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Early modern fortune telling by dice

Method: Roll two dice and add the results together. Check the corresponding entry in the table below for a prediction of your romantic fortunes. You can only roll once, and ideally you should roll during a new or full moon.

Note: Early modern fortune tellers made certain assumptions that might not work for a modern audience! There’s a presumption of heterosexuality, but feel free to mentally swap the pronouns. If neither gender category feels right to you, the category for ‘men’ probably has more neutral descriptors.


Aristotle’s Legacy: Or, his Golden Cabinet of Secrets Opened… Translated into English by Dr. Borman (London, c. 1690), pp. 3-6





She will be brown, and of a middle Age;

A brisk and lively Wench, I will engage:

But in her love, with others you shall share,

yet of the main Chance, she will have a care.

[she’ll look after what’s most important]

Duce take it; what a strange turn up is here?

You have your self been too turn’d up I fear:

It says you are with-Child, and yet I gather,

E’re the boy comes, you’ll get a kind Father.


Dispair not yet, though you in love were crost;

A Fortune comes, Redeeming what is lost;

fair she will be, and in her you will find,

Though not much wealth, contentment of the mind.

Hit upon hit, two comes at once to Wooe,

But take the least, the biggest will not do;

He will be Kindest, and most Wealthy prove;

The other not; he has been oft in love.


You throw unlucky; she that you wou’d Wed,

Unto another gives her Maiden head;

And if you have her, you will be much crost,

She’s peevish, proud, and will be better lost.

You’ve not stay’d too long, this is the time,

Fortune comes to you in her gawdy prime;

She flings her favours on you now at last,

It flowing comes, when you fear’d it was past.


Lament no more for one that you does slight,

And in one (much beneath you) takes delight;

The next you Court, will better prove, and kind;

this (if pursu’d) will still but vex your mind.

What you have took in hand, does promise well,

And happie it will be, the Stars fore-tell;

Neglect not then the visits that are made,

Lest (by your folly) your good Luck’s betray’d.


A luckey throw, the business that’s in hand,

You shall go thro’ with, and much wealth command,

The Lucky Planet Reign’d, when you begun it,

And you had still liv’d poor, had you not done it.

This Cast (if you are wise) does promise you,

You’ll soon be Woo’d by one that’s Chast and True;

But manage well your business, lest you lose,

What (to your content) you ought to Choose.


O for a Jovial Dame your Bed’s design’d;

She’ll Guild your Fortune, by her being kind;

She will not spend, but thrive by her Amours;

And bring (with Horns) much plenty to your stores.

[her extramarital affairs will make you rich]

Well may you blush, you will not Childless die,

Though you in Marriage Bed do never lie;

Your too soon yielding, made him false to prove;

Had you been coy, you had entail’d his Love.


Think once again, e’er you take it in hand;

You do pursue what you don’t understand:

A Maid you think her, but the Stars say nay;

You’ll be a Father on your Wedding-day.

Ah me! how Cross a Throw is this? you will not gain

The Man you seek, though you pursue with pain;

He’s a deceiver, and already Wedd;

He’ll leave you when he’s Cropt your Maiden-head.


No more be fearful, it is so decreed,

You must go on, and in your love succeed;

What though you powerful Rivals have at last,

You shall prevail, though ‘twill not be in hast[e].

Lay all your Scruples by, for this is he,

That must (in spight of all) your Husband be;

What though he is not lovely to the sight,

He’ll give you (in the Dark) your hearts delight.


Believe not what is said, it is not true,

Those that perswade it are no friends to you;

They wou’d break off the Match; that is their aim,

She honest is, and free from such a blame.

Leave off your whining; cast away your fears;

The day comes on, you will dry up your tears:

‘twas your own fault that made you so long stay;

You see what’s got, by foolish saying nay.


Consider well, this is a luckey throw,

If your neglecting does not make it low;

Pursue your love, or you’ll be Circumvented;

And then your sloath will be in vain repented.

Well thrown I vow, you now will catch the Fish,

For which you Angle, and so long did wish;

He sees his Error, and he will be kind;

And in your Change, you’ll much contentment find.


Two Sixes; ah! what shall I say of this?

I fear you will your Expectation miss:

However, give not o’er, but love pursue,

The blank may turn to them, the Prize to you.

O Me, a Red-Hair’d Man will be your lot;

But he to please You, has a good thing got;

You Children will have many, and much pleasure,

Then be content without a World of treasure.



This material was circulated in relatively inexpensive pamphlets. Dice could be used to answer a wide range of questions, though this was probably more often used for fun than to guide serious decision-making. Note the different romantic concerns for men compared to women.