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Fortune-Telling By Cards (For Ladies)

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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Fortune-Telling By Cards (For Ladies)

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The suit of diamonds is by no means so satisfactory as the gem of
a name would seem to indicate; but perhaps we must remember that
this suit represented originally the COMMERCIAL CLASSES, and that
probably this divination by cards was invented by some proud
ARISTOCRAT in those times when tradesmen did not stand so high as
they now do in morality, uprightness, &c. The ace of diamonds
puts you on the qui vive for the postman; it means a LETTER. It
is only to be hoped that it is not one of those nasty things,
yellow outside and blue within--a dun from some importunate
butcher, baker, grocer, or--tailor. The king of diamonds shows a
revengeful, fiery, obstinate fellow of very fair complexion in
your circle; the queen of diamonds is nothing but a gay coquette,
of the same complexion as the king, and not 'over- virtuous'--a
very odd phrase in use for the absence of virtue altogether; the
knave of diamonds is a selfish, impracticable fellow; ten of
diamonds is one of the few exceptions to the evil omens of this
suit, it promises a country husband or a wife with great wealth
and many children--the number of the latter being indicated by
the next card to it; it also signifies a purse of gold--but
where? Oh, where? Nine of diamonds indicates simply a vagabond,
full of vexation and disappointment; eight of diamonds shows an
enemy to marriage, who may, however, 'marry late,' and find
himself in a terrible 'fix;' seven of diamonds is worse still,
portending all the horrors of the divorce court and the
bankruptcy court--conjugal profligacy and extravagance; six of
diamonds means early marriage and premature widowhood, and a
second marriage, which will probably be worse; five of diamonds
is the next exception to the misery of this suit, it promises
'good children, who will KEEP YOU FROM GRIEF'--at best, however,
only a makeshift; four of diamonds is as bad as seven of
diamonds--portending the same results; the trey of diamonds
threatens all manner of strife, law-suits, &c., promises a vixen
for a wife, to your great domestic misery; the deuce of diamonds
concludes the catalogue of wretchedness with the assurance that
you will fall in love early, that your parents will not approve
of your choice, and if you marry, notwithstanding, that they will
hardly ever forgive you.[81]

[81] Otherwise the ace of diamonds means a wedding ring, the
king, a fiery but a placable person, of very fair complexion; the
ten, money, success in honourable business; the eight, a happy
prudent marriage, though late in life; the five, unexpected and
most likely good news; the four, a faithless friend, a betrayed

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