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The History Of Dice And Cards

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII | XIII | XIV

The History Of Dice And Cards

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Casino Gambling in history


'In a passage from Evelyn's Memoirs, the writer impressively
describes another Sunday-evening scene at Whitehall, a few days
before the death of Charles II., in which a profligate assemblage
of courtiers is represented as deeply engaged in the game of
Basset. This was an Italian game, brought by Cardinal Mazarin to
France; Louis XIV. is said to have lost large sums at it; and it
was most likely brought to England by some of the French ladies
of the court. It did not stand its ground, however, in this
country; Ombre continuing the fashionable game in England, down
till after the expiration of the first quarter of the last
century.

'Quadrille succeeded Ombre, but for a curious reason did not
reign so long as its predecessor. From the peculiar nature of
Quadrille, an unfair confederacy might be readily established, by
any two persons, by which the other players could be cheated.

'While the preceding games were in vogue the magnificent temple
of Whist, destined to outshine and overshadow them, was in course
of erection.

"Let India vaunt her children's vast address,
Who first contrived the warlike sport of Chess;
Let nice Piquette the boast of France remain,
And studious Ombre be the pride of Spain;
Invention's praise shall England yield to none,
When she can call delightful Whist her own."

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