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Title: Facts and Speculations on the Origin and History of Playing Cards
Author: Chatto, William Andrew
Language: English
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[Illustration: Lancelot]








  Hæc mihi charta nuces, hæc est mihi charta fritillus.--MARTIAL.

  With Cards I while my leisure hours away,
  And cheat old Time; yet neither bet nor play.





Should a person who has never bestowed a thought on the subject ask,
"What can there be that is interesting in the History of Cards?" it is
answered, "There may be much." There is an interest, of a certain kind,
even in the solution of a riddle, or the explication of a conundrum;
and certain learned men, such as Père Daniel, and Court de Gebelin,
having assumed that the game of Cards was originally instructive, and
that the figures and marks of the suits are emblematic, speaking to
the intelligent of matters of great import, their amusingly absurd
speculations on the subject--set forth with all the gravity of a "budge
doctor" determining _ex cathedra_--impart to the History of Cards an
interest which, intrinsically, it does not possess. But putting aside
all that may relate to their covert meaning, cards, considered with
respect to what they simply are--the instruments of a popular game, and
the productions of art--suggest several questions, the investigation
of which is not without interest: Where and when were they invented,
and what is the origin of their names? When were they introduced into
Europe? What has been their progress as a popular game; and what
influence have they had on society? What changes have they undergone
with respect to the figures and the marks of the suits; and to what
purposes have picture and fancy cards been made subservient, in
consequence of those in common use being so generally understood? And
lastly, what have been the opinions of moralists and theologians with
respect to the lawfulness of the game?--Such are the topics discussed,
and questions examined, in the following pages.

Of the works of previous writers on the origin of Cards I have freely
availed myself; using them as guides when I thought them right,
pointing out their errors when I thought them wrong, and allowing
them to speak for themselves whenever they seemed instructive or
amusing. Having no wish to appropriate what was not my own, I have
quoted my authorities with scrupulous fidelity; and am not conscious
of an obligation which I have not acknowledged. Should the reader not
obtain from this work all the information on Cards which he might have
expected, it is hoped that he will at least acquire from its perusal a
knowledge of the true value of such investigations. Between being well
informed on a subject, and knowing the real worth of such information,
there is a distinction which is often overlooked, especially by

In the Illustrations will be found a greater variety of Cards than
have hitherto been given in any other work on the same subject, not
excepting the splendid publication of the Society of Bibliophiles
Français, entitled 'Jeux de Cartes Tarots et de Cartes Numérales du
Quatorzième au Dix-huitième Siècle.' All the cards--with the exception
of the French Valets, at p. 250, and the Portuguese Chevaliers,
at p. 252,--have been copied by Mr. F. W. Fairholt; and all the
wood-engravings--with the exception of the tail-piece, by W. J. Linton,
at p. 330,--have been executed by Mr. George Vasey.

  W. A. C.

  _17th April, 1848_.



  OF THE ORIGIN AND NAME OF CARDS                                      1


  INTRODUCTION OF CARDS INTO EUROPE                                   60


  PROGRESS OF CARD-PLAYING                                            92




  THE MORALITY OF CARD-PLAYING                                       279

  APPENDIX                                                           331

  INDEX                                                              337



  The "Honours" of an eight-suit pack of Hindostanee Cards            42

  Specimens of Chinese Cards, of the kind called
    _Tseen-wan-che-pae_                                             57-8

  A Card Party, from an illustration in a manuscript of the _Cité
    de Dieu_, apparently of the early part of the fifteenth century  71

  Copies of Old Stencilled Cards in the British Museum, apparently
    of a date not later than 1440                                   88-9

  Fac-simile of one of Murner's Cards for teaching logic, 1509       105

  Copies of Four Small Cards, from Marcolini's Sorti, 1540           117

  Woodcut, "Thus of Old" and "Thus Now," from Samuel Ward's Woe
    to Drunkards, 1627                                               131

  The Knaves of Hearts and Clubs; and the Knaves of Spades and
    Diamonds, from the Four Knaves, by Samuel Rowlands, 1610-13    133-6

  Fac-similes of four Heraldic Cards, from a pack engraved in
    England about 1678                                               152

  Fac-similes of the Signatures of Edmund Hoyle and Thomas Osborne   170

  Copy of a plate in Darly's Political and Satirical History,
    showing the Coat Cards for 1759                                  183

  Copies of two of the painted cards, ascribed to Jacquemin
    Gringonneur, preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi at Paris       198

  Copies of four French Cards, coloured,--the King of Diamonds; the
    Queen and King of Spades; and the King of Hearts,--of the
    latter part of the fifteenth century                             212

  Copies of the Four Knaves, coloured,--Lancelot, Hogier, Roland,
    and Valery,--of the latter part of the fifteenth century. In
    the British Museum                                               214

  Copies of Eight Circular Cards belonging to a pack engraved on
    copper about 1480, with Hares, Parroquets, Pinks, and
    Columbines as the marks of the suit                              222

  Four Cards of a pack engraved on copper, apparently about the end
    of the fifteenth century, with Swords, Clubs, Cups, and
    Pomegranates, as the marks of the suits. In the British Museum   225

  The Sevens of a pack of Tarots, with Swords, Cups, Batons, and
    Money as the marks of the suits                                  227

  The Second Coat Cards of the suits of Acorns and Leaves--in a
    German pack engraved on wood, 1511                             236-7

  The Sevens of a pack of German Cards, with Bells, Hearts, Leaves,
    and Acorns, as the marks of the suits                            239

  Copies of Four Small German Cards, of the seventeenth century      239

  The Valets of a pack of French Cards, of the time of Henry IV      250

  The Chevaliers, or Valets, of a pack of Portuguese Cards, of the
    date 1693                                                        252

  Figure of "the real Spata," as shown in Baker's Eclectic Cards,
    1813                                                             261

  Tail-piece, Cheating Time with Cards                               330

  Cupid; from a cut relating to Prophecies and Fortune-telling, in
    Bagford's Collection, Harleian MSS. 5966                         336

  The Four of Cups, from an old card, in the same collection         343






Man has been distinctively termed "a _cooking_ animal;" and Dr.
Franklin has defined him to be "a _tool-making_ animal." He may also,
with equal truth, be defined to be "a _gambling_ animal;" since to
gamble, or venture, on chance, his own property, with the hope of
winning the property of another, is as peculiar to him, in distinction
from other animals, as his broiling a fish after he has caught it with
his hands, or making for himself a stone hatchet to enable him to fell
a tree. Whether this gambling peculiarity is to be ascribed to the
superiority of his intellectual or of his physical constitution, others
may determine for themselves.

Other animals, in common with man, will fight for meat, drink, and
lodging; and will do battle for love as fiercely as the ancient knights
of chivalry, whose great incitements to heroic deeds--in plain English,
killing and wounding--were ladye-love and the honour of the peacock.
There is, however, no well-authenticated account of any of the lower
orders of animals ever having been seen risking their property at "odd
or even," or drawing lots for choice of pasturage. No shepherd has ever
yet succeeded in teaching his sagacious colley to take a hand at cards
with him on the hill side; the most knowing monkey has never been able
to comprehend the mysteries of "tossing;" and even the learned pig,
that tells people their fortune by the cards, is never able to learn
what is trumps.

Seeing, then, that to gamble is exclusively proper to man,--_secundum
essentiam consecutive_,--and admitting that,

  "The proper study of mankind is man,"

it plainly follows, that as Playing Cards are the instruments of the
most fascinating species of gambling that ever was devised by the
ingenuity of man, their origin and history are a very proper subject
for rational discussion. The cooking, tool-making, gambling animal
displays its rationality, according to Dr. Franklin, by its knowing
how to find or invent a plausible pretext for whatever it has an
inclination to do.

Judging from the manner in which the origin and history of Playing
Cards have been treated by various authors within the last hundred and
fifty years, it is evident that the subject, whatever they may have
made of it, is one of great "capability," to use the favorite term
of a great designer in the landscape-gardening line; and it seems no
less evident that some of those authors have been disposed to magnify
its apparent insignificance by associating it with other topics,
which are generally allowed to be both interesting and important.
In this respect they have certainly shown great _tact_; for though
many learned men have, at different periods, written largely and
profoundly on very trifling subjects, yet it does seem necessary for
a man, however learned and discreet, to set forth, either in his
title-page or in his proemium, something like an apology for his
becoming the historiographer of Playing Cards,--things in themselves
slightly esteemed even by those who use them most, and frequently
termed by pious people "the devil's books." The example which has thus
been set I am resolved to follow; for though, in the title-page, I
announce no other topic for the purpose of casting a borrowed light
on the principal subject, I yet wish the reader to understand that I
am writing an apology for it now; and in the progress of the work I
doubt not that I shall be found as discursive as most of those who have
previously either reasoned or speculated on Playing Cards.

A history of Playing Cards, treating of them in all their possible
relations, associations, and bearings, would form nearly a complete
cyclopædia of science and art; and would still admit of being further
enlarged by an extensive biographical supplement, containing sketches
of the lives of celebrated characters who have played at cards,--or
at any other game. CARDS would form the centre--the _point_, having
position, but no space,--from which a radius of indefinite extent might
sweep a circle comprehending not only all that man knows, but all that
he speculates on. The power of reach, by means of the point and the
radius, being thus obtained, the operator has his choice of topics; and
can arrange them round his centre, and colour them at his will, as boys
at school colour their fanciful segments of a circle.

To exemplify what has just been said about the capability of cards as
a subject of disquisition:--One writer, Père Menestrier,[1] preluding
on the invention of cards, says, _apropos_ to the term JEU--_ludus_, a
game--that, to the Supreme Being the creation of the world was only a
kind of game; and that schoolmasters with the Romans were called Ludi
Magistri--masters of the game or sport. Here, then, is a fine
opportunity for a descant on creation; and for showing that the whole
business of human life, from the cradle to the grave, is but a game;
that all the world is a great "gaming-house,"--to avoid using a word
offensive to ears polite,--

  "And all the men and women merely _players_."

Illustrative of this view of human life, a couple of pertinent
quotations, from Terence and Plutarch, are supplied by another brother
of the same craft, M. C. Leber.[2]

According to Père Daniel,[3]--a reverend father of the order of
Jesuits, who wrote an elaborate history of the French Military
Establishments,--the game of Piquet is symbolic, allegorical, military,
political, and historical, and contains a number of important maxims
relating to war and government. Now, granting, for the sake of
argument, that the game, with respect to its esoteric principles,
is really enigmatic, it may be fairly denied that Père Daniel has
succeeded in explaining it correctly; his fancied discoveries may be
examined in detail, and shown, with very little trouble, to be the mere
seethings of his own working imagination; others may be proposed, and,
as a matter of course, supported by authorities, ancient and modern, on
the origin, use, and meaning of symbols and allegories, and illustrated
with maxims of war and state policy, carefully selected from the
bulletins, memoirs, and diplomatic correspondence of the great military
chiefs and statesmen of all nations: thus a respectable volume--in
point of size at least--might be got up on the subject of Piquet alone,
without trenching on the wide field of cards in general.

Court de Gebelin,[4] a Gnostic, at least in the philosophic, if not in
the religious, sense of the word, finds in the old Italian Tarocchi
cards the vestiges of the learning of the ancient Egyptians, somewhat
mutilated and disguised, indeed, by Gothic ignorance, which suspected
not the profound knowledge concealed in its playthings, but still
intelligible to the penetrating genius which initiates itself into all
ancient mysteries, is fond of exploring the profoundly obscure, and
becomes oracular, talking confidently of what it _sees_, when it is
only groping in the dark. Court de Gebelin's theory suggests at once
a general history of science and art, which, as everybody knows, had
their cradle in ancient Egypt, and induces dim, but glorious visions
of the ancient Egyptian kings,--Sesonch, Rameses, and Amonoph: the
chronologers, Sanchoniathon, Manetho, and Berosus, follow, as a matter
of course, whether originally known from Bishop Cumberland, or from
Mr. Jenkinson, in the 'Vicar of Wakefield.' Then who can think of the
knowledge of the ancient Egyptians, and of its essence being contained
in the symbolic characters of a pack of cards, without hieroglyphic
writing coming into his mind?[5] and this subject, being once started,
leads naturally, in chronological order, to Clemens Alexandrinus,
Horapollo, Athanasius Kircher, Bishop Warburton, Dr. Thomas Young,
and Mons. Champollion. To write properly a history of Playing Cards
in connexion with the learning of the Egyptians, as suggested by the
dissertation of Court de Gebelin, would require the unwearied energy of
one of those brazen-bowelled scholars who flourished at Alexandria when
ancient science and art, sinking into a state of second childhood, had
again found a cradle in Egypt. Oh, Isis, mother of Horus, how is thy
image multiplied! Though changed in name, millions still worship it,
ignorant of the type of that before which they bow.[6] All is symbol:
the cards of the gamester are symbolic; full of meaning of high import,
and yet he is ignorant of it, cares not to know it, though Court de
Gebelin would teach him; is indifferent about his soul, and prays only
that he may hold a good hand of trumps,--symbol again![7]

As cards are printed on paper, from engraved blocks of wood, and as
wood-engraving appears to have suggested the art of typography, or
printing from moveable types, Breitkopf combines in one general essay
his inquiries into the origin of playing cards, the introduction
of linen paper, and the beginning of wood-engraving in Europe;[8]
this essay being but a portion of the author's intended History of
Printing. Singer[9] follows very nearly the same plan as Breitkopf; but
though his Researches form a goodly quarto, both in point of size and
appearance, he yet has not looked into every corner. The wide field of
Playing Cards still admits of further cultivation; for, though often
turned up by the heavy subsoil plough of antiquarian research and well
harrowed by speculation, it remains undrained.

