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John no sooner saw the money than he called for pen and ink, and began to figure. 'What now,' cried Fox. 'Only calculating the interest,' replied the other. 'Are you so,' coolly rejoined Charles, and pocketed the cash. 'I thought it was a debt of honour. As you seem to consider it a trading debt, and as I make it an invariable rule to pay my Jew creditors last, you must wait a little longer for your money.'

Before leaving the eighteenth century, let us hear what Col. Hanger1 (4th Lord Coleraine) says of private gambling in his time, and undoubtedly he mixed in the very highest society. "If a gentleman in these days has but a few guineas in his purse, and will walk directly up to the Faro table, he will be the most welcome guest in the house; it is not necessary for him to speak, or even bow, to a single lady in the room, unless some unfortunate woman at the gamingtable ask him politely for the loan of a few guineas; then his answer need be but short-'No, Dolly, no; can't'; for this ever will be received as wit, though the unfortunate lady's bosom may be heaving, not from the tenderer passions, but with grief and despair at having lost the last farthing.

"When I first came into the world (1751 ?) there was no such thing as a Faro table admitted into the house of a woman of fashion; in those days they had too much pride to receive tribute 2 from the proprietor of such a machine. In former times there was no such thing as gaming at a private house, although there was more deep play at the clubs at that time than ever was before, or has been since. It is lamentable to see lovely woman destroying her health and beauty at six o'clock in the morning at a gaming-table. Can any woman expect to give to her husband a vigorous and healthy offspring, whose mind, night after night, is thus distracted, and whose body is relaxed by anxiety and the fatigue of late hours? It is impossible."

1 Life, Adventures, and Opinions of Col. George Hanger, written by himself. London, 1801.

2 In some houses in this age the lady of the house is paid fifty guineas each night by the proprietor of the Faro table.-G. H.


The Gambling Clubs-White's, Cocoa Tree, Almack's-A few gamblers described - Stories of high play-White's and its frequenters-Brookes' and its players-Captain Gronow and his reminiscences of gamblingGambling by the English at Paris-The Duke of Wellington-Ball Hughes-Scrope Davies-Raggett of White's.

HANGER speaks of gambling at the clubs, but in his time there were very few of them, and the oldest of all was "White's" in St James Street. Originally a Chocolate House, established in 1698, it was the rendezvous for the Tories in London. It was destroyed by fire on 28th April, 1733, a fact which is immortalised by Hogarth in his sixth picture of the Rake's Progress. The earliest record of it, as a Club, that remains, is a book of rules and list of members of the old Club at White's, dated 30th October 1736. In 1755 it removed to the east side of St James Street to No. 38, and there it still remains. In 1797, according to the rules of the Club, "Every Member who plays at Chess, Draughts, or Backgammon, do pay One Shilling each time of playing by daylight, and half-a-crown each by candlelight." We have had many references to the gambling that took place at White's, and when betting is discussed, the Club's famous betting-book will be duly noticed. It is now one of the most aristocratic clubs in London.

The Cocoa Tree Club, which was, probably, made into a Club before 1746, and was somewhat lower down St James Street than White's, was the Whig Club, but it does not seem to have been so much used for gambling as its elder confrére.

Almack's Club was essentially for gambling, and was founded in 1764 by twenty-seven noblemen and gentlemen. Among its original rules are the following:

"21. No gaming in the eating room, except tossing up for reckonings, on penalty of paying the whole bill of the members present.

"40. That every person playing at the new guinea table do keep fifty guineas before him.

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41. That every person playing at the twenty guinea table do not keep less than twenty guineas before him."

Here is an extract from the Club books which shows the style of play. "Mr Thynne having won only 12,000 guineas during the last two months, retired in disgust. March 21, 1772."

The Club subsequently became Goosetree's, and after him was taken by a wine merchant and money lender named Brookes, and Brookes's it is to this day, at 60 St James Street, to which locality it moved from Pall Mall in October 1778.

These, with Arthur's, were all the clubs for the nobility and gentry, until the Regency, when clubs multiplied. There were any amount of gambling houses, but they were public-but, of course, a club was strictly confined to its members.

