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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 26

The nation seemed all mad with the excitement of play. During
the minority of Louis XV. a foreign gamester, the celebrated
Scotchman, John Law, having become Controller-General of France,
undertook to restore the finances of the nation by making every
man a player or gamester. He propounded a _SYSTEM;_ he
established a bank, which nearly upset the state; and seduced
even those who had escaped the epidemic of games of chance. He
was finally expelled like a foul fog; but they ought to have
hanged him as a deliberate corrupter. And yet this is the man of
whom Voltaire wrote as follows: `We are far from evincing the
gratitude which is due to John Law.[58] Voltaire's praise
was always as suspicious as his blame. Just let us consider the
tendency of John Law's `system.' However general may be the fury
of gambling, _EVERYBODY_ does not gamble; certain professions
impose a certain restraint, and their members would blush to
resort to games the turpitude of which would subject them to
unanimous condemnation. But only change the _NAMES_ of these
games--only change their _FORM_, and let the bait be presented
under the sanction of the legislature: then, although the
_THING_ be not less vicious, nor less repugnant to true
principle, then we witness the gambling ardour of savages, such
as we have described it, manifesting itself with more risk, and
communicated to the entire nation--the ministers of the altar,
the magistracy, the members of every profession, fathers, mothers
of families, without distinction of rank, means, or
duties. . . . Let this short generalization be well pondered,
and the conclusion must be reached that this Scotch adventurer,
John Law, was guilty of the crime of treason against humanity.

[57] Nous sommes loin de la reconnoissance qui est due a
Jean Law. Mel. de Litt., d'Hist., &c. ii.

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