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robber' (λwπodurns), and with a 'thief' (λnorns—a word no less frequently used in the Talmud); so the Mishnah declares unfit either as judge or witness 'a xußα-player, a usurer, a pigeon-flyer (betting man), a vender of illegal (seventh year) produce, and a slave.' A mitigating clauseproposed by one of the weightiest legal authorities, to the effect that the gambler and his kin should only be disqualified 'if they have but that one profession '—is distinctly negatived by the majority, and the rule remains absolute. The classical word for the gambler, or dice player, appears aramaized in the same sources into something like kubiustis, as the following curious instances may show. When the Angel, after having wrestled with Jacob all night, asks him to let him go, 'for the dawn hath risen,' Jacob is made to reply to him, 'Art thou a thief, or a kubiustis, that thou art afraid of the day?' To which the Angel replies, 'No, I am not; but it is my turn to-day, and for the first time, to sing the Angelic Hymn of Praise in Heaven: let me go.''

In another Talmudical passage, an early Biblical critic is discussing certain arithmetical difficulties in the Pentateuch. Thus, he finds the number of the Levites (in Numbers) to differ, when summed up from the single items, from that given in the total. Worse than that, he finds that all the gold and silver contributed to the sanctuary is not accounted for; and, clinching his argument, he cries, "Is then your Master, Moses, a thief or a kubiustis?" The critic is then informed of a certain difference between "sacred" and other coins, and he further gets a lesson in the matter of Levites and First-born, which silences him. Again, the Talmud decides that if a man have bought a slave who turns out to be a thief or a kubiustis-which has been erroneously explained to mean a "man-stealer"-he has no redress. He must keep him, as he bought him, or send him away, for he bought him with all his vices.

No wonder dice-playing was tantamount to a crime in those declining days. There was, notwithstanding the severe laws against it, hardly a more common and more

ruinous pastime-a pastime in which Cicero himself, who places a gambler on a par with an adulterer, did not disdain to indulge in his old days, claiming it as a privilege of Age." Augustus was a passionate dice-player. Nero

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played the points for they also played it by points-at 400,000 sesterces. Caligula, after a long spell of ill-luck, in which he had lost all his money, rushed into the streets, had two innocent Roman knights seized, and ordered their goods to be confiscated. Whereupon he returned to his game, remarking that this had been the luckiest throw he had had for a long time. Claudius had his carriages arranged for dicing convenience, and wrote a work on the subject. Nor was it all fair play with those ancients. Aristotle already knows of a way by which the dice can be made to fall as the player wishes them; and even the cunningly constructed, turret-shaped dice cup did not prevent occasional "mendings" of luck. The Berlin Museum contains one "charged" die, and another with a double four. The great affection for this game is seen, among other things, by the common proverbs taken from it, and the no less than sixty-four names given to the different throws, taken from kings, heroes, gods, hetairæ, animals, and the rest. But the word was also used in a mathematical sense. In a cosmogonical discussion of the Midrash, the earth is likened to a "cubus."

The use of dice in England is of great antiquity, dating from the advent of the Saxons and the Danes and Romans; indeed, all the northern nations were passionately addicted to gambling. Tacitus (de Moribus Germ.) tells us that the ancient Germans would not only hazard all their wealth, but even stake their liberty upon the throw of the dice; “and he who loses submits to servitude, though younger and stronger than his antagonist, and patiently permits himself to be bound, and sold in the market; and this madness they dignify by the name of honour."

In early English times we get occasional glimpses of gambling with dice. Ordericus Vitalis (1075-1143) tells

us that "the clergymen and bishops are fond of diceplaying "—and John of Salisbury (1110-1182) calls it "the damnable art of dice-playing." In 1190 a curious edict was promulgated, which shows how generally gambling prevailed even among the lower classes at that period. This edict was established for the regulation of the Christian army under the command of Richard the First of England and Philip of France during the Crusade. It prohibits any person in the army, beneath the degree of knight, from playing at any sort of game for money: knights and clergymen might play for money, but none of them were permitted to lose more than twenty shillings in one whole day and night, under a penalty of one hundred shillings, to be paid to the archbishops in the army. The two monarchs had the privilege of playing for what they pleased, but their attendants were restricted to the sum of twenty shillings, and, if they exceeded, they were to be whipped naked through the army for three days. The decrees established by the Council held at Worcester in the twenty-fourth year of Henry III. prohibited the clergy from playing at dice or chess, but neither the one nor the other of these games are mentioned in the succeeding statutes before the twelfth year of Richard II., when diceing is particularised and expressly forbidden.

