One mischief always introduces another these terrors

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the Restoration had brought a vast many families to London. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~ One mischief always introduces another. These terrors and apprehensions of the people led  them into a thousand weak, foolish, and wicked things, which they wanted not a sort of people really  wicked to encourage them to: and this was running about to fortune-tellers, cunning-men, and  astrologers to know their fortune, or, as it is vulgarly expressed, to have their fortunes told them, their  nativities calculated, and the like; and this folly presently made the town swarm with a wicked  generation of pretenders to magic, to the black art, as they called it, and I know not what; nay, to a  thousand worse dealings with the devil than they were really guilty of. And this trade grew so open  and so generally practised that it became common to have signs and inscriptions set up at doors: ‘Here  lives a fortune-teller’, ‘Here lives an astrologer’, ‘Here you may have your nativity calculated’, and the 
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like; and Friar Bacon’s brazen-head, which was the usual sign of these people’s dwellings, was to be  seen almost in every street, or else the sign of Mother Shipton, or of Merlin’s head, and the like. With what blind, absurd, and ridiculous stuff these oracles of the devil pleased and satisfied the people  I really know not, but certain it is that innumerable attendants crowded about their doors every day.  And if but a grave fellow in a velvet jacket, a band, and a black coat, which was the habit those quack- conjurers generally went in, was but seen in the streets the people would follow them in crowds, and  ask them questions as they went along. I need not mention what a horrid delusion this was, or what it tended to; but there was no  remedy for it till the plague itself put an end to it all — and, I suppose, cleared the town of most of  those calculators themselves. One mischief was, that if the poor people asked these mock astrologers  whether there would be a plague or no, they all agreed in general to answer ‘Yes’, for that kept up their  trade. And had the people not been kept in a fright about that, the wizards would presently have been  rendered useless, and their craft had been at an end. But they always talked to them of such-and-such  influences of the stars, of the conjunctions of such-and-such planets, which must necessarily bring  sickness and distempers, and consequently the plague. And some had the assurance to tell them the  plague was begun already, which was too true, though they that said so knew nothing of the matter.
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