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ascended no higher than the grade of country squires. Pope inmortalized ombre in his " Rape of the Lock;" this game was evidently the one most in favour at this epoch. During by far the greater portion of the “Georgian Era," cards were much in vogue Seymour's Court Gamester, written, according to the title-page, for the use of the princesses, was published in the early part of George the First's reign, and was intended for the instruction of the daughters of George Prince of Wales, afterwards George II. His descriptions of Ombre and Piquet were must eiaborate, but at Chess he was evidently at fault, though the title-page of this work assumes it to have been altogether intended for the royal circle, yet the preface admits that it embraced a wider range, and the author acknowledges that he had been induced to compile it for the fashionable world at large, gaming being so much in vogue at the time, that an accurate knowledge on the subject was considered a test of gentility.
During that epoch gambling was, in every phase of life, the order of the day; whether in private pastime or public jobbing, a spirit of speculation persaded all. The South Sea bubble and various other schemes arose and fell, with tie sane rapidity as every utopian jugele, no matter in wliat century concocted; and the promoters with their dupes were each appropriately caricatured by a pack of cards which was issued in 1721. About the same time a set of caricature cards was published in Ilolland, ridiculing the Mississippi scheme. ibont the year 17:37, Hoyle's Treatise on Whist” was published, and was receivel with universal and marked approbation, particularly amongst the elite of the clubs, who formed themselves into coterics of an exclusive character, not merely for the purposes of social intercourse, but in order to indulge their passion for whist, which at that period attained a celebrity it has maintained up to the present period.
Tuis was in the reign of George II., in the halcyon days of Beau Vash, when Cibber wils poet-laureate, when the guards, the pride of the army, were the heroes we see represented in Hogarthi's “ March to Finchley,” and when such statesmen as Bubb Doddington had the entrée by the back stairs both at Leicester IIouse and at St. James's.
Even the mentors of this age, both spiritual and profane,
seem to have been imbued with the frivolity of the time, and to have had a taint of the prevailing vices pervading even their efforts at correction. John Wesley, the preacher, and Richardson, the novelist, though each in his way attempting reformation, still wrote and spoke in a spirit which, in our time at least, would be considered too tolerant.
Bath, or as it has been designated the City of the Sick, became, under the reign of Beau Nash, a fashionable resort for the gay and frivolous; he was the master-spirit by which all the little world of fashion congregated at this charming watering-place seemed to be ruled. The Bean was by nature adapted to the discharge of a duty so fraught with pleasure, and in which he was so admittedly the caterer to the happiness of others; he was an adept in the science of flattery, and could administer it most adroitly to a duchess, whilst affecting to reprove her, and could so cajole the little would-be fine ladies, as to persuade them they were honoured by his condescension, whilst drawing them out for the amusement of real ladies. His principal tact was displayed in bringing parties together who were desirous to be acquainted, or whose tastes assimilated. His dress, as master of the ceremonies, was particularly odd; he wore a large white hat, cocked, the buckle of his stock before instead of behind; and defying even the most bracing air his waistcoat was unbuttoned to display the bosom of his shirt. He drove six greys, and when he went in state to the rooms was always attended by a numerous escort, and a band of music, generally composed of French horns.
There was a marble statue erected to his memory death, which took place in 1761, by the corporation of Bath, in gratitude for the benefits conferred on them through his means.
The statue was placed in the pump-room, between those of Newton and Pope ; this remarkable position was animadverted on in a witty epigram by his friend Lord Chesterfield :
"The Statue, placed these busts between,
Gives Satire all its strength;
But Folly at full length.”
where he indulged in play with a Mr. Lookup, one of the most notorious professional gamesters of the day ; billiards was also a favorite amusement, and it is recorded that Lookup was a proficient in all those games; the money which he had at various times won from Lord Chesterfield at Piquet he expended in building some houses at Bath, and in compliment to the noble pigeon he had so well plucked, he humorously called them "Chesterfield Row.” Lookup, however, got into a scrape which was near proving fatal to him; he was accused of unfair play by a gentleman who had lost heavily to him, and in the course of the law proceeding attendant on the matter, he, through the blundering of his attorney involuntarily committed perjury for which he was convicted, and merely escaped the pillory owing to a flaw in bis opponent's indictment. He is said to have died with cards in his hand, whilst playing at his favorite game of humbug, which gave rise to the witty remark of Foote, that
, “Lookup was humbugged out of the world at last.” The reign of George II. was remarkable as an era of vice, of which gaming took the lead, and though Colley Cibber sipped his wine at the table of “my lord;" and the great old Samuel Johnson behind a screen in Caves' back shop eagerly devours a plate of meat, which the thoughtful book-seller has sent him from bis own table, still might be seen a batch of gambling senators hurrying down to the house from the club at White's to record their votes against gambling, whilst fresh from the act of indulging in the vice, against which their censure was thus passed.