The letter books of the Corporation of the City of London, during the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, give us several examples of diceing. "4 Ed. II., A.D. 1311. Elmer de Multone was attached, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Chepe for being a common night walker; and, in the day, is wont to entice strangers and persons unknown, to a tavern, and there deceive them by using false dice. And, also, for that he was indicted in Tower Ward, for being a bruiser and night walker, against the peace; as, also, for being a common rorere.1 And, also, for that he was indicted in the Ward of Crepelgate for playing at dice, and for that he is wont to entice men into a tavern, and to make them play at dice there against their will. He appeared, and, being asked

1 Riotous person.

how he would acquit himself thereof, he said that he was not guilty, and put himself upon the country as to the same. And the jury came, by Adam Trugge and others, on the panel; and they said, upon their oath, that he is guilty of all the trespasses aforesaid. Therefore he was committed to

prison," &c.

The next is from a Proclamation made for the safe keeping of the City. 8 Ed., III. A.D. 1334. " Also, we do forbid, on the same pain of imprisonment, that any man shall go about, at this Feast of Christmas, with companions disguised with false faces,1 or in any other manner, to the houses of the good folks of the City, for playing at dice there; but let each one keep himself quiet and at his ease within his own house."

"50 Ed. III., A.D. 1376. Nicholas Prestone, tailor, and John Outlawe, were attached to make answer to John atte Hille, and William, his brother, in a plea of deceit and falsehood; for that the same John Outlawe, at divers times between the Feast of Our Lord's Nativity, in the 49th year, &c., and the First Sunday in Lent, then next ensuing, came to the said John atte Hille and William, and asked if they wished to gain some money at tables or at chequers, commonly called 'quek'; to which they said 'Yes'; whereupon the same John Outlawe said they must follow him, and he would show them the place, and a man there, from whom they could easily win; and further said that he would be partner with them, to win or to lose.

"And they followed him to the house of the said Nicholas in Friday Street, and there they found the said Nicholas with a pair of tables, on the outside of which was painted a chequer board, that is called a 'quek.' And the said Nicholas asked them if they would play at tables for money; whereupon the said complainants, knowing of no deceit, or illintent, being urged and encouraged thereto by the same John Outlawe, played with him at tables and lost a sum of money, owing to false dice.

1 Masks.

"And the said John then left them to play alone; and, after that, they still continued to lose. The said tables were then turned, and the complainants played with the defendant Nicholas at 'quek' until they had lost at the games of tables and quek 39s. 2d. After which the complainants, wondering at their continued losing, examined the board at which they had been playing and found it to be false and deceptive; seeing that in three quarters of the board all the black points were so depressed that all the white points in the same quarters were higher than the black points in the same; and, on the fourth quarter of the board, all the white points were so depressed that all the black points in that quarter were higher than the white. They inspected and examined also the dice with which they had first played at tables, and found them to be false and defective. And, because they would play no longer, the said Nicholas and John Outlawe stripped John atte Hille of of a cloak, 16 shillings in value, which they still retained."

They were found guilty and sentenced to return the money lost and the cloak, or its value, and "Afterwards, on the prosecution of Ralph Strode, Common Serjeant of the said City, by another jury, they were found guilty of the fraud and deception so imputed to them. Therefore it was awarded that they should have the punishment of the pillory, to stand thereon for one hour in the day, and that the said false chequer board should be burnt beneath them, the Sheriff causing the reason for their punishment to be proclaimed. And, after that, they were to be taken back to the Prison of Newgate, there to remain until the Mayor and Aldermen should give orders for their release."

And so dicing went on, unimpaired in popularity, in spite of legal fulminations, until Elizabeth's time, when we probably hear more of it, owing to the greater dissemination of literature in that reign. In 1551 there was a famous murder, in which Mr Arden of Feversham was killed whilst playing a game of tables with one Mosbie, the paramour of his wife, who had made Mosbie a present of a pair of silver

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