The 1790 version of the Universal Fortune Teller is indeed far stranger than the one I’ve already released which post-dates it by seventy years. One look at the content and you know you’re not exactly reading something from modernity.
The work is substantially more dense than I originally predicted; the astrological content alone stretches well past 40 pages, and that’s really only half the work. All told, it might approach or slightly exceed 100 pages in length with a modern format (bibliophiles will know, of course, that many works from the 1700s had what we would now consider tiny typesetting.) Take a look at this passage from the book:
On the seventeenth day the child that shall be born will be foolish to that degree that it shall be almost unnatural, and thereby become a great affliction to his parents. To go on messages this day is unfortunate, yet to contract matrimony, to compound physical preparations, and to take physic is good, but by no means let blood.
On the eighteenth day the child that shall be born, if a male, shall be valiant, courageous, and eloquent; and if a female, chaste, industrious, and painstaking, and shall come to honor in her old age. It is good this day to begin buildings; and to put out our children in order to be brought up in learning. Have a care of being let blood this day for it is very dangerous.
On the nineteenth day the child then born, if a male, shall be renowned for wisdom and virtue and thereby arrive to great honor, but if a female, she will be of a weak and sickly constitution, yet she will live to be married. This day they may bleed that have occasion.
These three short sections are from the end of the astrological work, regarding the birth of children at various stages of the lunar phases. As we see, bloodletting is encouraged according to the day, and what we term a “voyage” or “trip” is (and this is replicated in the work at least two other times) referred to as a “message.” I am leaving some of the antiquated English intact in this work for stylistic purposes, where a modern individual will still be able to infer the meaning from context.
This work, oddly, appears to contain less of the “females are only interested in marriage and lovers” content than the 1860 version; indeed, some of the passages refer to women of a vaguely heroic or brawny constitution depending on the circumstance of their birth. This probably relates to the growing moralism of the mid 1800s as opposed to the lingering flames of the enlightened times of the 1700s and the philosophy from that same era.