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he takes it up, the same shall be when he throws the other die, which runs doubtfully any cast. Observe this, that the bottom and top of all dice are seven ; so that if it be four above, it must be three at bottom; so five and two, six and one. Secondly, by topping; and that is, when they take up both dice, and seem to put them into the box ; and, shaking the box, you would think them both there, by reason of the rattling occasioned with the screwing of the box ; whereas one of them is at the top of the box between his two fore-fingers, or secured by thrusting a fore-finger into the box. Thirdly, by slurring; that is, by taking up your dice as you will have them lie advantageously in your hand, placing the one on the top of the other, not caring if the uppermost run a mill-stone (as they used to say), if the undermost run without turning; and therefore a smooth table is altogether requisite for this purpose: on a rugged, rough board, it is a hard matter to be done; whereas on a smooth table (the best are rubbed over with bees-wax, to fill up
all chinks and crevises) it is usual, for some time, to slur a die two yards or more, without turning. Fourthly, by knapping; that is, when you strike a die dead, that it shall not stir: this is best done within the tables; where, note, there is no securing but of one die; although there are some who boast of securing both. I have seen some so dextrous at knapping, that they
have done it through the handle of a quart pot, or over a candle and candlestick ; but that which I most admired, was throwing through the same less than ames ace with two dice upon a groat held in the left band, on the one side of the handle, a foot distance, and the dice thrown with the right hand on the other. Lastly, by stabbing; that is, having a smooth box, and small in the bottom: you drop in both your dice, in such manner as you would have them sticking therein by reason of its narrowness, the dice lying upon one another; so that, turning up the box, the dice never tumble ; if a smooth box, if true, but little ; by which means you have bottoms according to the stops you put in; for example, if you put in your dice so that two fives or two fours lie at top, you have in the bottom turned up the two twos or two treys; so if six and no ace at top, a six and an ace at bottom. Now if the gentleman be passed that class of ignoramusses, then they effect their purpose by cross-biting, or some other dexterity, of which they have every variety imaginable.
“ If the house find you free to the box, and a constant caster, you shall be treated with suppers at night, and a candle in the morning, and have the honour to be styled a lover of the house, whilst your money lasts, which certainly cannot belong; for here you shall be quickly destroyed under pretence of kindness, as men were by the
lamiæ of old, which you may easily gather, if from no other consideration than this, that I have seen three persons sit down at twelve-penny inn and inn, and each draw forty shillings a piece: in less than three hours, the box hath had three pounds, and all the three gamesters have been losers.”
It will be sufficient to add the names of the games then in use, which were billiards, trucks, bowling, chess with cards, piquet, the game at gleek, ombre, cribbage, all-fours, English ruff, and honours, and whist, French ruff, five cards, costly colours, bone ace, put, and the high game, wit and reason, plain dealing, queen Nazareen, lantiloo, pennuch, post and pair, bankafalet, boast, Irish, backgammon, tick tack dubblets, sice ace, ketch dolt, inn and inn, passage, and hazard.
Fortunately for the peace and honour of the metropolis, it has very rarely happened, that occurrences of the following description are to be found in the various vehicles of intelligence I have examined in compiling this work. In the month of February 1679, several gentlemen who had been indulging in the pleasures of the table, entered the Duke's playhouse during the performance with lighted links in their hands, which they threw at the actors, at the same time uttering many severe invectives against the duchess of Portsmouth and others; they then left the Theatre, and, entering a coach, drove to Leicester fields, where, finding a crowd assembled to view
a bonfire made by the Envoy of the duke of Holstein on some occasion peculiar to his court, one of the party mounted the box, and pronounced an oration to the multitude against arbitrary government and the Roman Catholics. The consequences immediately succeeding these outrageous acts were, the demolition of the windows of the neighbourhood, and the temporary suspension of performances at the Duke's playhouse.
It was said in the newspapers of the beginning of the year 1679 that Lord Bertlet, who then resided in the parish of St. James, Clerkenwell, had not only offered to advance the money proposed to be raised by brief for the redemption of the English captives at Algiers, but actually determined to visit that place himself, to conduct the negotiation for their ransom.
What a contrast doth the conduct of this nobleman offer to that of the wretches noticed in the preceding paragraph!
Many relations of duels might be given, which would serve to render the persons concerned in them infamous to the latest posterity, and which would evince the extreme frequency of this description of murder. Charles II. has certainly left us little reason to applaud his own conduct; but it must not be supposed that, however he might err himself, he was not aware morality in his subjects did him equal honour and service. The Proclamation introduced below expiates a
number of his sins, and demonstrates that he thought correctly, and sometimes acted so.
« CHARLES R. “ Whereas it is become too frequent, especially with persons of quality, under a vain pretence of honor, to take upon them to be the revengers of their private quarrels by duel and single combate, which ought not to be upon any pretence or provocation whatsoever; We, considering that the sin of murther is detestable before God, and this way of prosecuting satisfaction scandalous to Christian religion, and the manifest violation of our laws and authority, out of our pious care to prevent unchristian and rash effusion of blood, do by this our royal proclamation strictly charge and command all our loving subjects, of what quality soever, that they do not, either by themselves or by others, by message, word, writing, or other ways or means, challenge, or cause to be challenged, any person or persons to fight in combate, or single duel, nor carry, accept, or conceal, any such challenge, or appointment, nor actually fight any such duel with any of our subjects or others, or as a second, or otherwise accompany or become assistant therein. And we do hereby, to the intent that all persons may take care to prevent the dangers they may ineur by acting or assisting in any
such duel, declare our royal pleasure, that we will not grant our pardon to any person or persons that shall fight, or be any way aiding or