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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, 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.

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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

dice to reconcile a disagreement that had subsisted between them. Shakespeare mentions dice and dicing thirteen times in seven plays, and in Jonson, and the early dramatists, there are many allusions to this species of gambling.

In the British Museum is a little MS. book1 called "New Passages and Jests," which were collected by Sir Nicholas L'Estrange of Hunstanton, Bart., who died in 1669, and in one of the anecdotes we get an insight into cheating at dice. "Sir William Herbert, playing at dice with another gentleman, there arose some questions about a cast. Sir William's antagonist declared it was a four and a five; he as positively insisted that it was a five and a six : the other then swore with a bitter imprecation that it was as he said. Sir William then replied, Thou art a perjured knave; for, give me a sixpence, and if there be a four upon the dice, I will return you a thousand pounds'; at which the other was presently abashed, for, indeed, the dice were false, and of a high cut, without a four."

Charles Cotton, in his Compleat Gamester, gives us a vivid account of dicing, as it then was, at an ordinary, after dark. "The day being shut in, you may properly compare this place to those Countries which lye far in the North, where it is as clear at midnight as at noonday. This is

the time (when ravenous beasts usually seek their prey) when in comes shoals of Huffs, Hectors, Setters, Gilts, Pads, Biters, Divers, Lifters, Filers, Budgies, Droppers, Crossbyters, &c., and these may all pass under the general and common appellation of Rooks. . . . Some of these Rooks will be very importunate to borrow money of you without any intention to pay you; or to go with you seven to twelve, half a crown, or more, whereby, without a very great chance (ten to one, or more), he is sure to win. If you are sensible hereof, and refuse his proposition, they will take it so ill, that, if you have not an especiall care, they will pick your pocket, nim your gold or silver buttons off your Cloak or Coat, or, it may be, draw your silver-hilted sword out of your belt,

1 Harl. MSS., 6395.

without discovery, especially if you are eager upon your Cast, which is done thus: the silver buttons are strung, or run upon Cats guts fastned at the upper and nether ends; now, by ripping both ends very ingeniously, give it the gentle pull, and so rub off with the buttons; and, if your Cloak be loose, 'tis ten to one they have it.

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But that which will provoke (in my opinion) any man's rage to a just satisfaction, is their throwing many times at a good Sum with a dry fist; (as they call it) that is, if they nick you, 'tis theirs; if they lose, they owe you so much, with many other quillets: some I have known so abominably impudent, that they would snatch up the Stakes, and, thereupon, instantly draw, saying, if you will have your money, you must fight for it; for he is a Gentleman, and will not want: however, if you will be patient, he will pay you another time; if you are so tame as to take this, go no more to the Ordinary; for then the whole Gang will be ever and anon watching an opportunity to make a Mouth of you in the like nature. If you nick them, 'tis odds, if they wait not your coming out at night and beat you: I could produce you an hundred examples of this kind, but they will rarely adventure on the attempt, unless they are backt with some Bully-Huffs and Bully-Rocks, with others, whose fortunes are as desperate as their own. We need no other testimony to confirm the danger of associating with these Anthropophagi, or Man-Eaters, than Lincolns Inn Fields, whilst Speering's Ordinary was kept in Bell Yard, and that you do not want a pair of Witnesses for the proof thereof, take in, also, Covent Garden.

"Neither is it the House itself to be exempted; every night, almost, some one or other, who, either heated with Wine, or made cholerick with the loss of his Money, raises a quarrel, swords are drawn, box and candlesticks thrown at one another's heads. Tables overthrown, and all the House in such a Garboyl, that it is the perfect type of Hell. Happy is the man now that can make the frame of a Table or Chimney corner his Sanctuary; and, if any are so


fortunate as to get to the Stair head, they will rather hazard the breaking of their own necks, than have their souls pushed out of their bodies in the dark by they know not whom.

"I once observed one of the Desperadoes of the Town, (being half drunk) to press a Gentleman very much to lend him a crown: the Gentleman refus'd him several times, yet, still, the Borrower persisted; and, holding his head too near the Caster's elbow, it chanced to hit his nose : the other, thinking it to be affront enough to be denied the loan of Money, without this slight touch of the nose, drew, and, stepping back, (unawares to the Gentleman) made a full pass at him, intending to have run him through the body; but his drunkenness misguided his hand, so that he ran him only through the arm: this put the house into so great a confusion and fright, that some fled, thinking the Gentleman slain. This wicked Miscreant thought not this sufficient; but, tripping up his heels, pinn'd him, as he thought to the floor: and after this, takes the Gentleman's silver sword, leaving his in the wound, and, with a Grand Jury of Dammees, bid all stand off, if they lov'd their lives, and, so, went clear off with sword and liberty, but was, notwithstanding, (the Gentleman recovering) compel'd to make what satisfaction he was capable of making, beside a long imprisonment; and was not long abroad, before he was apprehended for Burglary committed, condemned, and justly executed.

"But, to proceed on as to play: late at night, when the company grows thin, and your eyes dim with watching, false Dice are frequently put upon the ignorant, or they are otherwise cheated by Topping, Slurring, Stabbing, &c., and, if you be not vigilant and careful, the box-keeper shall score you up double, or treble Boxes; and, though you have lost your money, dun you as severely for it, as if it were the justest debt in the world.

"The more subtile and genteeler sort of Rooks, you shall not distinguish, by their outward demeanour, from persons of condition; these will sit by, a whole evening, and observe

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