In the 'Nouvelles Annales des Voyages,'[10] we find a dissertation by
M. Rey, on Playing Cards, and the Mariner's Compass; apparently two
incongruous things, yet indissolubly connected by the fleur-de-lis,
which is to be seen on the drapery of some of the court or _coat_
cards, and which also forms an ornament to the north point. It appears
that this dissertation on cards and the compass is but a fragment of a
work composed by M. Rey, on the flag, colours, and badges of the French
monarchy. Judging of his talents, from this "fragment," he appears to
have been admirably fitted to write a general history of cards; and it
is to be regretted that he did not give to his so-called "fragment,"
that comprehensive title, and introduce the essay on the mariner's
compass and the history of the French flag as incidental illustrations
of the fleur-de-lis, for certainly the fragment on cards,--rent from
a history of the French flag,--does seem a little out of place, in a
general collection of voyages and travels, unless, indeed, it be there
introduced as a traveller's tale.

Mons. C. Leber, one of the most recent writers on Playing Cards,[11]
is an author, whom it is very difficult to follow in his devious
course; for though he is always picking up something that appears to
relate to his subject, he yet does not seem to have had any clear idea
of what he was seeking for. The grand questions, he says, are, "Where
do cards come from; what are they; what do they say; and what ought
we to think of them?" These questions, however, Mons. Leber, by no
means undertakes to answer. He confines himself, as he says, to a very
narrow path--a very crooked one too, he might have added--avoiding the
wide and flowery field of conjecture, but diligently amassing _facts_
to guide other inquirers into the origin and primary use of Playing
Cards. He is certain that they are of ancient origin, and of Eastern
invention; and that primarily they constituted a symbolic and moral
game. He professes to be guided in his researches by the evidence
of cards themselves; but though a diligent collector of cards of
all kinds, he does not appear to have been successful in extracting
answers from his witnesses. They all stand mute. In short, Mons.
Leber, notwithstanding his diligence as a collector of cards, and his
chiffonier-like gathering of scraps connected with them, has left their
history pretty nearly the same as he found it. In the genuine spirit of
a collector, he still longs for more old cards,--but then, how to find

Such precious reliques are not to be obtained by mere labour; they
turn up fortuitously, mostly in the covers of old books, and as none
that have hitherto been discovered explain their origin and presumed
emblematic meaning, it is a _chance_ that the materials for a full
and complete history of Playing Cards will ever be obtained. "In the
mean time," says Mons. Leber, "we must wait till this work of time and
perseverance shall be accomplished."[12] To interpret his words from
his own example, "to wait," may mean, to keep moving without advancing,
like a squirrel in a wheel. Notwithstanding all the old cards that
have been discovered, and all that has been collected on the subject,
from both tale and history, "how far are we from possessing," exclaims
Mons. Leber, "and who shall ever amass, all the elements necessary for
a positive history of playing cards."[13] Thus much may serve by way of
introduction, and as evidence of the "capability" of the subject.

Man, as a gambling animal, has the means of indulging in his hopeful
propensity, as soon as he has acquired a property either real or
personal, and can distinguish odd from even, or a short straw from a
shorter. The first game that he played at, in the golden age of happy
ignorance, would naturally be one of pure chance. We have no positive
information about this identical game in any ancient or modern author;
but we may fairly suppose, for no one can prove the supposition to
be false, that it was either "drawing lots," or guessing at "odd or
even."[14] Imagination suggests that the stakes might be acorns, or
chesnuts; and though reason may "query the fact," yet she cannot
controvert it. It is evident that at either of the two simple games
above named, a player, when it came to his turn to hold, might improve
his chance of winning, by means of a little dexterous management,
vulgarly called cheating, and thus, to a certain extent, emancipate
himself from the laws of blind Fortune,--a personification of chance
which a gambler, most assuredly, first elevated to the rank of a
divinity.[15] That cheating is nearly coeval with gaming, cannot admit
of a doubt; and it is highly probable that this mode of giving an
eccentric motion to Fortune's wheel was discovered, if not actually
practised, at the first regular bout, under the oaks of Dodona, or
elsewhere, before the flood of Thessaly.[16]

Man, having left the woods for the meadows, progressing from the
sylvan or savage state to that of a shepherd, now not only roasts his
chesnuts, but also eats a bit of mutton to them; and after having
picked the leg clean, forms of the small bones, between the shank and
the foot, new instruments of gaming. Taking a certain number of those
bones, three for instance, he makes on four sides of each a certain
number of marks: on one side a single point, and on the side opposite
six points; on another side three points, and on the opposite four.
Putting these bones into a cow's horn, he shakes them together, and
then throws them out; and accordingly, as the points may run high,
or as the cast may be of three different numbers, so does he count
his game.[17] Conventional rules for playing are now established;
definite values, independent of the number of points, are assigned to
different casts; some being reckoned high, while others are counted
low, and sometimes positively against the player, although the chance
of their turning up be the same as that of the former. The game now
becomes more complicated; and the chances being more numerous, and the
odds more various, a knowing gamester who plays regularly, and makes
a calculation of the probability of any given number, or combination
of points, being thrown, either at a single cast, or out of a certain
number, has an advantage in betting over his more simple-minded
competitors. "Luck is all!" exclaims the novice,--and guesses; the
adept mutters, "Knowledge is power,"--and counts.

The cutting of bones into cubes, or dice, and numbering them on all
their six sides, would probably be the next step in gaming; and there
are grounds for supposing that the introduction of dice was shortly
followed by the invention of something like backgammon; a game which
affords greater scope for calculation than dice, and allows also of
the player displaying his skill in the management of his men. Should
it be asked, what has any of those games to do with the origin of
cards? I answer, in the words of an Irish guide, when pointing out to
a traveller several places which he was not wanting to find,--"Well,
then, none of them's it."

The next game, which it seems necessary to notice, is the Πεττεια of
the Greeks, and the Latrunculi of the Latins; as in the sequel it
may perhaps be found to have some positive, though remote, relation
to the game of cards. It would be superfluous here to inquire if the
game of Πεττεια, or Latrunculi, were really that which was invented
by Palamedes during the Trojan War; it may be sufficient to remark,
that it is mentioned by Homer, who, in the first book of the Odyssey,
represents Penelope's suitors playing at it:

  "Before the door they were amusing themselves at _tables_,
  Sitting on the skins of oxen which they themselves had killed."[18]

In whatever country the game may have been invented, or however it may
have been originally played, it was certainly not a game of chance. It
was a scientific game requiring the exercise of the mind, and wholly
dependent as to its result on the comparative skill of the two players;
he who displayed the greatest judgment in moving his pieces, according
to the rules of the game, being the winner.[19]

This game appears to have been similar to that described in Strutt's
'Sports and Pastimes,' under the name of Merrels, which is still played
in many parts of England, and which was, and may be still, a common
game in almost every country in Europe. It appears to have branched out
into several species, with the Greeks and Romans; and though, in some
of them, the game was very intricate, it yet never attained with those
people to the perfection of chess. One of those varieties of Petteia,
or Latrunculi, seems to have been very like the game of draughts; it
was played with pieces or men, of two different colours, placed on a
board divided into several squares, and a man of one party could be
taken by the opponent when he succeeded in inclosing it between two of
his own.[20]

Whatever may have been the origin of chess, it seems to be generally
admitted that the game, nearly the same in its principles as it is now
played,--with its board of sixty-four squares, and men of different
grades,--was first devised in India; and, without giving implicit
credit to the well-known account of its invention by an Indian named
Sissa, we may assume that the date assigned to it, namely, about the
beginning of the fifth century of the Christian era, is sufficiently
correct for all practical purposes: a difference of two or three
hundred years, either one way or the other, is of very little
importance in a conjecture about the game, as connected with Playing
Cards. Having now arrived at Chess, we fancy that we see something like
"land," though it may be but a fog-bank after all. To speak without
figure, it seems likely that the game of cards was suggested by that of

The affinity of the two games, and the similarity between the coat
cards and the principal pieces in the game of chess, have already been
pointed out by Breitkopf;[21] and he is so copious on the latter topic,
that he has left but little for any of his successors to do, in this
respect, except to condense his diffuse notes; for, as was said of
William Prynne, his brains are generally to be found scattered about
the margin of his works, and not in the text.

A side, or suit, of chessmen consists of six orders, which in the
old oriental game were named--1, _Schach_, the king; 2, _Pherz_, the
general; 3, _Phil_, the elephant; 4, _Aspen-suar_, the horseman,
or chevalier; 5, _Ruch_, the camel; and, 6, _Beydel_ or _Beydak_,
the footmen or infantry. In this suit there was no queen, as the
introduction of a female into a game representing the stratagems of
war would have been contrary to the oriental ideas of propriety; and
long after the introduction of chess into Europe, the second piece,
now called the Queen, retained its Eastern name under the form of
_Fierce_, _Fierche_, or _Fierge_, even after it had acquired a feminine
character.[22] _Fierge_ at length becomes confounded with the French
_Vierge_, a maid; and finally, the piece is called _Dame_, the lady,
and so becomes thoroughly European, both in name and character. With
respect to the changes which the other pieces have undergone in the
European game of chess, it is only necessary to observe that _Phil_,
the elephant, is now the _Fol_ or _Fou_ of the French, and the _Bishop_
of the English; _Aspen-suar_, the horseman, is the French _Chevalier_,
and the English _Knight_; _Ruch_, the camel, is the French _Tour_,
and the English _Rook_ or _Castle_; and the _Beydel_ or _Beydak_, the
footmen, are now the French _Pions_, and the English _Pawns_.

Now the very same change that has taken place in the second piece
in chess--namely, from a male to a female--has also happened to the
second principal figure in French and English cards. Among the oldest
_numeral_ cards that have yet been discovered no Queen is to be found;
the three principal figures or coat cards being the King, the Knight,
and the Valet or Knave. There was no Queen in the old Spanish pack of
cards; nor was there usually in the German in the time of Heineken and
Breitkopf. In the Spanish, the coat cards of each suit were the King
(_Rey_), the Knight (_Cavallo_), and the Knave, groom, or attendant
(_Sota_); in the German, the King (_König_), a chief officer (_Ober_),
and a Subaltern (_Unter_).[23] The Italians, instead of making any
change in the old coat cards, sometimes added the Queen to them, so
that they had four instead of three, namely, _Re_, _Reina_, _Cavallo_,
and _Fante_.

The following extracts from an Essay on the Indian Game of Chess,
by Sir William Jones, printed in the second volume of the 'Asiatic
Researches,' seem to establish more clearly than anything that has
been expressly written on the subject, either by Breitkopf or others,
the affinity between cards and chess: "If evidence be required to
prove that chess was invented by the Hindus, we may be satisfied with
the testimony of the Persians; who, though as much inclined as other
nations to appropriate the ingenious inventions of a foreign people,
unanimously agree, that the game was imported from the west of India,
together with the charming fables of Vishnusarman in the sixth century
of our era. It seems to have been immemorially known in Hindustan by
the name of _Chaturanga_, that is the FOUR _angas_, or members of an
army, which are said, in the Amaracosha, to be elephants, horses,
chariots, and foot-soldiers; and in this sense the word is frequently
used by epic poets in their descriptions of real armies. By a natural
corruption of the pure Sanscrit word, it was changed by the old
Persians into Chatrang; but the Arabs, who soon after took possession
of their country, had neither the initial nor final letter of that
word in their alphabet, and consequently altered it further into
_Shatranj_,[24] which found its way presently into the modern Persian,
and at length into the dialects of India, where the true derivation of
the name is known only to the learned. Thus has a very significant word
in the sacred language of the Brahmans been transferred by successive
changes into Axedras, Scacchi, Echecs, Chess; and, by a whimsical
concurrence of circumstances, given birth to the English word _check_,
and even a name to the _Exchequer_ of Great Britain.

"Of this simple game, so exquisitely contrived, and so certainly
invented in India, I cannot find any account in the classical writings
of the Brahmans. It is indeed confidently asserted that Sanscrit books
on Chess exist in this country; and if they can be procured at Benares,
they will assuredly be sent to us. At present, I can only exhibit a
description of a very ancient Indian game of the same kind; but more
complex, and, in my opinion, more modern than the simple chess of the
Persians. This game is also called _Chaturanga_, but more frequently
_Chaturaji_, or the _Four Kings_, since it is played by four persons,
representing as many princes, two allied armies combating on each side.
The description is taken from the Bhawishya Puran, in which Yudhist'hir
is represented conversing with Vyasa, who explains, at the king's
request, the form of the fictitious warfare, and the principal rules of
it. 'Having marked eight squares on all sides,' says the sage, 'place
the _red_ army to the east, the _green_ to the south, the _yellow_ to
the west, and the _black_ the north.'"[25]--It is worthy of remark,
that these colours form the ground of four of the suits of one of the
divisions of an eight-suit pack of Hindostanee cards.

It appears that in this game the moves were determined by casts with
dice, as in backgammon, so that it was one of chance as well as skill.
On this point Sir William Jones observes: "The use of dice may,
perhaps, be justified in a representation of war, in which _fortune_
has unquestionably a great share, but it seems to exclude Chess from
the rank which has been assigned to it among the sciences, and to give
the game before us the appearance of _Whist_, except that pieces are
used only instead of cards, which are held concealed."

Though Sir William Jones mentions Whist in particular, it is yet
apparent, from his own description, that the similarity of _Chaturaji_
to any other game of cards played by four persons is precisely the
same. This evidence of the similarity, between a game of cards and
an ancient Indian game of chess, is the more important, as the fact
appears to have forced itself upon the notice of the writer, rather
than to have been sought for.

