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Chevaliers D'industrie, Or Polite Sharpers

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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Chevaliers D'industrie, Or Polite Sharpers

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Casino Gambling in history


Chevaliers d'industrie, or polite and accomplished sharpers, have
always existed in every city, from the earliest times to the
present. The ordinary progress of these interesting gentlemen is
as follows. Their debut is often difficult, and many of them are
stopped short in their career. They only succeed by means of
great exertion and severe trials; but they endure everything in
order to be tolerated or permitted to exercise their calling. To
secure credit they ally themselves with men of respectability, or
those who pass for such. When they have no titles they fabricate
them; and few persons dispute their claims. They are found
useful for the pleasures of society, the expenses of which they
often pay--at the cost of the dupes they make in the world. The
income of chevaliers d'industrie is at first derived from those
inexperienced persons whom they get in their clutches by means of
every kind of enticement, in order to ruin them some day--if they
have any 'expectations' or are likely to be rich; or in order to
make accomplices of them if they have only aptitudes for the
purpose. After having led them from error to error, after
suggesting to them all sorts of wants and vices, they make them
gamble, if they are of age; they hold up play to them as an
inexhaustible source of wealth.

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