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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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GAMBLING IN FRANCE IN ALL TIMES

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Casino Gambling in history

CHAPTER V. page 24

France became too narrow a theatre for the chevaliers d'industrie
and all who were a prey to the fury of gambling. The Count de
Grammont, a very suspicious player, turned his talents to account
in England, Italy, and Spain.

This same Count de Grammont figured well at court on one
occasion when Louis XIV. seemed inclined to cheat or otherwise
play unfairly. Playing at backgammon, and having a doubtful
throw, a dispute arose, and the surrounding courtiers remained
silent. The Count de Grammont happening to come in, the king
desired him to decide it. He instantly answered--`Sire, your
Majesty is in the wrong.' `How,' said the king, `can you decide
before you know the question?' `Because,' replied the count,
`had there been any doubt, all these gentlemen would have given
it in favour of your Majesty.' The plain inference is that this
(at the time) great world's idol and Voltaire's god, was `up to a
little cheating.' It was, however, as much to the king's credit
that he submitted to the decision, as it was to that of the
courtier who gave him such a lesson.

The magnanimity of Louis XIV. was still more strikingly shown on
another gambling occasion. Very high play was going on at the
cardinal's, and the Chevalier de Rohan lost a vast sum to the
king. The agreement was to pay only in _louis d'ors;_ and the
chevalier, after counting out seven or eight hundred, proposed to
continue the payment in Spanish pistoles. `You promised me
_louis d'ors_, and not pistoles,' said the king. `Since your
Majesty refuses them,' replied the chevalier, `I don't want them
either;' and thereupon he flung them out of the window. The king
got angry, and complained to Mazarin, who replied:--`The
Chevalier de Rohan has played the king, and you the Chevalier de
Rohan.' The king acquiesced.[57]


[57] Mem. et Reflex., &e., par M. L. M. L. F. (the Marquis de la
Fare).

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