It may here be observed, that in the wardrobe accounts of Edward I,
there is an item, of money paid for the use of the king for playing
at the Four Kings--Quatuor Reges--and that it has been conjectured
that the game was cards. The Hon. Daines Barrington, who appears to
have been of this opinion, says: "the earliest mention of cards that I
have yet stumbled upon is in Mr. Anstis's History of the Garter, where
he cites the following passage from the Wardrobe Rolls, in the sixth
year of Edward the First, [1278]: 'Waltero Sturton, ad opus regis ad
ludendum ad _quatuor reges_ viiis. _vd._' From which entry Mr. Anstis
with some probability conjectures, that playing cards were not unknown
at the latter end of the thirteenth century; and perhaps what I shall
add may carry with it some small confirmation of what he supposes."[26]
As this is not the place to discuss the question, if playing cards
were known in England so early as the reign of Edward I, it may be
sufficient to remark that the substance of what Mr. Barrington has
adduced in confirmation of Anstis's conjecture consists in a statement
of the fact of Edward having been in Syria, and that he might have
learned the game of cards there[27]--taking it for granted that cards
were of Eastern invention, and known in Syria at that period,--and in
a second-hand reference to Breitkopf for a passage in the Güldin Spil,
wherein it is stated that a certain game--cards being unquestionably
meant--first came into Germany about the year 1300.

From Sir William Jones's account of the game of _Chaturanga_ or, more
specifically, _chaturaji_--the Four Rajas, or Kings--there can scarcely
be a doubt that the game of the Four Kings played at by Edward I, was
chess, and that this name was a literal translation of the Indian one.
Assuming this, then, as an established fact, we have evidence of the
number four being associated in Europe at that period with the game of
chess, which, as has been previously shown, bore so great a resemblance
to a game of cards.

Now, whatever may have been the origin of the name of cards, it is
undeniable that the idea of the number _four_ is very generally
associated with them; there are four suits, and in each suit there
are four honours, reckoning the ace;--to say nothing of the very old
game of All Fours, which may have originally meant winning in each of
the four Angas or divisions, now represented by High, Low, Jack, and
the Game. It is also certain that, in this country, cards were called
the Books of the Four Kings, long before the passage relating to the
game of _Quatuor Reges_, which might have suggested the name, appeared
in Anstis's History of the Garter. They are so called by Sir Thomas
Urquhart, in his translation of Rabelais, in chapter 22, book i, which
contains an account of the games that Gargantua played at: "After
supper, were brought into the room the fair wooden gospels, and the
books of the _Four Kings_, that is to say, the tables and cards."[28]
Cards are not indeed called the Books of the Four Kings in the original
text of Rabelais; though it is certain that they were known in France
by that name, and that the Valets or Knaves were also called _fous_--a
term which, as Peignot remarks, corroborates Breitkopf's theory of the
analogy between chess and cards.[29] Mrs. Piozzi, speaking of cards,
in her Retrospection, published in 1801, says, "It is a well-known
vulgarity in England to say, 'Come, Sir, will you have a stroke at the
history of the Four Kings?' meaning, Will you play a game at cards?"
A writer in Fraser's Magazine, for August, 1844, also calls cards the
books of the Four Kings, as if they were well known by that name.

Now as _chahar_, _chatur_, or, as the word is sometimes written in
English, _chartah_, signifies four in the Hindostanee language, as it
enters into the composition of _chaturanga_, and as chess probably
suggested the game of cards, I am inclined to think that both games
were invented in Hindostan, and that _chahar_ or _chatur_ in the
language of that country formed a portion of the original name of
cards. The common term for cards in Hindostan, is _Taj_ or _Tas_; and
its primary meaning, as I am informed, is a leaf, _folium_. But as
it is also used in a figurative sense to signify a diadem or crown,
and as the term signifying a _crown_ is frequently used in most
languages to signify regal authority, the compound term _chahar-taj_,
or _chahar-tas_, would be suggestive of nearly the same idea as "the
Four Kings," and be almost identical in sound with the Latin _chartæ_
or _chartas_. The name, whatever it might be, would be liable to change
in passing from Hindostan, through other countries, into Europe; in
the same manner as we find _Chaturanga_, the Sanscrit name of chess,
transformed into the Persian _Chatrang_, the Arabic _Shatranj_, the
Greek _Zatrikion_, the Spanish _Axedrez_, the Italian _Scacchi_, the
German _Schach_, the French _Echecs_, and the English _Chess_.

The name given to cards by the earliest French and German writers
who mention them, is, respectively, _Cartes_ and _Karten_--in Latin,
_Chartæ_; but as _Charta_ signifies _paper_, and as cards are made of
paper, it has generally been supposed that they received their name
from that circumstance. But if a part of their original name signified
the number _four_, whether derived from an eastern root, or from the
Latin _quarta_, it can scarcely be doubted that they acquired the
name of _chartæ_, not in consequence of their being made of paper,
but because the Latin word which signified paper had nearly the same
sound as another word which signified four,--in the same manner as
_Pherz_, the General, in chess, found a representative in _Fierge_,
and subsequently became confounded with _Vierge_: the ideal change of
_Vierge_ into _Dame_, the wife of the king, followed of course, like
"wooed,--an' married an' a'."

It is deserving of remark, that in several old French works, written
within fifty years of the time when we have positive evidence of the
game of cards being known in France, the word is sometimes spelled
_quartz_ or _quartes_, as if, in the mind of the writer, it was rather
associated with the idea of _four_ than with that of _paper_. The
possible derivation of _cards_ from _quarta_, was suggested by Mr.
Gough, in his Observations on the Invention of Cards, in the eighth
volume of the 'Archæologia,' though he was of opinion that they
obtained their name from the paper of which they were made. "Perhaps,"
says he, "it may be too bold a conjecture that the '_quartes_, ludus
_quartarum_ sive cartarum,' by which Junius [in his Etymologicon]
explains _cards_, may be derived from _quarta_, which, Du Cange says,
is used simply for the fourth part of any thing, and so may be referred
to the _quatuor reges_; but as Du Cange expressly says, that _quarta_
and _carta_ are synonymous, I lay no stress on this, but leave it to
the critics."

To carry still further this speculation on the Indian origin of Playing
Cards,--both name and thing,--it is to be observed that cards are
called _Naibi_, by the earliest Italian writers who mention them; and
that they have always been called _Naypes_, or _Naipes_, in Spain,
since the time of their first introduction into that country. Now
in Hindostan, where we find the word Chahar, Chatur, or Chartah,
they have also the word Na-eeb, or Naib, which, judging from the
sound only, appears at least as likely to have been the original of
_naibi_ and _naipe_, as it is of the English _Nabob_.[30] This word
_Na-eeb_ signifies a viceroy, lieutenant, or deputy, who rules over a
certain district, as a feudatory who owes allegiance to a sovereign.
Now, as the game of chess was known in Hindostan by the name of the
Four Kings, if cards were suggested by chess, and invented in the
same country, the supposition that they might have been called
_Chatur-Nawaub_--the Four Viceroys, as the cognate game of chess was
called the Four Kings--and that this name subsequently became changed
into _Chartah-Naib_, is, at least, as probable as the derivation
of Naipes from N.P., the initials of Nicolas Pepin, their supposed
inventor. Though this last etymology has very much the appearance of a
conundrum, propounded in jest for the purpose of ridiculing a certain
class of etymologists who always seek for roots at the surface, it is
nevertheless that which received the sanction of the royal Spanish
Academy, and which is given in their Dictionary.[31] Several Spanish
writers, however, of high reputation for their knowledge of the
formation of their native language, have decidedly asserted that the
word _Naipes_, signifying cards, whatever it might have originally
meant, was derived from the Arabic; and if the testimony of Covelluzzo,
a writer quoted in Bussi's History of the City of Viterbo, could be
relied on, the question respecting the word Naibi or Naipes, and cards
themselves, having been brought into Europe through the Arabs, would
appear to be determined. His words are: "Anno 1379, fu recato in
loro NAIB."[32] That is, "In the year 1379, was brought into Viterbo
the game of cards, which comes from the country of the Saracens, and
is with them called NAIB." It may be observed, that the very word here
given as the Arabic name for cards still signifies in Arabia a deputy
of the Sultan. Even though it may not be a word of Hindostanee origin,
it may have been introduced into that language when a great portion of
Hindostan was subjected to the Mahometan yoke, and when many of the
Rajahs of native race were superseded by the _Naibs_ or deputies of a
Mahometan sovereign.[33] There appears reason to believe that the word
_Naipe_ or _Naipes_, as applied to cards, did not primarily signify
_cards_ generally, but was rather a designation of the game played
with cards; in the same manner as "the Four Kings" signified the game
at cards, in consequence of a king being the chief of each of the four
suits. In Vieyra's Portuguese Dictionary, 1773, one of the explanations
of the word "Naipe" is, "a Suit of Cards;" and the phrase, "Náo tenho
nenhuma daquelle naipe," is translated, "I have none of that suit."

It is not unlikely that the Greek word χαρτης,--Latin, _Charta_,
paper,--was derived from the East, and that it was originally
associated with the idea of "four," as expressive of a
_square_--_quarré_--of paper, in contra-distinction to a long
strip of paper or parchment, which, when _rolled_ up, formed an
ενειλεμα, or _volume_. In middle-age Greek, the word χαρταριον, or
χαρτιον,[34]--which is unquestionably derived from the same root as
χαρτης,--appears to have been used to convey the idea of a square, or
four-sided piece of wood, and to have specifically signified a square
wooden trencher: the top of the trencher-cap worn at the Universities
of Oxford and Cambridge, and at some of our public schools, may be
considered as a representative of the general form of the thing. It is
curious to trace how a word primarily expressive of the number _four_
has, in Greek, Latin, French, and English, been employed to signify
either paper generally, or a portion of paper. From the French _Cahier_
or _cayer_[35]--which may be traced through _carré_ or _quarré_, to the
Latin _quartus_, from _quatuor_--we have the old English _quair_, a
little paper book consisting of a few sheets; and the modern _quire_,
now signifying a definite number of sheets of paper.

In Hindostanee the word _chit_ signifies, I believe, a note or letter,
and is in this sense synonymous with the Latin _Epistola_, and the
German _Briefe_. Should it also signify paper,[36] either in general,
or of a particular kind, and be cognate with _chahar_, _chatur_, or
_chartah_,[37]--"four,"--the preceding speculations on the primary
meaning of χαρτης, _charta_, and _cards_, will be materially
corroborated. I leave, however, the investigation of this point to
those who understand the Hindostanee language, as all the knowledge
that I have of the word in question, is derived from one of Theodore
Hook's tales, Passion and Principle, in the first series of 'Sayings
and Doings.' Wherever he might have picked it up, the effect with which
he uses it is peculiarly his own.

Breitkopf, who is decidedly of opinion that cards are of Eastern
invention, and of great antiquity, considers that the name Naibe,
or Naipes, by which they were first known to the Italians and the
Spaniards, is derived from an Arabic word--_Nabaa_--signifying
divination, foretelling future events, fortune-telling, and such like.
In this opinion he says he is confirmed by the exposition of the
Hebrew word _Naibes_, which he seems to think cognate with the Arabic
Nabaa.[38] He, however, produces no evidence to show that cards were
known either to the Arabians or the Jews by the name of Naibe, and from
a subsequent passage in his work, it is evident that the conjecture
was suggested merely from the circumstance of cards being occasionally
employed for the purposes of fortune-telling.

Heineken, who contends that cards were invented in Germany, alleges
the name--_Briefe_--given to them in that country in support of the
presumed fact. "Playing Cards," he observes, "were called with us
_Briefe_, that is _letters_, in Latin, _Epistolæ_, and they are called
so still. The common people do not say, 'give me a pack of cards,' but
'a _Spiel Briefe_' (un jeu de lettres); and they do not say 'I want a
card,' but 'I want a _Brief_' (a letter). We should, at least, have
preserved the name _cards_, if they had come to us from France; for
the common people always preserve the names of all games that come
from other countries."[39] This argument is contradicted by the fact
of cards having been called _Karten_ in Germany, before they acquired
there the name of _Briefe_; and this very word _Briefe_, which is
merely a translation of the Latin _Chartæ_, is presumptive evidence
of the Germans having obtained their knowledge of cards from either
the French or the Italians, with whom the name cards, when "done" into
Latin, had the same meaning as the German word _Briefe_.