So gambling went on merrily among all classes, as we may see by the following notices from the Morning Post:

"5 July 1797. Is Mr Ogden (now called the Newmarket Oracle), the same person who, five-and-twenty years since, was an annual pedestrian to Ascot, covered with dust amusing himself with pricking in the belt, hustling in the hat &c., amongst the lowest class of rustics, at the inferior booths of the fair?

"Is D-k-y Bw, who has now his snug farm, the same person who, some years since, drove post chaise for Ty of Bagshot, could neither read nor write, and was introduced to the family only by his pre-eminence at cribbage i

"Is Mr Twycross (with his phaeton), the same person who, some years since, became a bankrupt in Tavistock Street, immediately commenced the Man of Fashion at Bath, kept /running horses, &c., secundum artem?

"Is Mr Phillips (who has now his town and country house, the most fashionable style,) the same who was, originally, a linen draper and bankrupt at Salisbury, and who made his first family entré in the metropolis, by his superiority at Billiards (with Capt. Wallace, Orrell, &c.) at Cropley's in Bow Street ?

"Was poor carbuncled Pe (so many years the favourite decoy duck of the family) the very barber of Oxford who, in the midst of the operation upon a gentleman's face, laid down his razor, swearing that he would never shave another man so long as he lived, and immediately became the hero of the Card Table, the bones, the box, and the cock-pit?"

“5 April 1805. The sum lately lost at play by a lady of high rank is variously stated. Some say it does not amount to more than £200,000, while others assert that it is little short of £700,000. Her Lord is very unhappy on the occasion, and is still undecided with respect to the best mode to be adopted in the unfortunate predicament.”

30 June 1806. The Marquis of Hd is said to have been so successful at play, this season, as to have cleared £60,000. The Earl of B- e has won upwards of £50,000, clear of all deductions. A Right Reverend is stated to be amongst those who are minus on this occasion." “8 July 1806. A certain Noble Marquis, who has been very fortunate, this season, in his gaming speculations, had a run of ill-luck last week. At one sitting his Lordship was minus no less a sum than thirteen thousand pounds!"

15 July 1806. The noble Marquis, who has been so great a gainer this season, at hazard, never plays with anyone, from a PRINCE, to a Commoner, without having the stakes first laid on the table. His lordship was always considered as a sure card, but, now, his fame is established, from the circumstance of his having cleared £35,000, after deducting all his losses for the last six months."

"Morning Herald, 16 June 1804. A noble Lord, lately high in office, and who manifests a strong inclination to be re-instated in his political power, lost, at the UNION,

a night or two back, 4000 guineas before twelve o'clock; but, continuing to play, his luck took a turn, and he rose a winner of a 1000 before five the next morning."

I have, also, two newspaper cuttings, but know not whence they came. "Mar. 28, 1811. The brother of a Noble Marquis is said to have lately won, at hasard, upwards of £30,000, all in one night!" April 3, 1811. young gentleman of family and fortune lost £7000, on Sunday Morning, at a gaming house in the neighbourhood of Pall Mall."


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This brings us to the time when, owing to the mental affliction of George III., the Prince of Wales became Regent, and during his reign, both as Regent and King, gambling throve; and I propose to quote somewhat from Captain Gronow, whose chatty Reminiscences are about the best of those times. But before doing so I must tell the following anecdote which relates to that General Scott whom Gronow mentions.

Lord G had a most unfortunate propensity to gamble; and, in one night, he lost £33,000 to General Scott. Mortified at his ill-fortune he paid the money and wished to keep the circumstance secret; it was, however, whispered about. His lordship, to divert his chagrin, went, a few nights afterwards, to a Masquerade at Carlisle House, Soho, and he found all the company running after three Irish young ladies of the name of Ge, in the character of the three witches in Macbeth. These ladies were so well acquainted with everything that was going on in the great world that they kept the room in a continual roar of laughter by the brilliancy of their wit, and the happiness of its application to some people of rank who were present. They knew Lord C and they knew of his loss, though he did not know them. He walked up to them, and, in a

solemn tone of voice, thus addressed them :—

"Ye black and midnight hags,-what do ye do? Live ye? or are ye aught that man may question? Quickly unclasp to me the book of fate,

And tell if good, or ill, my steps await."

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