This disgraceful inconsistency was cleverly shown up in an ironical pamphlet entitled, ““ A Letter to the Club at
“ The gaming propensities of Lord Anson the circumnavigator were keenly satirised in a series of humorous and amusing prints levelled at the time against the ministry, Anson being a member of both the ministry and the club. The gamesters' coat of arms is represented in the same series. The shield is charged with cards, dice, and dice-boxes, and is surrounded by a chain, from which hangg a label inscribed "Claret,” Supporters, two knaves. Crest, a hand holding a dice-box. Motto, “ Cog it Amor NUMMI."
The passion for gambling increased rather than decreased during the earlier part of the reign of George III. Preachers
were loud in their denunciations of this vice, and Dr. Rennell, master of the Temple, is reported to have with his own hand placed under the knocker of Mr. Fox's door a very animated sermon in which, whilst denouncing GAMING and GAMBLERS, he levelled his shafts openly at the great man himself.
Various species of cards have been represented as belonging to different periods; the two, however, most written about have been the Tarocchi or Tarots, and those consisting of the four suits, which are in cominon use throughout Europe. Some suppose the Tarocchi cards to have been of Egyptian origin, whilst others assume them to have been the invention of Jacquemiu Gringonneur forthe amusement of the lunatic, King Charles VI. An Italian of the fifteenth century also gets the credit of originating them at Bologna; a pack of Tarots is at present used in France similar to those described by the writers of the sixteenth century; it consists of seventyeight cards, and four suits, the marks of which are swords, caps, batons and money.
The earliest knowu specimens of what are called the Tarocchi cards are those preserved in the Imperial library at Paris, and are supposed to be one of the three packs painted for Charles VI., 1393. They originally belonged to Mons. de Gaignières, governor to the grand-children of Louis XIV., and who bequeathed them with his entire collection of prints and drawings to the king in 1711. Dr. Martin Lister thus alludes to them in an account of a journey he took to Paris in 1698: “I waited upon the Abbot Droine to visit Mons. Guanieres (de Gaignières) at his lodgings in the Hostel de Guise. One toy I took particular notice of, a collection of playing cards for 300 years. The oldest were three times bigger than what are now used, extremely well limmed and illuminated with gilt borders, and the pasteboard thick and firin, but there was not a complete set of them."
Mons. Duchesne in his “ Observations sur les Cartes à jouer,” published in the “ Annunire IIistorique” for the year 1837, thus writes, " there are seventeen of them, and there can scarcely be a doubt of their having formed part of a set of what are called Tarocchi cards, which when complete, consisted of fifty. They are painted on paper, in the manner of illuminations in old manuscripts, on a gold ground, which is in other parts marked with oruamental lines, formed
by means of points slightly pricked into the composition upon which the gilding is laid. They are surrounded by a border of silver gilding, in which there is also seen an ornament, formed in the same manner, by means of points, representing a kind of scroll or twisted riband. Some parts of the embroidery on the vestments of the different figures are heightened with gold, while the weapons and armour are corered with silver, which, like that on the borders, has for the most part become oxydized through time."
The ancient Tarocchi cards are not supposed to have been intended for games of chance, but rather of instruction. In this game, consisting of five classes, we find the planets representing the celestial system, the virtues which constitute the basis of all morality, the sciences, the muses, and finally, the several conditions of life in which man may be placed, from the very highest to the lowest position.
The oldest specimens of undoubted playing cards are
either stencilled or engraven on wood, and judging by the i style of their execution one would take thein to have been executed early in the fifteenth century.
The invention of cards, with the suits now in use, has been claimed by the French, as also the substitution of the queen, as a second court card, instead of a male figure. This arrangement has been considered by several French writer's as typical of the gallantry of their nation. The French were also the first who gave historical names to their court cards, thongh the court cards were named as follows in the time of Père Daniel; we have this moment before us a pack of French cards bearing precisely the same names and devices : Suit. Kings. Queens. Valets or Knaves.
PALLAS. HOGIER. In the reign of Henry IV. these names were changed, the kings were Solomon, Augustus, Clovis, and Constantine; and the queens, Elizabeth, Dido, Clotilde, and “Pantalisea;' whilst the knaves had no particular names, but were designated from their office, and all the characters were in the costume of the period.
Père Daniel gives a rather romantic esplanation of the