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Atrocities, Duels, Suicides, And Execution Of Gamblers

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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Atrocities, Duels, Suicides, And Execution Of Gamblers

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Casino Gambling in history


Gamblers have been known to set as coolly and deliberately about
blowing out their brains as if they had only been going to light
their cigars. Lord Orford, in his correspondence with Horace
Walpole, mentions two curious instances.

One of the fashionable young men of Lord Orford's day had been
unhappily decoyed into a gambling house, where his passion for
play became so great that he spent nearly the whole of his time
in throwing the dice. He continued to gamble until he had not
only lost a princely fortune, but had incurred a large amount of
debt among his tradesmen. With the loss of his money, and the
utter beggary which stared him in the face, the unfortunate
victim of play lost all relish for life; and sought in death the
only refuge he could fancy from the infamy and misery which he
had brought upon himself. But whilst fully resolved on self-
destruction, he thought, before carrying his fatal purpose into
execution, he might as well do his tradesmen an act of justice,
even if in so doing he should do injustice to others. He insured
his life to the extent of his debts, amounting to several
thousand pounds. Being acquainted with several of the directors
of the company (he called them his life-and-death brokers) in
which he insured, he invited them to dinner the following day,
with the ostensible view of celebrating the completion of the
insurance. The tradesmen also received strict orders to be
present; and as the non-payment of their accounts for a long
period to come was the penalty of not acceding to his wishes in
this respect, it can scarcely be necessary to say that they were
all 'punctual as lovers to the moment sworn.'

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