With respect to the term Naibes, or Naipes, there are two etymologies
which seem deserving of notice here; the one propounded by Bullet, in
his 'Recherches Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer;' and the other
by Eloi Johanneau, in his 'Mélanges d'Origines Etymologiques.' Mons.
Bullet thinks that cards are of French origin, and that they were not
invented before the introduction of linen paper,--his chief reason
for fixing this epoch as a ne-plus-ultra being evidently founded on
their Latinised name, _chartæ_. From France he supposes that they
passed into Spain by way of Biscay, and acquired in their passage the
name of Naipes. This word, according to Mons. Bullet, is derived from
the Basque term _napa_, signifying "plat, plain, uni," which very
properly designates cards, and corresponds with the Latin _charta_.
This etymology is fanciful rather than felicitous; if _charta_ were
synonymous with _mensa_,--a table,--the Basque term _napa_ would appear
to correspond more nearly with it. But the Basque language, like the
Celtic, is one peculiarly adapted for etymological speculation; a
person who understands a little of it, may readily grub up in its wild
fertility a root for any word which he may not be able to supply with a
radical elsewhere.[40]

Mons. Eloi Johanneau is of opinion that cards are of much higher
antiquity than they are generally supposed to be; and with respect
to their Spanish name, Naipes, the origin of it, is, to him, too
plain and simple to require the aid of any scarce or voluminous
works to prove it; it is, in short, one of those truths which, to be
perceived, requires only to be enounced. This incontestable truth
is, that the word _naipe_, a card, comes from the Latin _mappa_, the
_m_ being merely changed into an _n_. Of this antithesis, or change
of a letter, several examples are produced; as the French _nappe_, a
table-cloth, also from _mappa_; _nefle_ and _neflier_ from _mespilum_
and _mespilus_; and _faire la Sainte Mitouche_, for _faire la Sainte
Nitouche_. Then _naipe_ and _mappa_ have an analogous meaning. Naipes,
Playing Cards, scarcely differ from a _map_,--which is a geographic
card,--or, except in point of size, from a _nappe_, which is spread
like a chart on the table. In ancient times, too, mappa signified the
_tessara_, or signal, which was displayed at the games of the circus.
Tertullian, speaking of those games in his 'Diatribe De Spectaculis,'
says: "Non vident missum quid sit. _Mappam_ putant; sed est diaboli ab
alto præcipitati gula,"--"They perceive not what is displayed. They
think it the _mappa_, but it is the jaws of the devil." It is evident
from this, that in Tertullian's estimation, there was something very
wicked in the _mappa_; and the bad odour which, even at that early
period, the word was in, appears to have been retained by its presumed
derivative, _naipes_, ever since: _Servavit odorem diu_. But then for
the grand discovery: Mons. Johanneau finds, in Ducange's Glossary, a
passage cited from Papias, a lexicographer of the eleventh century,
which proves that the word _mappa_ then signified a Playing Card, and
that the game of cards was known at least three centuries previous to
the period assigned to its invention by the Abbé Rive.[41] "Mappa,"
according to Papias, "is a napkin; a picture, or representation of
games, is also called mapa; whence we say mapa mundi,"--a map of the
world. An ancient Latin and French glossary, also cited by Ducange,
explains the passage from Papias to the following effect: "Mapamundi,
a mapemunde (or geographic map); and it is derived from _mapa_, a
_nappe_, a picture or representation of games."[42] Though it may be
admitted that _nappe_, a table-cloth, or napkin, is derived from
mappa, and that the latter word was sometimes used to signify a picture
of some kind of game; it yet does not appear to be incontrovertibly
true, either that _mappa_, as explained by Papias, signified a card,
or a game of cards, or that the word _naipes_ was derived from it.
What Mons. Johanneau considers to be a self-evident truth, appears
in reality to be no better than one of those confident assertions
entitled, by courtesy, moral truths, in consequence of the sincerity
of the author's belief. A great many truths of this kind pass current
in the business of life, and maintain their nominal value, long after
their real character is known, upon the credit of the indorsers.

Wherever cards may have been first invented, and whatever may be
the etymology of the words _chartæ_ and _naipes_, or _naibi_, it is
certain that cards are now well known in Hindostan, where they form
the amusement of the natives, both Hindoos and Moslems. That they
were invented there, may be a matter of dispute; but that they have
been known there from an early period, and were not introduced there
from Europe, appears to be undeniable. The Hindoo cards are usually
circular; the number of suits is eight, and in some packs ten; and the
marks of the suits, though in some instances showing an agreement with
those of European cards, are evidently such as are peculiar to the
country, and identified with the customs, manners, and opinions of the
people. They coincide with the earliest European cards in having no
queen, the two coat cards--being a king and his principal minister or
attendant--and in the suits being distinguished by the colour as well
as by the form of the mark or emblem.

It appears necessary here to notice an objection, which readily
suggests itself to the supposed derivation of _chartæ_, cards, from a
word of eastern origin, signifying "four." It is this: if the ancient
Hindoo pack consisted of _eight_ or even _ten_ suits, would it not be
preposterous to derive the European name from a word which implies
that there were only _four_. Facts most assuredly are stubborn things,
and no speculation, whether lame of a leg, or going smoothly on "all
fours," can stand against them. It is not, however, proved that the
most ancient Hindoo cards consisted of eight or ten suits; and till
this be done, the speculation must just pass for what it is worth.
Whether there were eight, ten, or twenty suits, the derivation of
χαρτης, _charta_, paper, from a word of Eastern origin, would still be
unaffected. If the game of cards were suggested by that of chess, I
am inclined to think that the earliest pack would consist of only two
suits, and that more were subsequently added to satisfy the wants of
"busy idleness," for a more complicated game. Be this as it may, cards
did not arrive at Europe from Hindostan "per saltum;" it is probable
that their progress through the intervening countries was comparatively
slow; and even if they left home with a "suite" of eight, it is not
impossible that they might lose half of them by the way. But, to meet
the objection by a fact: from a description of a pack of Hindostanee
cards to be subsequently noticed, and of the game played with them,
it appears that the _eight_ suits are not considered as a single
series, but as two divisions of _four_ suits each.[43] This partition
corroborates both the theory of the game of cards being suggested by
that of chess, and of the name being derived from a word primarily
signifying the number four.

On the supposition, then, that cards were invented in the East, it
seems advisable to first give some account of the cards now used in
Hindustan, before entering into any investigation of the period when
the game was first brought into Europe. A high antiquity, indeed,
no less than a thousand years, is claimed for one of the packs
subsequently described; but rejecting t as a pure fiction, which the
apparent newness of the cards themselves contradicts, it may be fairly
assumed, seeing that in the East customs are slowly changed, that the
figures and symbols, or marks, on those cards are, in their forms and
signification generally, of at least as early a date as those which are
to be found on the oldest European cards.

There is no collection of Hindostanee cards in the Museum of the East
India Company; the purveyors, it would seem, not considering them
likely to be interesting even to the Lady Proprietors, who, though they
have no voice, at least in Leadenhall Street, yet have considerable
influence, by their votes, in the choice of Directors. The natives
of Hindustan always speak of "the Company" as if, in the abstract,
the great body of proprietors were a female,--"Mrs. Company;"[44] and
it would appear that the "direction" of things at home, is rapidly
approximating to a pure Gynecocracy.[45]

In the Museum of the Royal Asiatic Society, there are three packs of
Hindostanee cards, one of them consisting of ten suits, and the other
two of eight suits each. In each suit, when complete, the number of
cards is twelve; that is two coat cards, or honours, and ten others,
whose numerical value is expressed by the number of marks upon them,
in a mode similar to that by which English cards, from the ace to the
ten, are distinguished by the number of the "pips." The cards of all
the packs are circular; the diameter of the largest is 2-3/4 inches,
and of the smallest about 2-1/8 inches. The material of which they are
formed would appear to be canvas,[46] but so stiffened with varnish,
that each single card feels like a piece of wood. All the figures and
marks appear to be executed by hand, not printed nor stencilled; each
pack is contained in an oblong box, the cards being placed on their
edges; and on the top and sides of the box, the marks or emblems of the
several suits are depicted. From the style of their execution, I should
conclude that card-painting in Hindostan, was a regular profession,
though possibly combined with some other, to "make ends meet,"
just as card-painting was combined with wood-engraving generally,
in Germany in the latter part of the fifteenth century; or just as
shaving and hair-cutting might, in former times, afford a decent
subsistence when eked out with a little surgery, such as blood-letting,
tooth-drawing,--"_Quæ prosunt omnibus artes_."

In giving a separate description of each of those packs, it seems most
proper to begin with that for which the highest antiquity is claimed.
This pack is one of the two which consist of eight suits; and, from
a memorandum which accompanies it, I have obtained the following
particulars respecting a former possessor and the presumed antiquity of
the cards. They formerly belonged to Captain D. Cromline Smith, to whom
they were presented, about the year 1815, by a high-caste Bramin, who
dwelt at Guntoor, or some other place in one of the northern Sircars
of Southern India. The Bramin considered them to be a great curiosity,
and informed Capt. Smith that they had been handed down in his family
from time immemorial. He supposed that they were a thousand years
old, or more; he did not know if they were perfect, but believed that
originally there were two more colours or suits. He said they were not
the same as the modern cards; that none knew how to play at them; and
that no books give any account of them. Such is the sum of the Bramin's
information. The writer of the memorandum,--looking at the costume of
the figures and the harness of the animals, and considering that the
Mahometans do not tolerate painted images,[47]--concludes that these
cards are Hindostanee.

The pack consists of eight suits, each suit containing two honours and
ten common cards--in all ninety-six cards. In all the suits the King
is mounted on an elephant; and in six, the Vizier, or second honour,
is on horseback; but in the blue suit,--the emblem or mark of which
is a red spot with a yellow centre--he rides a tiger; and in the
white suit,--the mark of which appears like a grotesque or fiendish
head,--he is mounted on a bull. The backs of all the cards are green.
The following are the colours of the _ground_ on which the figures are
painted in the several suits, together with the different marks by
which the suits and the respective value of the common cards were also

      COLOURS.                   MARKS.

  1. FAWN       Something like a pineapple in a shallow cup.
  2. BLACK      A red spot, with a white centre.
  3. BROWN      A "tulwar," or sword.
  4. WHITE      A grotesque kind of head.
  5. GREEN      Something like a parasol without a handle, and with
                  two broken ribs sticking through the top.
  6. BLUE       A red spot, with a yellow centre.
  7. RED        A parallelogram with dots on it, as if to represent
                  writing (shortest side vertical).
  8. YELLOW     An oval.

On every one of the common cards there is also depicted, in addition
to the mark of their respective suits, something like a slender leaf,
tapering upwards, but with the top curving down. Of this pack of cards
I have nothing further to observe here than that if they are even a
hundred years old, they must have been preserved with great care; and
that I am inclined to think that the Bramin, who gave them to Capt.
Smith, had over-rated their antiquity and rarity in order to enhance
the value of his present.

In a second pack, consisting, like the preceding, of eight suits of
twelve cards each, the King appears seated on a throne; while the
Vizier, as in the former, is on horseback, except in three of the suits
where he appears mounted on an elephant, a single-humped camel, and a
bull. Though there be a difference between this pack and the former,
in the marks of some of the suits, there can be no doubt that the same
game might be played with each. In the pack now under consideration the
backs of all the cards are red. The following are the colours of the
ground and the marks of the several suits.

    COLOURS.                   MARKS.

  1. YELLOW     Apparently a flower.
  2. BLACK      A red spot, with a white centre.
  3. RED        A "tulwar," or sword.
  4. RED        Man's head and shoulders.
  5. BROWN      (Unintelligible.)
  6. GREEN      A circular spot.
  7. GREEN      A parallelogram (longest side vertical)
  8. YELLOW     An oval.

The third pack of Hindostanee cards in the possession of the Royal
Asiatic Society, to whom it was presented by the late Sir John
Malcolm, is much more curious and interesting than either of the other
two previously noticed. It consists of _ten_ suits, of twelve cards
each; and the marks of the suits are the emblems of the ten Avatars,
or incarnations of Vichnou, one of the three principal divinities
in the religious system of the Hindoos. The King is represented by
Vichnou, seated on a throne, and in one or two instances accompanied
by a female; and the Vizier, as in most of the suits of the other two
packs, is mounted on a white horse. In every suit two attendants appear
waiting on the second as well as on the principal "honour." The backs
of all the cards in this pack are red; and the colours of the ground
and marks of the several suits are as follows:--[48]

    COLOURS.                   MARKS.

   1. RED             A fish.
   2. YELLOW          A tortoise.
   3. GOLD            A boar.
   4. GREEN           A lion.
   5. BROWNISH GREEN  A man's head.
   6. RED             An axe.
   7. BROWNISH GREEN  An ape.
   8. PUCE            A goat or antelope.
   9. BRICK RED       A cattashal or umbrella.
  10. GREEN           A white horse, saddled and bridled.

The following description of the ten Avatars, or incarnations, of
Vichnou, as represented in a series of drawings,[49] will explain the
meaning of nearly every one of the marks of the ten suits of cards.
The only suits which do not exactly correspond with the Avatars, as
represented in the drawings, are those numbered 8 and 9, the emblems of
which are a goat and an umbrella. It is, however, to be observed that
Hindoo authors do not agree in their accounts of the different Avatars
of Vichnou, though they generally concur in representing them as ten in
number, that is, nine passed and one to come. It is also possible that
the goat--which appears couchant as if giving suck--and the umbrella,
which in the east is frequently the sign of regal dignity, may be
symbolical of the eighth and ninth Avatars in the description of the
drawings. Though the Bramin Dwarf, in the fifth Avatar of the drawings,
carries an umbrella, there can scarcely be a doubt that the Man's head,
in No. 5 of the cards, is the symbol of this Avatar.


1. MATSYAVATARA. The first Avatar of Vichnou, as a Fish; represented
as the body of a man with the tail of a fish. The human part is
coloured blue; the rest is white. In two of his four hands he holds the
_Chakra_, or _Soudarsana_, which here appears something like a quoit
with rays proceeding from it.[50] In the palm of another of his hands
the diamond--carré mystique--is displayed. According to the Bhagavat
Purana, the precious stone or diamond called _Castrala_, is a sort of
talisman which illuminates all things, and in which all things are
reflected. It is the perfect mirror of the world, and Vichnou generally
wears it on his breast, or holds it in the palm of that hand which is
raised in the act of benediction.

2. KOURMAVATARA. The second Avatar, as a Tortoise; the upper part of
the figure, man, the lower, tortoise. The _Chakra_ appears poised on
the fingers of one of the hands.

3. VARAHAVATARA. The third Avatar of Vichnou, as a _Verrat_, or wild
boar, to destroy the giant Hiranyakcha. Vichnou appears with the head
of a boar, but with the body and limbs of a man. In the cards, the head
of the boar is blue.

4. NARASINHAVATARA. The fourth Avatar of Vichnou, as a Lion, to destroy
the giant Hiranycasyapa. Vichnou appears with a lion's head, but with a
human body, holding the _Chakra_ in one of his hands.

