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MERCURY is the least of all the planets, never distant from the Sun above 28 degrees; by which reason he is seldom visible to our sight.

Colour and Motion.--He is of a dusky silver colour; his mean motion is 59 minutes and 8 seconds, but he is sometimes so swift, that he moves above 1 degree and 40 minutes in one day. He is stationary one day, retrograde twenty-four days. His year is 87 days and 23 hours.

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Latitude.--His greatest south latitude is 3 degrees 35 minutes, greatest north latitude 3 degrees 33 minutes.

Nature.--We may not call him either masculine or feminine, for he is either the one or the other as joined to any planet; for if in ☌ with a masculine planet, he becomes masculine: 1 if with a feminine, then feminine; but of his own nature he is cold and dry, and therefore melancholy: with the good he is good, with the evil planets, ill; he is author of subtlety, tricks, devices, perjury, &c.

Manners when well dignified.--Being well dignified, he represents a man of a subtle and political brain and intellect, an excellent disputant or logician, arguing with learning and discretion, and using much eloquence in his speech; a searcher into all kinds of mysteries and learning, sharp and witty, learning almost any thing without a teacher; ambitious of being exquisite in every science, desirous naturally to travel and see foreign parts; a man of an unwearied fancy, curious in the search of any occult knowledge, able by his own genius to produce wonders, given to divination and the more secret knowledge. If he turn merchant, no man exceeds him in way of trade, or invention of new ways whereby to obtain wealth.

Manners when ill dignified.--A troublesome wit, a kind of phrenetic man, his tongue and pen against every man; wholly bent to fool his estate and time in loquacity and trying nice conclusions to no purpose, a great liar, boaster, prattler, busybody; false; a tale-carrier, addicted to wicked arts, as necromancy, and such like ungodly knowledges; easy of belief, an ass or very idiot, constant in no place or opinion, cheating and thieving everywhere; a newsmonger, pretending all manner of knowledge, but void of true or solid learning;

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a trifler, a mere frantic fellow; if he prove a divine, then a mere verbal fellow, frothy, of no judgment, easily perverted, constant in nothing but idle words and bragging.

Corporature.--Generally he denotes one of an high stature, and straight, thin, spare body; a high forehead, and somewhat narrow long face, long nose, fair eyes, neither perfectly black nor grey, thin lips and nose, little hair on the chin, but much on his head, and of a sad brown inclining to blackness; long arms, fingers, and hands; his complexion like an olive or chesnut colour. You must observe ☿ more than all the planets; for having any aspect to a planet, he partakes more of the influence of that planet than any other does; if with ♄, then heavy; with ♃, more temperate; with ♂, more rash; with ☉, more genteel; with ♀, more jesting; with ☽, more changeable.

Oriental.--When he is oriental, his complexion is honey-colour, or like one sunburnt; in the stature of his body not very high, but well jointed; small eyes, not much hair; in very truth, according to the height of body, very well composed, but still a defect in the complexion, swarthy brown, and in the tongue all for his own interest.

Occidental.--When occidental, a tawny visage, lank body, small slender limbs, hollow eyes, either sparkling, red or fiery; the whole frame of body inclining to dryness.

Quality of Men and Professions.--He generally signifies all literary men, philosophers, mathematicians, astrologians, 1 merchants, secretaries, writers, sculptors, poets, orators, advocates, schoolmasters, stationers, printers, exchangers of money, attorneys, ambassadors, commissioners, clerks, artificers, generally accomptants, solicitors; sometimes thieves, prattling ministers, busy secretaries, and they unlearned; grammarians, tailors, carriers, messengers, footmen, usurers.

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Sickness.--All vertigos, lethargies, or giddiness in the head; madness, either lightness or any disease of the brain; phthisic; all stammering and imperfection in the tongue, vain and fond imaginations, all defects in the memory, hoarseness, dry coughs, too great abundance of spittle, all snaffling and snuffling in the head or nose; the hand and feet gout, dumbness, foul or diseased tongue; all evils in the fancy and intellectual parts.

Orb.--His orb is 7 degrees.

Years.--His greatest years are 450, his greater 76, his mean 48, his little or least 20.

Countries.--He has Grecia, Flanders, Egypt. Of towns, Paris.


48:1 This applies to aspects also; but, of course, only in horary questions.

49:1 This more especially if with or in good aspect to Herschel.

Next: Chapter XI. Of the Moon, her Properties and Significations