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other tables and ways and means of winning and loosing money. Though I would not wish you to seclude yourself entirely from public recreations, or private amusements, as they are at times conducive to health, yet I ardently advise you to frequent those heart-knawing places of uproar and riot but feldom; and never to play for money, least you are bilked by sharpers; and what is vastly dearer to you, your reputation also. If a young man, at his first setting out, has not more virtue and pru. dence than his employer, God help him! He will cut but a poor figure in the Western hot world, and stand a bad chance of preferment. Though great men, as they are stiled, gamble and revill to excess on the properties of others, as they are not immediately under the eyes of their creditors, yet they don't like to see their clerks addicted to those abominable vices, least when they loose their money they should be tempted to act dishonestly.
I must contend, that it is impossible for men who are fond of gambling to be honest, consequently they must be rogues; the gamblers wish to win, i.e. to impoverish their friends or neighbours.--He is a rogue, in every sense of the word ! for he not only injures, or breaks himself or friends, but violates three or four of God's commandments. A man who has been successful a few times at a hazard-cable, cannot easily relinquish gambling;
“ It grows with his growth, and strengthens with his strength.”
Gamblers commonly exercise their right, against their left hands, when in private; and it would take a large volume to particularize (was I capable) one-tenth part of the various schemes and tricks which gamblers practice to deceive and cozen each other. So that those who are fond of gambling, or who don't pracrice it merely for their amusement, without base, mercenary views, but through avaricious motives, or for a livelihood, are the vilest of men, i. l. sharpers. Sharpers, in many places, have an engaging address, and are polite and intelligent ;- sometimes they dress themselves like gentlemen of fashion ; other times, like country bumpkins, to suit the different companies they mix with : this commonly happens'in large towns or cities, where they may frequent different Taverns a long time before they are detected; for which purpose they have a good stock of clothes. At cards and dice gamblers have, in my opinion, of all the games I saw, the largest field for cheating.
When gamblers are not in conjunction, they purchase packs of cards, and prepare false dice, which they manage with great dexterity or Neight of hand.
They, in private, put private marks upon the cards and seal them as before, which they deliver to the waiters of the taverns they frequent,
or leave in some place which, when wanted, they may be carelessly introduced; and though in many places waiters do not know their marks, they are not ignorant of their intent, for they commonly get perquisites for their secrefy and activity.
But when sharpers are numerous they form themselves into different parties, and have private signals; these honourable gentry promiscuously meet at gambling tables, seeming strangers to each other, where, if a man who is not guarded against their villanous schemes enters into play with them, and takes one of the scoundrels for a partner, he is artfully drawn on by deceptions, thew of honour and honesty, the winning a few sinall betts, and other manævers, to risque in the end all he has by him, or what he is worth, which of crurse he loses, and goes home with an aching heart a beggar. I alfure you that numbers are daily ruined by such hypocritical villians.
In those days it requires time and penetration to distinguish a gambler or sharper from a gentleman; where you find a man who has no estate or property nor profession whereby he may earn a livelihood industriously and honestly, and yet appears gay and haunts taverns and has an itching for gaining; or when you find a man whom you do not know, or are but Nightly acquainted with, who at first or second meet
ing behaves uncommonly polite and civil to you, be guarded against him.
Gamblers and sharpers are baneful to society, and injurious to any community; in many places gambling is prohibited, and gamblers and sharpers severely punished by the laws.-What a pity that the West Indies are choked up with such poisonous weeds,—who,
“ Like pikes lank with hunger, who miss of their
“ They bite their companions, and prey on their
At a gambling table all people are on a footing, without any diftinction of persons; there the nobleman divests himself of all honour, and levels with the vileft swinge buckler; there the Christ-murdering Shylock has as much influence as the brave general or valiant admiral.
Officers of the army are, to their disgrace, fond of gambling, therefore be cautious how you form connections with such: let your sphere of life be ever so low, think it no honour to be parading at taverns or elsewhere with military gentry, least your friends think Nenderly of your principles and industry. Here I must observe to you, that the modern military bucks, particularly those who are sent abroad, do, in general, take more pains to adorn their external than their internal parts; formerly the ariny was
considered a school for politeness and good breeding, but latterly this academy is changed into scenes of drinking, whoring, gaming, uproar and riot.
Their dress and expence are commonly above their income, in which case they are excellent loungers, and behave with great freedom, familiarity and impudence in the house of every jolly fellow who gives them frequent dinners and liquors to get bafely drunk, (for they think they are not made welcome if the glass is not pushed about until they are deprived of their reason). This fort of gentry, in almost every company, expose their ignorance and shew their pedantry, by boasting of their great connections, courage and gallantry: even those who may not have a grain of merit in their gross compositions.--" I have the Kings commission, Sir.”« Zounds, Sir,-Dare you presume to speak to me?"-" I am a gentleman, Sir."-And pif. tols is the next word, of course, and so on, with every dafterly, ignorant, affrontful, litigious brat, who knows almost as little of what he fain would arrogate to himself as an ape or a wild goose.
You must know that I have always been averse to duelling and duellers; it is to be lamented, if nothing but death will protect good peaceable men from insults, in my opinion the practice is not only cowardly, but base and pedantic, and should not be excused in any but bedlamites;