5. VAMANAVATARA. The fifth Avatar of Vichnou, as a Bramin Dwarf, to
avenge the gods on the giant Bali. In one hand he holds a kind of
narrow-necked pot, with a spout to it, and in another a _cattashal_, or

6. PARASOU-RAMA. The sixth Avatar of Vichnou, as a Bramin, armed with
an axe, to chastise kings and warriors. The colour of the figure is
green, and in one of his hands he holds either a flower, or a kind of

7. SRI-RAMA, or RAMA-ICHANDRA. The seventh Avatar of Vichnou, in the
family of the Kings of the race of the Sun, to avenge the gods and
men of the tyranny of Ravana, King of Lanka or Ceylon. The figure of
Vichnou in this Avatar, is blue or green; and he is seated on a couch
or throne with his wife Sita beside him, while monkeys appear offering
him adoration. In the cards, the colour of Vichnou is blue, and a
female shares his throne, which is very much like a font or shallow
bath. Monkeys also appear before him.

8. CHRISHNA. The Eighth Avatar of Vichnou, as an Infant suckled by his
mother Devaki. Rays of glory surround the heads of the mother and child.

9. BOUDDHA, the SON of MAYA. The ninth Avatar of Vichnou, who appears
richly dressed, seated in an attitude of meditation on a throne, the
back of which is of a shell-like form--"espèce de conque"--and is
adorned with Lotus flowers.

10. CALKI-AVATARA. The tenth, and future Avatar of Vichnou, as a Horse,
or Man-horse, armed with sword and buckler, to destroy the world at the
end of the present age. The figure has a human body, and a horse's head.

As there are different accounts of the incarnations of Vichnou, as
has been previously observed, the following is given with the view
of throwing a little more light on the subject: "Vichnou, the second
person in the Hindoo trinity, is said to have undergone nine successive
incarnations to deliver mankind from so many perilous situations. The
first, they say, was in the form of a lion; the second of a hog; the
third a tortoise; the fourth a serpent; the fifth that of a Bramin (a
dwarf, a foot and a half high); the sixth a monster, namely, half man
half lion; the seventh a dragon; the eighth a man born of a virgin;
and the ninth an ape. Bernier adds a tenth, which is to be that of a
great cavalier. (Voyage, vol. ii, p. 142.) A very particular and a very
different account of these transformations is given by Mr. Sonnerat
(Voyages, vol. i, p. 158), with curious representation of each of
them."[51] In this account we have both a lion, and a man-lion, which
are probably symbols of the same Avatar; and a dragon and a serpent,
also probably symbols of the same thing, though neither of them occur
in the cards, nor in the description of the drawings.

I shall now present the reader with a description of another pack
of Hindostanee cards, and of the game played with them: it forms
an article entitled 'Hindostanee Cards,' in the second volume of
the Calcutta Magazine, 1815; and is accompanied with two plates,
fac-similes of which are here given.

"The words _Gunjeefu_ and _Tas_ are used in Hindostanee to denote
either the game, or a pack of cards. I have in vain searched the
'Asiatic Researches,' 'Asiatic Annual Register,' Sir William Ouseley's
'Oriental Collections,' and the 'Oriental Repertory,' by Dalrymple, for
some account or description of the mode of playing the cards in use
among the natives of Hindostan; and further, from the total silence of
the French and English Encyclopædias, conclude that they have never
engaged the attention of any inquirer. A description of the gunjeefu,
or cards, used by the Moslems, may therefore be acceptable to our

"In the 'Dictionary, Hindostanee and English,' edited by the late Dr.
Hunter, the names of the eight suits are to be found under the word
_Taj_, the name of the first suit.

"The pack is composed of ninety-six cards, divided into eight suits.
In each suit are two court cards, the King, and the Wuzeer. The common
cards, like those of Europe, bear the spots from which the suits are
named, and are ten in number.

"Four suits are named superior,[52] and four the inferior[53] suits.


    Taj.[54]            Chung.
    Soofed.             Soorkh.
    Shumsher.           Burat.
    Gholam.             Quimash.

"Plate I represents the [honours of the] four superior suits, called
_Beshbur_; and Plate II, the inferior, _Kumbur_. The kings are easily
distinguished, and are here numbered from 1 to 8.

[Illustration: Plate I.]

[Illustration: Plate II.]

"In the superior suits, the ten follows next in value to the king and
wuzeer; and the ace is the lowest card. In the inferior suits, the ace
has precedence immediately after the wuzeer, then the deuce, and others
in succession, the ten being of least value.

"The game is played by three or six persons: when six play, three take
the superior, and three the inferior suits. The pack being divided
into parcels after the cards are well mixed, the players cut for the
deal; and he who cuts the highest card deals.[55] When three play, the
cards are dealt by fours. In the first and last round the cards are
exposed, and thus eight cards of each person's hand are known to the
adversaries. The cards are dealt from _right_ to _left_, the reverse of
the European mode.

"THE LEAD. When the game is played by _day_, he who holds the red king,
(_Soorkh_, the sun,) must lead that and any small card. Should he play
the king alone, it is seized by the next player. The adversaries throw
down each _two_ common cards, and the trick is taken up. When the
game is played by _night_, the white king, (_Soofed_, the moon,)
is led in like manner. The cards are then played out at the option of
him who leads, the adversaries throwing away their small cards, and
no attention is paid to the following suit, unless when one of the
adversaries, having a superior card of the suit led, chooses to play it
to gain the trick.

"In order to guard a second-rate card which may enable you hereafter
to recover the lead, it is customary to throw down a small one of that
suit, and call the card you are desirous to have played. With this
call the adversaries must comply. As in Whist, when the person who has
the lead holds none but winning cards, they are thrown down. After
the cards have been all played, the parties shuffle their tricks, and
the last winner, drawing a card, challenges one of his adversaries to
draw out any card from the heap before him, naming it the fourth or
fifth, &c. from the top or bottom. The winner of this trick in like
manner challenges his right-hand adversary. The number of cards in the
possession of each party is then counted, and those who have fewest are
obliged to purchase from an adversary to make up their deficiency of
complement. The greatest winner at the end of four rounds has the game.

"The following terms used in the game may be acceptable to those
who desire to understand it when played by natives: I think they
unequivocally prove that _Gunjeefu_ is of Persian or Arabian origin.

  "Zubur-dust, the right-hand player.
  Zer-dust, the left-hand player.
  Zurb, a trick.
  Ser, a challenge.
  Ser-k'hel, the challenging game.
  Ekloo, a sequence of three cards.
  Khurch, the card played to one led; not a winning card.
  K´hel java, to lay down the winning card at the end of a deal.
  Chor, the cards won at the end of a deal; the sweep.
  Ghulutee, a misdeal.
  Wuruq, a card.
  Durhum-kurna, to shuffle.
  Wuruq-turashna, to cut the cards.

"From my observation of the game when played, I do not think it
sufficiently interesting to cause its being preferred by Europeans to
the cards in vogue in Europe. The number of the suits are too great,
and the inconvenient form of the cards (the size and shape of which are
represented by the plates[56]) are great objections. The Hindoostanee
cards are made of paper, well varnished; the figures appropriately
painted, and the ground and backs of every suit of one colour. The
Slave standing before the King in No. 3, is the figure used as the
spot or crest on all the common cards of that suit.... The tradition
regarding the origin of the Hindoostanee cards is, that they were
invented by a favorite _sultana_, or queen, to wean her husband from a
bad habit he had acquired of pulling or eradicating his beard."

With respect to the word _Gunjeefu_, which, according to the preceding
account, appears to be a general name for cards, I am informed that
it is of Persian origin, and that it signifies both a pack of cards
and the game. In Bengal, cards are more generally known by the
name of _Tas_, which is a Hindoo word, than that by _Gunjeefu_, or
_Gangēefah_, as it is otherwise written. From the reference, in the
preceding account, to the 'Dictionary, Hindoostanee and English,'
edited by the late Dr. Hunter,[57] I am inclined to think that _Taj_
and _Tas_ have the same signification, with reference to cards; and
that the only difference between them consists in the pronunciation and
mode of spelling. Now, the word _Taj_ is said to signify a crown; but
if it be also used figuratively for a king, the wearer of a crown--just
as "crown" is figuratively used to signify empire or regal power--the
Hindoo name for cards would be synonymous with "Kings." That cards
were known in England by the name of the "Four Kings" has been already
shown; and if my speculations on the terms _Chartæ_ and _Naipes_ be
correct, it was by a name originally signifying four kings, or four
viceroys, that cards were first known in Europe.

With regard to the game described in the preceding account, it appears
to bear some resemblance to that which the French call "l'Ombre à
trois,"--three-handed Ombre.[58] In both games the suits appear to be
considered as ranged in two divisions: in the Hindostanee game, as the
Red and the White; and in the European, as the Red and the Black. In
the Hindostanee game there are eight suits, and six or three players;
and when three play, the cards are dealt by fours. In the European
game of four suits and forty cards--the tens, nines, and eights being
omitted--there are three players, and the cards are dealt by threes.
A person who can play at Ombre will scarcely fail to perceive several
other points of similarity between the two games. From the terms used
in the game of Ombre--Spadillo, Basto, Matador, Punto, &c.--there can
scarcely be a doubt that the other nations of Western Europe derived
their knowledge of it from the Spaniards. The Hon. Daines Barrington,
in his 'Observations on the Antiquity of Card Playing in England,'
derives the names of the game from the Spanish, "hombre," a man; and
there is reason to believe that it was one of the oldest games at
cards played at in Europe. If the game of cards were introduced into
Europe by the Arabs, it is in Spain that we might first expect to find
them. Pietro della Valle, in his Travels in the East, between 1614 and
1626, speaks of the people playing at cards, though differing from
ours in the figures and number of suits; and Niebuhr, in his Travels,
also speaks of the Arabians playing at cards, and says that the game
is called Lab-el-Kammer.[59] It is, however, to be observed, that the
game of cards is not once mentioned in the Arabian Nights; and from
this silence it may be concluded that at the time when those tales
were compiled card-playing was not a popular pastime in Arabia. The
compilation, it is believed, is not earlier than about the end of
the fifteenth century, though many of the tales are of a much higher

Leaving out of consideration the pack of ten suits, with the emblems of
the ten incarnations of Vichnou, as being of a mythological character,
and probably not in common use for the purposes of gaming, it is
evident from the other three packs, of eight suits each, that the cards
known in Hindostan are not uniform in the marks of the different
suits, though it is obvious that any game,--depending on sequences and
the conventional value of the several cards,--which can be played with
one of the packs, may be also played with either of the other two. The
difference in the marks is, indeed, much less than is to be observed
in old French, Spanish, and German cards, which present so many
differences as to render it impossible to derive them from one original
type. The mere mark or emblem, whatever it might originally signify,
appears to have had no specific meaning or value, beyond what might be
assigned to it by the conventional rules of the game; whether it were a
sword or a chalice, a club or a piece of money, a heart or a diamond, a
green leaf or a hawk's bell, in playing and counting the game, it was a
"pip," and nothing more.

Whether the two packs of eight suits each, in the possession of the
Royal Asiatic Society, are considered by the natives of Hindostan
as consisting of two divisions of four suits each, as in the pack
described in the extract from the 'Calcutta Magazine,' I have not
been able to ascertain. In all the three packs the sword is to be
found as the mark of one of the suits; and the _soofed_ and _soorkh_
of the one pack--silver coin and gold coin, figuratively the moon and
the sun--I consider to be represented by the circular marks in the
other two; and the oval in these is not unlike the mark of the suit
named _Quimash_--merchandise--in the former. The mark of the suit
_Burat_, see Plate II, No. 7--which is said to mean a royal diploma or
assignment, corresponds very nearly with a parallelogram containing
dots, as if meant for writing, in the pack formerly belonging to Capt.
D. Cromline Smith; but though a parallelogram--crossed by two lines,
and with the longest side vertical--also occurs in the other pack, its
agreement with the _Burat_ is by no means so apparent. The marks of
the suits _Taj_, a Crown, and _Chung_, a Harp.[60] (see Plate I, fig.
1, and Plate II, fig. 5,) I am unable to recognise, either by name or
figure, in the other two packs; though I am inclined to think that, in
one of them, the place of the _Taj_ is supplied by a kind of fruit, and
in the other by a flower. It will be observed that, in the plate, the
mark of the suit called _Chung_, a harp, is a bird. In the other two
packs, the suits which I consider to be the substitutes of the _Chung_
have a mark which I have not been able to make out; but in one of them
the Vizier, as in the _Chung_, is mounted on a single-humped camel.
In the suit called _Gholam_, a slave--Plate I, fig. 4--I cannot make
out what is intended for the mark,--whether the _Mahut_, who appears
guiding the elephant, or the kind of mace carried by the Vizier;
whatever may be the mark, I consider the suit to be represented by that
with a white ground in Capt. D. C. Smith's cards, the mark of which is
a grotesque head, as in both suits the Vizier is mounted on a bull. The
corresponding suit in the other pack I conceive to be the one which has
for its mark a man's head.

With respect to the marks of the several suits, in the different
packs of Hindostanee cards, previously described,--what objects they
graphically represent, what they might have been intended to signify
by the person who devised them, and what allegorical meanings may
have assigned to them by others,--much might be said; and a writer
of quick imagination, and hieroglyphic wit, like Court de Gebelin,
might readily find in them not only a summary of all the knowledge of
the Hindoos--theological, moral, political, and scientific--but also
a great deal more than they either knew or dreamt of. As I feel my
inability to perform such a task, or rather to enjoy such pleasures of
imagination; and as the present work does not afford space for so wide
a discursus, I shall confine my observations to such marks as appear
to have, both in their form and meaning, the greatest affinity with
the marks to be found on early European cards. The marks in the pack
consisting of ten suits, representing the incarnations of Vichnou, I
shall only incidentally refer to, as I am of opinion that those cards
are not such as either are or were generally used for the purposes
of gaming, but are to be classed with those emblematic cards which
have, at different periods, been devised in Europe for the purpose
of insinuating knowledge into the minds of ingenious youth by way of

In referring to any of the marks to be found in the three eight-suit
packs of Hindostanee cards, which appear to be intended for the
purposes of play only, it seems unnecessary to specify the particular
pack to which they belong, as my object is merely to call attention to
the apparent agreement between some of the marks of Hindostanee cards,
and those which are either known to have been the marks of the earliest
European cards, or are to be found on such old cards as are still
preserved in public libraries, or in the collections of individuals.

