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other tables and ways and means of winning and loofing money. Though I would not wish you to feclude yourself entirely from public recreations, or private amusements, as they are at times conducive to health, yet I ardently advise you to frequent thofe heart-knawing places of uproar and riot but feldom; and never to play for money, least you are bilked by sharpers; and what is vaftly dearer to you, your reputation alfo. If a young man, at his first fetting out, has not more virtue and prudence than his employer, God help him! He will cut but a poor figure in the Western hot world, and ftand a bad chance of preferment. Though great men, as they are stiled, gamble and revil to excefs on the properties of others, as they are not immediately under the eyes of their creditors, yet they don't like to fee their clerks addicted to thofe abominable vices, leaft when they loose their money they should be tempted to act difhoneftly. I must contend, that it is impoffible for men who are fond of gambling to be honeft, confequently they muft be rogues; the gamblers wish to win, i. e. to impoverish their friends or neighbours. He is a rogue, in every fenfe 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 fuccefsful a few times at a hazard-table, cannot eafily relinquish gambling; M 4
"It grows with his growth, and strengthens with his ftrength."
Gamblers commonly exercife 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 fchemes and tricks which gamblers practice to deceive and cozen each other. So that those who are fond of gambling, or who don't practice it merely for their amufement, without base, mercenary views, but through avaricious motives, or for a livelihood, are the vileft of men, i. c. fharpers. Sharpers, in many places, have an engaging addrefs, and are polite and intelligent ;-fometimes they drefs themfelves like gentlemen of fashion; other times, like country bumpkins, to fuit 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 ftock of clothes. At cards and dice gamblers have, in my opinion, of all the games I faw, the largest field for cheating.
When gamblers are not in conjunction, they purchase packs of cards, and prepare falfe dice, which they manage with great dexterity or fleight of hand.
They, in private, put private marks upon the cards and feal them as before, which they deliver to the waiters of the taverns they frequent,
or leave in fome 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 perquifites for their fecrefy and activity.
But when sharpers are numerous they form themselves into different parties, and have private fignals; these honourable gentry promifcuoufly meet at gambling tables, feeming ftrangers to each other, where, if a man who is not guarded against their villanous fchemes enters into play with them, and takes one of the fcoundrels for a partner, he is artfully drawn on by deceptions, fhew of honour and honesty, the winning a few small betts, and other mancevers, to rifque in the end all he has by him, or what he is worth, which of crurfe he loses, and goes home with an aching heart a beggar. I affure you that numbers are daily ruined by fuch hypocritical villians.
In those days it requires time and penetration to distinguish a gambler or fharper from a gentleman; where you find a man who has no estate or property nor profeffion whereby he may earn a livelihood induftriously and honestly, and yet appears gay and haunts taverns and has an itching for gaming; or when you find a man whom you do not know, or are but flightly acquainted with, who at firft or fecond meeting
ing behaves uncommonly polite and civil to you, be guarded against him.
Gamblers and fharpers are baneful to fociety, and injurious to any community; in many places gambling is prohibited, and gamblers and fharpers feverely punished by the laws.-What a pity that the Weft Indies are choked up with fuch poisonous weeds,—who,
"Like pikes lank with hunger, who miss of their ❝ends,
"They bite their companions, and prey on their "friends."
At a gambling table all people are on a footing, without any diftinction of perfons; there the nobleman divests himself of all honour, and levels with the vileft fwinge buckler; there the Chrift-murdering Shylock has as much influence as the brave general or valiant admiral.
Officers of the army are, to their difgrace, fond of gambling, therefore be cautious how you form connections with fuch: let your sphere of life be ever fo low, think it no honour to be parading at taverns or elsewhere with military gentry, leaft your friends think flenderly of your principles and induftry. Here I muft obferve to you, that the modern military bucks, particularly those who are fent abroad, do, in general, take more pains to adorn their external than their internal parts; formerly the army was confidered
confidered a school for politenefs and good breeding, but latterly this academy is changed into fcenes of drinking, whoring, gaming, uproar and riot.
Their drefs and expence are commonly above their income, in which cafe 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 glafs is not pushed about until they are deprived of their reafon). This fort of gentry, in almost every company, expofe their ignorance and fhew their pedantry, by boafting of their great connections, courage and gallantry: even thofe who may not have a grain of merit in their grofs compofitions." I have the Kings commiffion, Sir.""Zounds, Sir, -Dare you presume to speak to me?"-" I am a gentleman, Sir."-And piftols is the next word, of course, and fo on, with every dafterly, ignorant, affrontful, litigious brat, who knows almoft as little of what he fain would arrogate to himself as an ape or a wild goofe.
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 infults, in my opinion the practice is not only cowardly, but bafe and pedantic, and should not be excused in any but bedlamites;