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The History Of Dice And Cards

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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The History Of Dice And Cards

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Cards must soon have made their way among our countrymen, from
the great intercourse that subsisted between England and France
about the time of the first introduction of cards into the latter
kingdom. If the din of arms in the reign of our fifth Henry
should seem unfavourable to the imitation of an enemy's private
diversions, it must be remembered that France was at that period
under the dominion of England, that the English lived much in
that country, and consequently joined in the amusements of the
private hour, as well as in the public dangers of the field.

Very soon, however, the evil consequences of their introduction
became apparent. One would have thought that in such a
tumultuous reign at home as that of our sixth Henry, there could
not have been so much use made of cards as to have rendered them
an object of public apprehension and governmental solicitude; but
a record appears in the beginning of the reign of Edward IV.,
after the deposition of the unfortunate Henry, by which playing
cards, as well as dice, tennis-balls, and chessmen, were
forbidden to be imported.

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