In the early European cards, which have cups, swords, pieces of money,
and clubs or maces for the marks of the four suits,[61] the sword and
piece of money of the Hindostanee cards are readily identified; and
if we are to suppose that in these cards certain emblems of Vichnou
were formerly represented--but which are not to be found either on the
ordinary Playing Cards, or on those displaying the ten incarnations of
Vichnou--it would not be difficult to account for the cups, and clubs
or maces; for, according to Dr. Frederick Creutzer,[62] the mace or
war club is frequently to be seen in one of the hands of Vichnou; and
Count von Hammer-Purgstal remarks, that "the sword, the club, and the
cup, are frequent emblems in the Eastern Ritual."[63] As the marks in
European suits, cups, or chalices, swords, money, and clubs, have been
supposed to represent the four principal classes of men in a European
state, to wit, Churchmen; Swordmen, or feudal nobility; Monied men,
merchants or traders; and Club-men, workmen, or labourers,--it is just
as easy to run a parallel in the four superior suits of one of the
packs of Hindostanee cards, given in Plate I; there may be found _Taj_,
a crown, royalty; _Soofed_, silver money, merchants; _Shumsher_, a
sword, fighting men, seapoys; and _Gholam_, a slave, the coolies both
of hill and plain. It may not be unnecessary here to observe that the
four great historical castes of the Hindoos are, 1, Bramins, priests;
2, Chetryas, soldiers; 3, Vaisyas, tradesmen and artificers; and 4,
Sudras, slaves, and the lowest class of labourers. Of these four
castes the Bramins alone remain unmixed; the other three, as distinct
castes, exist only in name, for they have become so intermixed, that
the subdivisions can neither be ascertained nor reckoned by the learned
pundits themselves.[64]

In the oldest stencilled, or printed, European cards, which are
probably of as early a date as the year 1440, the marks of the suits
are bells, hearts, leaves, and acorns; and in the Hindostanee cards
we find a leaf or a flower, as the mark of one of the suits; and I am
inclined to think that, in the latter, the figures of the oval, and of
that which appears something like a pineapple in a shallow cup, were
the types of the bells and the acorns. When those marks are compared,
without reference to their being representations of specific objects of
which the mind has already a preconceived idea, the general agreement
of their forms is, to the eye, more apparent. For the heart, I have not
been able to discover any corresponding mark in the Hindostanee cards.
Should I be told that the form of the heart might be suggested by that
of the leaf, I have to observe that the form of the leaf in Hindostanee
cards, is not the same as that which occurs in European, and that in
the latter, the colour of the so-called heart appears always to have
been red.

Between the marks of the suits on old French cards,--Cœur, Carreau,
Trèfle, and Pique,--and those to be found on Hindostanee cards, I
shall not venture to make any direct comparison. It, however, may be
observed that the form of the Pique--the spade in English cards--is
almost precisely the same as that of the leaf in other European packs;
and that the Trèfle--the club, in English cards--in its outline bears
a considerable likeness to the acorn. Those who please may derive the
Carreau, or diamond, from the _Castrala_, or mystic diamond, worn on
the breast, or held in the palm of the hand of Vichnou; it does not,
however, occur as the mark of a suit in any of the Hindostanee cards
that have come under my observation; and the mark to which it bears the
greatest resemblance is that of the suit _Burat_, as shown in Plate II,
No. 7. An examination of a greater variety of Hindostanee cards, and
more extensive knowledge of the names and significations of the marks
of the suits, and of the different games played, would probably lead to
the discovery of more points of resemblance than I have been able to

The different things signified by marks, apparently agreeing in their
general forms, on Hindostanee and European cards, may be partly
accounted for on the following grounds, which will also in some degree
serve to explain the difference, both in form and name, of the marks of
the suits in different packs of old European cards.

Graphic forms of all kinds, whether symbolic, or positive
representations of specific objects, which are readily understood,
both in their figurative meaning and direct signification, by the
people with whom they originated, are, when brought into a different
country without their explanations, often interpreted by that people
according to their knowledge and opinions; and forms for which they
have no corresponding originals, or which they fail to identify, are
referred to objects of similar shape with which they are familiar,
and are called by their names. Similar changes in the meaning of
symbolic figures also take place with the same people, in consequence
of the original meaning becoming obsolete, through change of customs
and opinions, in the course of time. In this manner a figure of the
horned Isis, with the young Horus in her lap, appears to have been
taken for a representation of the Virgin Mary, with the crescent
moon on her head, nursing the infant Jesus; and thus the figures of
Jupiter and Minerva have passed for those of Adam and Eve. In the
sixteenth century it appears that in Italy the suit of Bastoni--clubs,
or maces, proper--was also called _Colonne_, pillars; and the suit of
Danari--money--_Specchi_, mirrors;[65] merely because the club or mace
as depicted on the suits, bore some resemblance to a slender pillar,
and that the form of Danari, like that of an ancient mirror, was
circular. Among the pitmen in the neighbourhood of Newcastle-on-Tyne,
the diamonds on the cards are frequently called _Picks_, from their
similarity to the head of a pick, the tool with which they dig the
coals; a writer like Court de Gebelin, might discover in this connexion
between picks and "black diamonds" "a type with a pair of handles." It
may be here observed, that the suit which the French term piques, is
that which we, improperly, call spades.

But, even admitting the agreement, both in figure and signification,
of several of the marks of the suits in early European cards, and
those which occur in the cards now used in Hindostan, it may be said
that this fact by no means proves either that cards were invented in
the East, or that the marks of suits on the Hindostanee cards were
actually the models of those resembling them which are to be found on
early European cards; for cards might find their way into the East from
Europe as well as into Europe from the East. When St. Francis Xavier
was in the East Indies,--from 1541 to 1552,--card-playing was a common
amusement with the European residents and traders;[66] and it is very
likely that the first Portuguese ship that arrived there, about half a
century before, had a pack of cards on board. That European cards were
sent to the East, among other articles of merchandise, towards the end
of the sixteenth century, appears evident from a passage in a narrative
of the first voyage of the English, on a private account, begun by
Captain George Raymond, and finished by Captain James Lancaster;[67]
and we learn from Sir Alexander Burnes, that commerce has imported
cards into the Holy City of Bokhara, that the pack consists of
thirty-six cards, and that the games are strictly Russian.[68]

Looking, however, at all the circumstances,--the probability of Cards
having been suggested by Chess, the names _Chartæ_ and _Naipes_, the
marks to be found on them, and the tradition of their having been
known in Hindostan from a very early period,--the balance of evidence
appears decidedly in favour of the conclusion that cards were invented
in the East. The writer of an article on Cards, in No. xlviii of the
'Foreign Quarterly Review,' previously referred to, speaks confidently
of the great antiquity of cards in Hindostan, but does not give any
authorities for the fact. "We know," he says, "that the Tamuli have had
cards from time immemorial; and they are said to be of equal antiquity
with the Brahmins, who unquestionably possess them still, and claim to
have invented them." The statement of the Bramin who gave the cards
to Captain D. Cromline Smith, though certainly not true with respect
to that individual pack, may yet be received as confirmatory of the
traditional evidence in favour of cards generally having been known in
Hindostan from a very early period.[69]

Playing Cards appear to have been known from an early period in China.
In the Chinese dictionary, entitled _Ching-tsze-tung_, compiled by
Eul-koung, and first published A.D. 1678, it is said that the cards
now known in China as _Teen-tsze-pae_, or dotted cards, were invented
in the reign of Seun-ho, 1120; and that they began to be common in the
reign of Kaou-tsung, who ascended the throne in 1131.[70]--According
to tradition, they were devised for the amusement of Seun-ho's
numerous concubines. M. Abel Remusat, probably on the authority of
the Ching-tsze-tung, has also observed that cards were invented by the
Chinese in 1120.[71] Mons. Leber, however, considers it to be more
likely that they got their first cards from Hindostan; and that, like
the Europeans, they merely changed or modified the types, and invented
new games.

The general name for cards in China is _Che-pae_, which literally
signifies "paper tickets." At first they are said to have been called
_Ya-pae_, bone or ivory tickets, from the material of which they were
made. A pack of dotted cards consists of thirty-two pieces, and the
marks--small circular dots of red and black--are placed, alternately,
at two of the corners; for instance, in a card containing eight
dots, four are placed in one corner and four in the other diagonally
opposite to it. Ten of those cards are classed in pairs; the first
pair are called _Che-tsun_,--"the most honorable,"--and are superior
to all the others; these may be considered as coat cards, as the one
contains the figure of a woman, and the other that of a man; both these
cards are also marked with black and red dots,--that of the woman
with six, and that of the man with twelve. The second pair are called
_Tien-pae_,--"celestial cards;" each contains twenty-four dots of
black and red, corresponding with the twenty-four terms in the Chinese
year. The third pair are called _Te-pae_,--"terrestrial cards;" each
contains four red dots corresponding with the four cardinal points of
the compass. The fourth pair are called _Jin-pae_,--"human cards;" each
contains sixteen red dots, relating to benevolence, justice, order,
and wisdom in a four-fold degree. The fifth pair are called _Ho-pae_;
each card contains eight black dots, relating to a supposed principle
of harmony in nature extending itself towards all points of the
compass. The remaining twenty-two cards have distinct names, which it
is needless here to give: the aggregate of the dots upon them is said
to have reference to the number of the stars.

The cards most commonly used in China, are those called
_Tseen-wan-che-pae_,--"a thousand times ten thousand cards." There
are thirty cards in a pack; namely, three suits of nine cards each,
and three single cards which are superior to all the others. The name
of one of the suits is _Kew-ko-wan_; that is, the nine ten-thousands,
or myriads of _Kwan_--strings of beads, shells, or money. The name of
the other suit is _Kew-ko-ping_,--"nine units of cakes;" and that of
the third is _Kew-ko-so_,--"nine units of chains." The names of the
three single cards are, _Tseen-wan_, a thousand times ten thousand;
_Hung-hwa_, the red flower; and _Pih-hwa_, the white flower.

In the annexed specimens of Chinese cards, Nos. 1 and 2 are the first
and third of the suit of nine myriads of Kwan; Nos. 3 and 4 are the one
and the three of the suit of cakes; No. 5 is the one of the suit of
chains; and No. 6 is that of the three superior cards, which is called
the white flower.

[Illustration: No. 1.]

[Illustration: No. 2.]

[Illustration: No. 3.]

[Illustration: No. 4.]

[Illustration: No. 5.]

[Illustration: No. 6.]

Besides those above described, the Chinese have several other varieties
of cards: one pack or set is called _Pih-tsze-pae_, the hundred boys'
cards; another, _Tseen-wan-jin-pae_,--"a thousand times ten-thousand
mens' names cards," containing the names of persons famous in Chinese
history; and a third has the same name as Chinese Chess, _Keu-ma-paou_,
chariots, horses, and guns. This latter name corroborates what has been
previously said about the probability of the game of cards having been
suggested by that of chess.

The marks to be found on Chinese cards scarcely afford a gleam of
light by which we might judge of their relation to the cards of
other countries: in a pack of such as are chiefly used in Cochin
China, I have observed the form of the diamond nearly the same as it
appears on English cards; and in a pack of the Chinese cards called
Tseen-wan-che-pae, the mark of the suit of Nine Cakes is nearly the
same as that of the old Italian _Danari_, which Galeottus Martius--in
his treatise 'De Doctrina promiscua,' written about 1488--considers to
have been meant for a loaf.

The cards commonly used in China, are much narrower than ours; an idea
of their size may be formed from the specimens given, making allowance
for a small margin of white paper all round, but rather wider at
the top and bottom than at the sides. The Chinese name for a card,
considered singly, or as one of the pieces of a pack or set, appears to
be _Shen_, a fan.


[1] Bibliothèque curieuse et instructive, tom. ii, chap. xii. Des
Principes des Sciences et des Arts, disposé en forme de Jeux. Trevoux,

[2] Ita vita est hominum quasi cum ludas Tesseris:
    Si illud, quod maximè opus est jactu, non cadit,
    Illud quod cecidit fortè, id arte ut corrigas.

  TERENT. _Adelph._ act. iv, sc. 7.

"Ludo Tesserarum Plato vitam comparavit, in quo et jacere utilia
oportet, et jacientem uti benè iis quæ ceciderunt."--PLUT. OP. MOR.
_Epist. ad Paccium._--Etudes historiques sur les Cartes à Jouer, par M.
C. Leber, p. 63.

[3] In a paper entitled, l'Origine du Jeu de Piquet, trouvé dans
l'Histoire de France sous le règne de Charles VII. Printed in the
Mémoires pour l'Histoire des Sciences, &c.--Trévoux; in the vol. for
May, 1720, p. 934-968.

[4] In a dissertation "Du Jeu de Tarots, où l'on traite de son
origine, où l'on explique ses allégories, et où l'on fait voir qu'il
est la source de nos Cartes modernes à jouer," &c. This dissertation
is contained in his Monde primitif, analysé et comparé avec le Monde
moderne.--Dissertations mêlées, tom. i, p. 365-394. Paris, 1781. It is
not unlikely that he was led to make this discovery from the notices
of a _philosophic_ game of the ancient Egyptians, quoted by Meursius,
in his treatise De Ludis Græecorum, p. 53. Lugduni Batavorum, 1622. A
summary of Court de Gebelin's conceits on the subject of Tarots is to
be found in Peignot's Analyse de Recherches sur les Cartes à jouer, p.

