash, A just reward for unreasonable service, or, An answer to John Gadbury's late hectorisme for Scorpio.

Or, again, p.32 of the same book “of his doubtful birth … his wretched breeding, of his honourable Titles at Oxford, when Prentice with Nichols the Taylor there, as sawcy Jack … of his being a Club … with Thorn the Taylor at Strand-Bridge” can be compared with the discreditable biographical facts angrily written on page 263.

Charges of ingratitude, and of tautology, are common to the printed pamphlets and the annotations. And in the end, only William Lilly could be as petty, obsessive, only he could be as bothered to be angry. It has to be him, venting his spleen, only he had sufficient spite for these extensive, anonymous snipings.

Why did they quarrel so? Lilly thought he had given Gadbury a start, and then had been turned against. For Gadbury, the younger man, was quicker to adapt – he moved towards royalism before Lilly, who had continued to foresee great things for Richard Cromwell. Gadbury genuinely wanted to establish astrology on evidential lines, and derided Lilly for mixing the art or science with the prophecies of Mother Shipton – Lilly was, in the end, very much attached to the visionary or oracular aspect of prophecy. It was professional rivalry too: Gadbury really did try to knock out Lilly permanently, dragging up all his anti-monarchical pronouncements to brand him a traitor at the Restoration. In return, Lilly, who rather clearly enjoyed these scraps, was happy to abuse Gadbury as a ‘scorpionist’, and Gadbury came off worst in their print exchange about those born with Scorpio in the ascendant.

Finally, one has to think that both men had been too rattled to desist from squabbling. As Lilly was reduced to saying for his 1660 almanac, ‘The many turnings and windings, frequent and sudden Revolutions, Alterations and Changes in the government of England An 1659 what man or Angel could predict’. Recent events had just been too confounding, both men had multiple embarrassments piled up – Lilly kept getting politics wildly wrong, while Gadbury was unlucky with any assurances he gave about the plague not returning. The unnerving knowledge of their own record of failure surely prompted the diversionary attack on a fellow prognosticator, not so much to discredit that rival in the minds of readers, as to distract from ignominious self-awareness.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Two adverts, 1651 and 1653

Fabulous printed ephemera off EEBO: two hand bills prepared for London astrologers in the mid 17th century. The earlier advert is for a woman astrologer across the Thames in Southwark, the 'Gentleman lately come to Town, Student in Astrology and Physick' was in Shoe Lane. He professes (as the woman apparently did not) medical astrology, and he is also more attuned to astrological advice being sought by clients in relation to money matters. The anonymous woman astrologer offers the usual range of astrological practice: nativities calculated, the success of voyages, whether those who have travelled far away are still alive or not, courtship, the location of stolen goods and absconded servants.

She is markedly more defensive about her art. It was quite normal for an astrologer to term themselves a 'mathematitian', as she does here, and a lot of mathematics as we would understand it went into the tables that computed the positions of the planets in a birth chart. But the indented paragraph expands:

ALL these things, with many other of consequence, which are here omitted, shall be performed by the lawfull Acts of the Mathematicks, which are not repugnant against the Divine Word, or the Lawes of the Kingdome; If any man shall make any doubt of the lawfulness thereof, or shall be inclined to think that these things above said, are performed by unlawfull meanes: If they please, for their better satisfaction therein, they may read the Quadripartit of Ptolomy, and the Comment of Dr. Carden thereupon, Dr. Melanston his preface in the works of Schomer, Dr. Fran. Junctinus. Cyprian, Leovitius, Lucas, Gauricus, Pontinus Haly, Guido, Bonatus, and D. Lucius, Belantius, in which is given full satisfaction, so that by these Authors, any man may be more fully satisfied in the Premises.

Either her sex explains the defensive note, or her male rival two years later operated when there was a greater acceptance of astrology. But both practitioners conceal their identities, and leave potential clients to 'inquire for the professor' at the given address.

Who was she? George Thomason (I think) has annotated both handbills with the same kind of hostile comment: the 'Gentleman lately come to Town, Student in Astrology and Physick (a Whelp of Lillie)' and, in her case 'written by on( ) of Lillies Whelps'. In his unfinished autobiography, William Lilly mentions both Sarah Skelhorn and Ellen Evans as involved in magical-astrological practices. Sarah Skelhorn was 'Speculatrix to Arthur Gauntlet': she could see angels in a crystal ball, in fact, she saw them everywhere - "Sarah told me oft, the angels would for some years follow her, and appear to her in every room of the house, until she was weary of them'. Ellen Evans was the daughter of Arise Evans, the drunken Welshman who initially taught Lilly astrology: she would call the Queen of the Fairies to appear in her crystal 'O Micol, O tu Micol, regina pigmeorum veni'. Ellen Evans would have been well placed to move on to the arguably less dubious practice of 'mathematics', as fashions in divination changed.

Lilly himself had been lured back into London after his spell of depression in Horsham when, on a visit back to town, one Will Poole showed him just such a hand bill in the Mitre Tavern, 'set forth by a master of Arts in Cambridge, intimating his abilities for resolving all manner of questions'. And Lilly was not slow on the uptake: 'perceiving there was money to be got in London...'