Doubtless the pleasure is as great
Of being cheated, as to cheat.
As lookers-on feel most delight,
That least perceive a juggler's sleight,
And still the less they understand,
The more th' admire his slight of hand.
Samuel Butler (1612-1690)Shakespeare had rather the same feeling about jugglers, I think. Certainly when he was juggling the elements of his farce The Comedy of Errors he had them in his mind.
Here's Antipholus of Syracuse:
They say this town is full of cozenage,
As, nimble jugglers that deceive the eye,
and here's his twin Antipholus of Ephesus*:
Along with them
They brought one Pinch, a hungry lean-faced villain,
A mere anatomy, a mountebank,
A threadbare juggler and a fortune-teller,
Neat, huh? How easy it is to step in meaning from someone who deceives the eye to someone who deceives the soul.
Of course, I must make it plain here that when not in Shakespeare's plays jugglers are remarkable for their integrity and honour. They also give us a lot of fun.
If you're a beginner, I understand that practice with chiffon scarves is recommended.
Beware, though, because juggling can become compulsive: you may have noticed that it's always the person who's already juggling two jobs, three children, a house, a garden, and a book group who decides to run the charity marathon.
Ah well. As long as everyone is enjoying themselves.
Thing To Do Today: juggle. This word comes from the Old French jangler, from the Latin iocor, which means I make a joke.
*No, I have no idea at all why anyone would give both their twins the same name.