[5] He shall have a bell, that's Abel;
    And by it standing one whose name is Dee,
    In a rug gown; there's D and Rug, that's Drug;
    And right anenst him a dog snarling _er_;
    There's _Drugger, Abel Drugger_. That's his sign.
    And here's now Mystery and Hieroglyphic!

  _The Alchymist_, act ii.

[6] See an image of Isis, horned, with the infant Horus on her knee;
and note, that antiquaries have not settled why the Virgin Mary is
sometimes represented with the crescent on her head. Isis was the
protectress of seafaring people; and her image, as we learn from
Petronius and other writers, was frequently placed in ships.

[7] The _hand_ occurs frequently in Egyptian hieroglyphics: it would be
superfluous to tell the learned reader what it means. The hand holding
a hammer, in the hieroglyphic usually known as the Blacksmiths' Coat of
Arms, is sufficiently explained by the motto,

    "By Hammer and Hand,
    All Arts do stand."

[8] Versuch, den Ursprung der Spielkarten, die Einführung des
Leinenpapieres, und den Anfang der Holzschneidekunst in Europa zu
erforschen. Von J. G. I. Breitkopf. 4to. Leipzig, 1784.

[9] Researches into the History of Playing Cards; with Illustrations of
the Origin of Printing and Engraving on Wood. By Samuel Weller Singer.
4to. London, 1816.

[10] Tome deuxième de l'année 1836. 'Origine Française de la Boussole
et des Cartes à jouer.' Fragmens d'un ouvrage sous presse, intitulé,
'Histoire du Drapeau, des Couleurs, et des Insignes de la Monarchie
Française,' &c. Par M. Rey. Livre X--Universalité des Fleurs de Lis.

[11] Etudes historiques sur les Cartes à jouer. Par M. C. Leber.
Originally printed in the sixteenth volume of the 'Mémoires de la
Société royale des Antiquaires de France,' and subsequently published
separately. Paris, 1842.

[12] "... Ce n'est pas l'affaire de quelques années, ni des travaux,
ni des sacrifices d'une seule vie, que de rassembler tant de chétifs
débris, de pièces égarées, souillées, mutilées, informes, et dont
la découverte n'est plus souvent qu'un caprice du hasard, une bonne
fortune plutôt qu'une bonne action. Il faut donc attendre que cette
œuvre du temps et de la persévérance soit accomplie."--Etudes
Historiques, p. 60.

[13] Catalogue des Livres imprimés, Manuscrits, Estampes, Dessins,
et Cartes à jouer, composant le Bibliothèque de M. C. Leber, tom. i,
p. 238. Paris, 1839. This library, the Catalogue of which consists
of three volumes, now belongs to the city of Rouen. The cards are
described in the first volume, pp. 237-48.

[14] With the Latins, Ludere par impar; with the Greeks, αρτιαζειν;
ραιζειν, αρτια η περιττα. "Nempe ludentes, sumptis in manu talis,
fabis, nucibus, amygdalis, interdum etiam nummis, interrogantes
alteram divinare jubebant, 'αρτια η περιττα'; paria, nempe, an imparia
haberent."--Meursius, de Ludis Græcorum, p. 5, edit. 1622.

[15] Fortune is a _parvenue_, in the Olympian circle,--of great means,
but no family:

    Di chi figluola fusse, ò di che seme
    Nascesse, non si sa; ben si sa certo
    Ch'infino à Giove sua potentia teme.

  MACCHIAVELLI, _Capitolo di Fortuna_.

[16] Dr. Thomas Hyde is inclined to think that the game of Astragali
was known from the time of the general Deluge.--De Ludis Orientalibus.
Oxon. 1694.

[17] The ancient Greek game of Astragali or Astragalismus--the Tali of
the Romans--appears to have been played in a manner similar to that
described in the text. The names given to the different casts are to be
found in Meursius, De Ludis Græcorum, under the word ΑΣΤΡΑΓΑΛΙΣΜΟΣ.

[18] Πεσσοισι προπαροιθε θυραων θυμον ἐτερπον,
     Ἡμενοι ἐν ῥινοισι βοων οὑς ἐκτανον ἁυτοι.--_Odyss._ A. 107.

The word used by Homer, ρεσσοι,--which properly means the
pebbles or pieces employed in the game,--is here translated _tables_; a
term, which having now become nearly obsolete as signifying draughts,
may be used to denote an ancient cognate game.

It might be plausibly urged by a commentator fond of discovering
Homer's covert meanings, that the poet intended to censure the games
of Astragalismus and Petteia,--the former as a cause of strife, and
the latter as a fitting amusement for idle and dissipated persons,
like the suitors of Penelope. In the twenty-third book of the Iliad,
v. 87, Patroclus is represented as having killed, when a boy, though
unintentionally, a companion with whom he had quarrelled when playing
at Astragali or Tali:

    ... παιδα κατεκτανον Ἀμφιδαμαντος,
    Νηπιος, οὐκ ἐθελων, ἀμφ' ἀστραγαλοισι χολωθεις.

It is not unlikely that an ancient piece of sculpture, in the British
Museum,--representing a boy biting the arm of his companion, with whom
he has quarrelled at Tali--relates to this passage.

[19] See a work by the late Mr. James Christie--more generally known
to the world as an auctioneer than as a man of learning and of great
research--entitled "An Enquiry into the ancient Greek game supposed to
have been invented by Palamedes antecedent to the Siege of Troy; with
Reasons for believing the Game to have been known from remote antiquity
in China, and progressively improved into the Chinese, Indian, Persian,
and European Chess." London, 1801.

[20] Julius Pollux, Onomasticon, lib. ix, cap. 7.

[21] "As the military groundwork of the game of cards, and its
similarity to chess, cannot be denied; so a closer examination of this
affinity may readily lead to the origin of the change in their figures
and colours."--Breitkopf, Ueber den Ursprung der Spielkarten, s. 30.

[22] "Le traducteur du Poëme de la Vielle, en décrivant les Echecs,
s'exprime ainsi;

    'La Reyne, que nous nommons Fierge,
    Tient de Venus, et n'est pas Vierge;
    Aimable est et amoureuse.'" &c.

--L'Origine du Jeu des Echecs, par Mons. Freret. Hist. de l'Académie
des Inscriptions, tom. v, p. 255.

[23] "Comme c'est un jeu militaire, il y a dans chaque couleur un roi,
un officier supérieur ou capitaine, nommé _Ober_, et un bas-officier
appelé _Unter_. On appelait encore de nos jours dans l'Empire, où
les mots François ne sont pas en vogue, les officiers supérieurs
_Oberleute_, et les bas-officiers _Unterleute_"--Heineken, Idée
Générale d'une Collection d'Estampes, p. 241. Leipsic, 1771.

[24] It would appear that the etymology of this name was a matter of
great uncertainty even among people of oriental race. According to
some, it was _Sad-rengh_, the _hundred turns_, or wiles of the players;
according to others, it was _Sad-rangi_, the hundred vexations of the
game. A third derivation was from _Shesh-rengh_, _six colours_, as if
each of the six orders of pieces had been distinguished by a separate
colour.--Hyde, De Ludis Orientalibus. Par. 1. Historia Shahiludii, cap.
De Nomine Shatrangi. Oxon. 1694.

[25] That the suits of cards were formerly distinguished by an emblem
which was suggestive of a particular colour, as well as representing a
particular form, is certain. The Germans still call two of their suits
_Roth_ and _Grün_--red and green--and the emblems are a heart and a

[26] Observations on the Antiquity of Card-playing in England. In the
Archæologia, vol. viii.

[27] "Edward the First, when Prince of Wales, served nearly five years
in Syria, and therefore, whilst military operations were suspended,
must naturally have wished some sedentary amusement. Now, the Asiatics
scarcely ever change their customs: and as they play at cards, though
in many respects different from ours, it is not improbable that Edward
might have been taught this game, _ad quatuor reges_, whilst he
continued so long in this part of the globe."--Archæol. viii, p. 135.

[28] "Après souper venoient en place les beaulx Evangiles de
bois, c'est-à-dire force tabliers, ou le beau flux, ung, deux,
trois."--Rabelais, livre i, chap. 22.

[29] The following verses relating to this point are quoted by Peignot,
in his Analyse de Recherches sur les Cartes à Jouer, from a poem
intituled "La Magdeleine au Désert de la Sainte-Baume en Provence,
Poëme spirituel et chrétien, par le P. Pierre de St. Louis, religieux
Carme." Lyons, 1668.

    "Voila quant à l'église: allons à la maison
    Pour voir après cela si ma rime a raison.
    Les livres que j'y voy de diverse peinture,
    Sont les LIVRES DES ROYS, non pas de l'Escriture.
    J'y remarque au dedans différentes couleurs,
    Rouge aux Carreaux, aux Cœurs, noir aux Piques, aux Fleurs;
    Avecque ces beaux Roys, je vois encore des Dames,
    De ces pauvres maris les ridicules femmes.
    Battez, battez les bien, battez, battez les tous,
    N'épargnez pas les Roys, les Dames, ni les FOUS."

[30] "The _b_ and _v_ in Persian are constantly used for each other;
one instance will suffice--the plural of _na-eeb_, a viceroy, is
equally pronounced _nu-vaub_ and _nu-baub_, or, according to our
pronunciation, _nabob_."--A Personal Narrative of a Journey from India
to England, by Captain the Hon. George Keppel, vol. ii, p. 89. Second
edit. 1827.

[31] "Naipe, carton, &c. Tamarid quiere que sea nombre Arabigo, y
lo mismo el Brocense; pero comunamente se juzga que se los dio este
nombre por la primer cifra que se las puso, que fue una N y una P, con
que se significaba el nombre de su inventor, Nicolao Pepin: y de ahi
con pequeña corrupcion se dixo Naipe."--Diccionario de la Academia
Españolo, edit. 1734.

[32] Istoria della Citta di Viterbo, da Feliciano Bussi, p. 213. Roma,
1743. The passage relating to cards appears to have been first pointed
out by Leber, in his Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer, p.
43. "Though we have no information respecting the precise date of
Covelluzzo's birth or death," says Mons. Leber, in a note at p. 17
of Mons. Duchesne's Précis Historique, "it is yet certain that this
chronicler, whose name is properly Giovanni de Juzzo de Covelluzzo,
wrote in the fifteenth century, and that what he relates about cards
being brought into Viterbo in 1379, was extracted from the chronicle of
Nicholas de Covelluzzo, one of his ancestors, who, as well as himself,
was an inhabitant of Viterbo, and who possibly might have resided there
at the period when cards were first introduced."

[33] Mahmoud, the Gasnevide, first invaded Hindostan in A.D. 999.

[34] "Χαρταριον; Gallicum, _quartier_; scutulum quadratum.
Extat. apud Codinum de Offic. aulæ Constantinop. χαρτιον, idem
quod χαρταριον."--Meursii Glossarium Græco-Barbarum, 4to, Lugd.
Batavor., 1605.--_Quartier de bois._ A quarter, or square piece of
timber.--Cotgrave's French and English Dictionary.

[35] "_Cayer_. A quire of written paper; a piece of a written book,
divided into equal parts."--Cotgrave. The _cayer_ appears to have been
synonymous with the _pecia_ of monkish writers. It may be observed that
from _chartar_, a Persian word literally signifying '_four-strings_,'
the Rev. Stephen Weston has traced the descent of κιθαρα _cithara_;
_chitarra;_ and _guitar_. To these derivates the old English _gittern_
may be added."--Specimens of the Conformity of the European Languages,
especially the English, with the Oriental languages, especially the
Persian. By Stephen Weston, B. D. 12mo, 1802.

[36] It may be here noted that the word _Wuruk_ or _Wuruq_, used by the
Moslems in Hindostan to signify a card, signifies also the _leaf_ of a
tree, a _leaf_ of paper, being in the latter sense identical with the
Latin _folium_. See Richardson's Arabic Dictionary, word "Card;" and
the word "_Wuruq_"' in the list of terms used at the game of cards as
played at Hindostan, given in a subsequent page.

[37] Should I be told that the correct word for "_four_" in
Hindostanee, is _chatur_, _chatta_, or _cattah_,--not _chartah_,--and
be required to account for the ρ in χαρτης, supposing the latter word
to be derived from the same root, I should answer by giving a case in
point--the derivation of _quartus_ from _quatuor_,--leaving others to
assign the reason. I subjoin here, by way of contrast, a different
etymology of _carta_--Epistola, a letter. "Quieren algunos que este
nombre Castellano, Carta, se derivasse de la ciudad de Carta insigne
por aver sido cuna de la reyna Dido, y atribuyen à esta ciudad la
etimologia, por aver sido la primera que dio materia en que las Cartas
se escriviessen."--Seneca impugnado de Seneca, &c. Por Don Alonzo Nuñez
de Castro, p. 220, 4to. Madrid, 1661.--Is there any evidence to show
that the form of ancient Carthage was _Square_?

[38] "Im Arabischen heist _Nabaa_: er hat einen leisen Ton, wie die
Zauberer thun, von sich gegeben; davon _Naba_, die Zaubertrommel, und
_Nabi_, ein Prophet, Wahrsager, herkömmt. Eichhorn erklärt, in der
Einleitung zum A. Testamente, die hebräischen Worte _Nabi_, Nabüm,
durch göttliche Eingebung, und durch Leute, die durch göttliche
Eingebung handeln."--Ueber den Ursprung der Spielkarten, s. 15.

[39] Heineken, Idée Générale d'une complète Collection d'Estampes, p.
240. Leipsic, 1771.

