As a healthful exercise, and in its tendency to promote the
physical development of the body, the game of Billiards is
unsurpassed; but it is much to be regretted that it is generally-
played in ill-ventilated and crowded rooms, often reeking with
the pestilential fumes of tobacco, and not without the adjunct of
frequent alcoholic potations. Moreover, there can be no doubt
that many modern instances of billiard sharping occur, such as I
have just quoted, in which the unwary are unscrupulously
'fleeced.' I know of several.
'NOT KNOWING YOUR MAN.'
A certain high military character sat down to play with a Russian
prince, who introduced loaded dice. The travelled Englishman
lost every bet; for the Russian never missed his seven or eleven,
and modestly threw only ten times. The supposed pigeon then took
up the box with fair dice; and, having learned to 'secure,'
called different mains at pleasure; threw sixteen times; won all
the aristocrat's money, and wished him good night. Such is the
effect of not knowing your man!
 This term means making sure of what you throw.