Fortunetelling,  or prognosticating the fate or fortune of individuals by ascertaining the position of the stars at their births, by marks on their bodies, lines on their hands, etc., is very ancient. In olden time, before it was the fashion for common people to learn to read and write, and previous to the invention of newspapers, fortune-tellers and astrologers were persons of much consideration. They stood in the community in a similar position to lawyers at the present day. Whether a man wanted to build a house, marry a wife, go upon a journey, make a bargain, or engage in any other enterprise, he first consulted his astrologer to ascertain the lucky day, hour and minute to commence. In these days it was conceded by public opinion that astrologers and fortune-tellers were professional men necessary to the welfare of the human family. They encouraged enterprises and great undertakings of all kinds, by promising the people luck and success. They settled small quarrels by prognosticating good or bad fortune to the contending parties, as the case might be, if they did not shake hands and become friends. They influenced mankind by holding up to them the divining ro of fate. In short, they were important personages in promoting the prosperity and happiness of mankind generally.

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