Regency Con Man and Woman
Posted by Lesley on April 18, 1998 at 01:53:38:
I found this tidbit in Classic Cons and Swindles by Josh Walker.
"One morning in the early 1800's Guiseppe Balsamo awoke and decided that he was not the broken down hustler he seemed to be. He was not a man who had spent his life as a swindler, a liar, a lousy magician, a teller of inacurate fortunes, a pimp, a cheater, a thief, a counterfeiter, and an all around bad seed. ....He was Count Alessandro Di Cagliastro, a man of undeniable noble statue who happened to born 1, 800 years ago. "
The book goes on to say that he sold a mixture called "The Wine of Egypt" that he claimed gave him his long life. He became quite successful and soon operated his own 19th version of a health club which used the quack remedy along with fasting, philosophy and a regimen of roots.
Walker also tells of a woman named Mary Bateman, whose hen began to lay eggs with the message "Christ is coming". She made quite a bit of money by selling pieces of paper with Christs initials on it which would be tickets into heaven. She claimed that these tickets were necessary bc Armaggeddon was coming as soon as the hen laid the 14th egg. Bateman's lucrative enterprise was nipped in the bud when she was caught shoving an egg up "the business end of her tired and ill- humored hen."
- Darn! Why can't I ever think up such lucrative schemes?(nfm) Marie Bernadette 17:26:06 4/20/98 (1)
- Because your busy coming up with hysterical come-backs! (nfm) P. Bingham 19:50:38 4/20/98 (0)
- ROTFLOL!!! Caroline 09:15:49 4/18/98 (1)
- I was afraid of that! Lesley 00:08:19 4/19/98 (0)
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