V. page 8
HENRY IV.--Henry IV. early evinced his passion for gaming. When
very young and stinted in fortune, he contrived the means of
satisfying this growing propensity. When in want of money he
used to send a promissory note, written and signed by himself, to
his friends, requesting them to return the note or cash it--an
expedient which could not but succeed, as every man was only too
glad to have the prince's note of hand.
 Mem. de Nevers. ii.
There can be no doubt that the example of Henry IV. was, in the
matter of gaming, as in other vices, most pernicious. `Henry
IV.,' says Perefixe, `was not a skilful player, but greedy
of gain, timid in high stakes, and ill-tempered when he
lost.' He adds rather naively, `This great king was not without
spots any more than the sun.'
 Hist. de Henri le Grand.
Under him gambling became the rage. Many distinguished families
were utterly ruined by it. The Duc de Biron lost in a single
year more than five hundred thousand crowns (about L250,000).
`My son Constant,' says D'Aubigne, `lost twenty times more
than he was worth; so that, finding himself without resources, he
abjured his religion.'