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Gambling in france in all times , chapter 5, page 1

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Volume I Volume II

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz

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Casino Gambling in history

CHAPTER V. page 18

`Before this there was something done for improving conversation;
every one was ambitious of qualifying himself for it by reading
ancient and modern books; memory and reflection were much more
exercised. But on the introduction of gaming men likewise left
of tennis, billiards, and other games of skill, and consequently
became weaker and more sickly, more ignorant, less polished, and
more dissipated.

`The women, who till then had commanded respect, accustomed men
to treat them familiarly, by spending the whole night with them
at play. They were often under the necessity of borrowing either
to play, or to pay their losings; and how very ductile and
complying they were to those of whom they had to borrow was well

From that time gamesters swarmed all over France; they multiplied
rapidly in every profession, even among the magistracy. The
Cardinal de Retz tells us, in his Memoirs, that in 1650 the
oldest magistrate in the parliament of Bordeaus, and one who
passed for the wisest, was not ashamed to stake all his property
one night at play, and that too, he adds, without risking his
reputation--so general was the fury of gambling. It became very
soon mixed up with the most momentous circumstances of life and
affairs of the gravest importance. The States-general, or
parliamentary assemblies, consisted altogether of gamblers. `It
is a game,' says Madame de Sevigne, `it is an entertainment, a
liberty-hall day and night, attracting all the world. I never
before beheld the States-general of Bretagne. The States-general
are decidedly a very fine thing.'

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