A man of occult learning arrives at the house of a cobbler and his wife: the cobbler insults him, the wife defends him

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A man of occult learning arrives at the house of a cobbler and his wife: the cobbler insults him, the wife defends him. Coloured engraving by L Truchy after F Hayman. Episode in: C Coffey, The devil to pay, or the wives metamorphos'd, 1731, scene III., which was based on Thomas Jevons's The devil of a wife, or, a comical transformation (1686). In Coffey's play (play with music, opera) The devil to pay, or the wives metamorphos'd, the man on the right is described as "a doctor that lives ten miles off [from a country village]; he practises physic and is an astrologer … he is a cunning man, makes almanacks, and can help people to their goods again." He is insulted as "you lewd conjurer! you magician!" (scene II). In scene III he offers to tell the fortune of the cobbler's wife from the lines on her face. He is insulted by the cobbler as "You hangdog, you juggler, you cheating bamboozling villain", and one of the class of "mackmaticians and almanack-makers!". By magic and occult spirits he transposes two wives (the cobblers's wife and a lady) into the appearance and household of the other. In the print he wears a Geneva gown with preaching bands and carries a wand. Created 1743?. Married people. Costume – Great Britain (- 18th century). Shoemakers. House furnishings – Great Britain (- 18th century). Wizards. Magicians. Astrologers. Contributors: Francis Hayman (1708–1776); L Truchy (1731–1764). Work ID: xk8m9v3d.

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