Who so is born under Mercury shall be very subtle of wit, and shall be a devout person to God, and have goo conscience, and shall be very crafty in many sciences. He with his wisdom and labour shall get him many friends and lovers. He shall ever follow and resort to them that be of good manners, and shall be fortunate on the sea to use the course of good merchandise. He shall be very gracious, and he shall have harm by women, and when he is married men shall not set so much by him as they did before. He will have great love to ladies and gentlewomen, but yet they shall not be masters over him . . . he shall not love to go to a warfare. He will hate thieves and swearers, and he shall gather great goods by his wisdom . . . He shall love well to preach and to speak fair rhetoric language, and to talk of philosophy and geometry. He shall love well writing an to read ever in strange books, and to cost accounts of great numbers. And he shall be a gay maker of ballads, songs, metres and rhymes. He shall be perfect in the art of music and love it. He shall have a high forehead, a long visage, black eyes and a thin beard. He shall be a great pleader in the law, and will meddle with other men’s deeds if they do not well and say against it. And Mercury governeth the thighs, the flanks and the belly.’
- The Kalandar & Compost of Shepherds (Paris, 1493; tr London 1518).
To be ‘born under Mercury’ is to have Mercury in Gemini or Virgo on the birth-chart, or otherwise prominent.