V. page 13
Even love--if that name can be applied to the grovelling passion
of Henry IV., intensely violent as it was--could not, with its
sensuous enticements, drag the king from the gaming table or
stifle his despicable covetousness. On one occasion, whilst at
play, it was whispered to him that a certain princess whom he
loved was likely to fall into other arms:--`Take care of my
money,' said he to Bassompierre, `and keep up the game
whilst I am absent on particular business.'
During this reign gamesters were in high favour, as may well be
imagined. One of them received an honour never conceded even to
princes and dukes. `The latter,' says Amelot de la Houssaie,
`did not enter the court-yard of the royal mansions in a carriage
before the year 1607, and they are indebted for the privilege to
the first Duc d'Epernon, the favourite of the late king, Henry
III., who being wont to go every day to play with the queen,
Marie de Medicis, took it into his head to have his carriage
driven into the court-yard of the Louvre, and had himself carried
bodily by his footmen into the very chamber of the queen--under
the pretext of being dreadfully tormented with the gout, so as
not to be able to stand on his legs.'
 Mem. Hist. iii.