V. page 16
These stringent measures checked the gambling of the `people,'
but not that of `the great,' who went on merrily as before.
Of course they `kept the thing quiet'--gambled in secret--but
more desperately than ever. The Marechal d'Ancre commonly
staked twenty thousand pistoles (L10,000).
Louis XIII. was not a gambler, and so, during this reign, the
court did not set so bad an example. The king was averse to all
games of chance. He only liked chess, but perhaps rather too
much, to judge from the fact that, in order to enable him to play
chess on his journeys, a chessboard was fitted in his carriage,
the pieces being furnished with pins at the bottom so as not to
be deranged or knocked down by the motion. The reader will
remember that, as already stated, a similar gaming accommodation
was provided for the Roman Emperor Claudius.
The cup and ball of Henry III. and the chessboard of Louis XIII.
are merely ridiculous. We must excuse well-intentioned monarchs
when they only indulge themselves with frivolous and childish
trifles. It is something to be thankful for if we have not to
apply to them the adage--Quic-quid delirant reges plectuntur
Achivi--`When kings go mad their people get their blows.'