[40] The Abbé Bullet, previous to the appearance of his little book on
Cards, in 1757, had commenced the publication of a Celtic Dictionary.
In the former there are many traces of his mind having acquired a bent
from his Celtic researches. He finds the origin of the term _as_ or
_ace_ in the Celtic _as_; and in the same language he finds the true
meaning of the names of the Queens of Clubs and Hearts, Argine and
Judith. Argine is formed of _ar_, la, the, and _gin_, belle, beautiful;
and Judith is a corruption of Judic,--which is formed of _jud_, a
queen, and _dyc_, twice. Both those queens, according to his fancy,
are intended to represent Anne of Bretagne, wife of Charles VIII and
Louis XII. According to Père Daniel, Argine is an anagram of Regina,
and is meant for Mary of Anjou, wife of Charles VII; and Judith is not
the heroine of the Old Testament, but the wife of Louis-le-Debonnaire.
Though those doctors disagree, yet each appears to have _equally good_
reasons for his opinions. The consequence is that we can put no faith
in either.

[41] The Abbé Rive, grounding his opinion on an interpolated passage
in Guterry's French translation of Guevara's Epistles, ascribes the
invention of cards to the Spaniards, and places it about the year
1330. With respect to the origin of the name Naipes, he adopts the N
P etymology of the Spanish Academy. The Abbé's _brochure_ on cards is
entitled 'Eclaircissements Historiques et Critiques sur l'Invention des
Cartes à jouer.' Paris, 1780.

[42] "MAPPA, dit Papias, _togilla_, (c-est-à-dire, touaille,
nappe); MAPA etiam dicitur PICTURA vel FORMA LUDORUM, unde dicitur
MAPAMUNDI. Un vieux glossaire latin-français de la Bibliothèque de
Saint-Germain-des-Prés, cité par Ducange, reproduit et explique
ainsi ce passage précieux, en le traduisant: 'MAPAMUNDI, mapemunde;
et dicitur a MAPA, nappe ou picture, ou form de jeux.'"--Mélanges
d'Origines Etymologiques et de Questions Grammaticales. Par M. Eloi
Johanneau, p. 40. Paris, 1818.

[43] The description alluded to will be found at p. 41.

[44] The sex of the Company appears to be a matter of interest even
with the ladies of Affghanistan. "At night the ladies of Mahomed Shah
Khan, and other chiefs who were travelling in our company, invited
Mrs. Eyre to dinner. She found them exceedingly kind in manner and
prepossessing in outward appearance, being both well-dressed and
good-looking. They asked the old question as to the gender of the
Company."--Lieut. Eyre's Journal of Imprisonment in Affghanistan.

[45] "Apropos de bottes,"--"Now you speak of a _Gun_:" Moore, in
his Life of Sheridan, observes that but a very imperfect report of
Sheridan's celebrated speech on the impeachment of Warren Hastings is
preserved. The following piquant passage relating to the East India
Company, as then constituted and acting, occurs in a report of the
speech published in an old Magazine, for February, 1787. "He remembered
to have heard an honourable and learned gentleman (Mr. Dundas) remark,
that there was something in the first frame and constitution of the
Company, which extended the sordid principles of their origin over all
their successive operations, connecting with their civil policy, and
even with their boldest achievements, the meanness of a pedlar and the
profligacy of pirates. Alike in the political and the military line
could be observed auctioneering ambassadors and trading generals; and
thus we saw a revolution brought about by affidavits; an army employed
in executing an arrest; a town besieged on a note of hand; a prince
dethroned for the balance of an account. Thus it was they exhibited a
government which united the mock majesty of a bloody sceptre, and the
little traffic of a merchant's counting-house, wielding a truncheon
with one hand and picking a pocket with another."

[46] It is expressly stated that the cards of one of the packs are made
of canvas, in a memorandum which accompanies them. This is the pack
which is said to be a thousand years old. On first handling them they
seemed to me to be made of thin veneers of wood.

[47] Though Mahometans might object to paint figured cards, it appears
that they do "tolerate" them, and that very amply, by using them. See a
description of the Gunjeefu, or cards used by the Moslems, at page 41.

[48] In a note to the article on Whist, in the Foreign Quarterly
Review, No. 48, previously referred to, this pack of cards is noticed,
and the suits are thus enumerated: "While this article was in the
press, we have been favoured with a sight of two packs of cards in the
possession of the Royal Asiatic Society: and, as truth is more strange
than fiction, one of these, consisting of TEN Suits, certainly does
represent the TEN Avatars or incarnations of the VISTNOU, or Vishnava,
sect.... The suits are:

  1. The Fish.
  2. The Tortoise.
  3. The Boar.
  4. The Lion.
  5. The Monkey.
  6. The Hatchet.
  7. The Umbrella (or Bow.)
  8. The Goat.
  9. The Boodh.
  10. The Horse.

"The Dwarf of the 5th Avatar is substituted by the Monkey; the Bow and
Arrows of the 7th by the Cattashal or Umbrella, which gives precisely
the same outline; and the Goat there, as often elsewhere, takes the
place of the Plough."

On the pack of eight cards, which was probably one of those previously
noticed in the present volume, the writer of the article makes the
following observations: "The other pack has eight suits, of eight
cards and two court cards each; eighty in all. [The number of cards,
inclusive of the honours, in each suit, is twelve, as has been
previously observed.] The Parallelogram, Sword, Flower, and Vase,
answer to the Carreau, Espada, Club, and Copa of European suits: the
Barrel (?), the Garland (?), and two kinds of Chakra (quoit) complete
the set."--The Sword is plain enough, and so is the parallelogram. The
Flower and the Cup, I confess, I have not been able to make out; and I
question much if the Parallelogram--which in another pack, subsequently
described, represents a royal diploma or mandate--be the original of
the Carreau or Diamond on European cards. The "two kinds of Chakra" are
simply two circular marks.

[49] Engravings of those subjects, as well as their description, will
be found in 'Religions de l'Antiquité, considerées principalement
dans leurs formes symboliques et mythologiques; ouvrage traduit de
l'Allemand du Dr. Frederic Creutzer, par J. D. Guigniant.' Planches,
premier cahier, p. 11, 8vo; Paris, 1825.

[50] "Espèce de roue enflammée, symbole de la force vivante qui pénètre
et meut l'univers."

[51] The Institutions of Moses and those of the Hindoos compared. By
Joseph Priestly, LL.D. p. 56. 8vo. Philadelphia, 1799.

[52] Beshbur.

[53] Kumbur.

[54] The names of the suits are thus explained: _Taj_, a crown.
_Soofed_, white, abbreviated from the original appellation,
_zur-i-soofed_, a silver coin; figuratively, the moon. _Shumsher_,
a sabre. _Gholam_, a slave. _Chung_, a harp. _Soorkh_, red, or
_zur-i-soorkh_, gold coin; figuratively, the sun. _Burat_, a royal
diploma, or assignment. _Quimash_, merchandize.

[55] In cutting for the deal, _Taj_ is the highest suit, and the rest
have precedence, after that suit, in the order above recited.

[56] "By an oversight of the engraver, a native Bengalee artist, the
Moon in No. 2, Plate I, is represented as crescent instead of full.
[The error has been _faithfully retained_ in our fac-similes.] The
price of the pack was two rupees."

[57] "In the Dictionary Hindostanee and English, edited by the late
Dr. Hunter, the names of the Eight Suits of Cards are to be found
under the word _Taj_, the name of the first suit."--On the authority
of a gentleman of eminent attainments in Hindostanee literature, I am
informed that there is no _Sanscrit_ word for Playing Cards.

[58] A particular account of the mode of playing the game of "L'Hombre
à trois," will be found in the first volume of the 'Académie des Jeux.'
The author observes, "Il est inutile de s'arrêter à l'etymologie du jeu
de l'hombre; il suffit de dire que les Espagnols en sont les auteurs,
et qu'il se sent du flegme de la nation dont il tire son origine."
According to the same authority, "_La Quadrille_ n'est, à proprement
parler, que l'hombre à quatre, qui n'a pas, à la verité, la beauté, ni
ne demande pas une si grande attention que l'hombre à trois; mais aussi
faut-il convenir qu'il est plus amusant et plus recréatif."

[59] Barrington's Observations on the Antiquity of Card-playing in
England.--Archæologia, vol. viii, 1787.

[60] Chung is also the Chinese name for a kind of harp.--In three
other packs of Hindostanee cards, of the same kind, which I have had
an opportunity of examining, the harp occurs both in the honours
and the numeral cards. I suspect that the bird has been substituted
through a mistake of the native artist who engraved the cards. In
one of the packs just alluded to, the cards are not circular, but
rectangular, like European cards, but of much smaller size. In another
pack of Hindostanee cards which I have seen, the marks in all the
eight suits are birds; in four of the suits, they are all of the same
form--something like that of a starling--but differing in their colour;
in three others they are all geese, and of the same colour, so that
the suit is only to be distinguished by the ground on which they are
painted. The mark of the eighth suit is a peacock.

[61] These are still the marks of the suits in Spain: "Copas, Espadas,
Oros, y Bastos." The "Oros," literally golden money, are also called
_Dineros_, that is, money in general. The same marks are also to be
found on old Italian cards, and the names for them were, Coppe, Spade,
Danari, and Bastoni. The discrepancy between the names, Spades and
Clubs, and the marks of these suits, in English cards, will be noticed
in its proper place.

[62] Religions de l'Antiquité; traduction Française de Guigniant.

[63] Von Hammer's Mines of the East.

[64] This is Mr. Colebrooke's conclusion. Sir John Malcolm gives a
different account, the correctness of which may be very justly doubted,
both as regards the present time and the past: "The four divisions
of Hindoos, viz. the priests, soldiers, merchants, and labourers,
appear to have existed in every human society, at a certain stage of
civilization; but in India alone have they been maintained for _several
thousand years_ with prescriptive vigour."--Essay on the Bhills (Beels)
by Sir John Malcolm, in the Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society,
vol. i, p. 65, 1824.

[65] Innocentio Ringhieri, Cento Ginochi liberali et d'Ingegno, p. 132.
4to. Bologna, 1551.

[66] The Life of St. Francis Xavier, by Father Bouhours: translated by
John Dryden, pp. 71, 203, 697.

[67] "The 6th October, [1592] they met with a Malacca ship of 700
tons, which, after her main-yard was shot through, yielded.... They
found on board fifteen pieces of brass cannon, 300 butts of Canary
and Nipar or Palm-wine, with very strong raisin wine; all sorts of
haberdashery-wares, as hats, red knit caps, and stockings of Spanish
wool; velvets, taffeties, camblets, and silks; abundance of suckets,
rice, Venice glasses, counterfeit stones (brought by an Indian from
Venice, to cheat the Indians), _Playing Cards_, and two or three packs
of French paper." The prize was taken in the Straits of Malacca; and
the articles of European manufacture appear to have been brought to
Malacca by the Portuguese.--The Naval Chronicle; or Voyages of the most
celebrated English Navigators, vol. i, p. 392. 8vo. 1760.

[68] Burnes's Travels into Bokhara, vol. ii, p. 169. Second edit. 1835.

[69] Card-playing appears to be a very common amusement in
Hindostan.--"I could remind or perhaps inform the fashionable gamesters
of St. James's Street, that before England ever saw a dice-box, many
a main has been won and lost under a palm-tree, in Malacca, by the
half-naked Malays, with wooden and painted dice; and that he could not
pass through a bazaar in this country [Hindostan] without seeing many
parties playing with cards, most cheaply supplied to them by leaves of
the cocoa-nut or palm-tree, dried, and their distinctive characters
traced with an iron style.... At the corner of every street you may see
the Gentoo-bearers gambling over chalked-out squares, with small stones
for men, and with wooden dice; or Coolies playing with cards of the
palm-leaf. Nay, in a pagoda under the very shadow of the idol, I have
seen Brahmins playing with regular packs of Chinese cards."--Sketches
of India: written by an Officer for Fireside Travellers at Home, pp. 68
and 100. Fourth edition, 1826.

[70] For the reference to the Ching-tsze-tung, and the explanation of
the passage relating to cards, I am indebted to Mr. S. Birch, of the
British Museum.

[71] "Second Mémoire sur les Relations politiques des Rois de France
avec les Empereurs Mongols," dans le Journal Asiatique, de Septembre,
1822, p. 62.



At what period Playing Cards first became known in Europe,--whether
as an original invention, or introduced from some other quarter of
the world,--has not yet been ascertained. From the silence, however,
of all authorities by whom we might expect to find them distinctly
named if they had been in common use, it may be fairly concluded,
that, though they possibly might be known to a few persons before the
year 1350, they did not begin to attract notice nor come into frequent
use till towards the latter end of the fourteenth century. Packs of
cards are distinctly mentioned by the name which they still retain in
France--_Jeux de Cartes_--in an entry made in his book of accounts,
about 1393, by Charles Poupart, treasurer of the household to Charles
VI of France. Considering, then, this entry as an established fact in
the history of cards, I shall now proceed to lay before the reader some
of the grounds and evidences on which it has been asserted that cards
were well known in Europe before that period.

Several writers of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, in
discussing the lawfulness of card-playing, gratuitously assuming that
the game was included under the general term _Alea_,[72] have spoken of
cards as if they had been known from time immemorial. The easy mode of
deriving _aliquid de aliquo_ by means of a comprehensive _genus_, is
of frequent use with those decisive characters who delight in settling
cases of conscience with a strong hand; and who, enveloped in the
dust of the Schools, lay vigorously about them, both right and left,
with weapons borrowed from "the old Horse Armoury of the Fathers,"
and re-ground, for present use, on the Decretals. He who can discover
cards, _implicitè_, as Olearius has it,[73] in St. Cyprian's tract, De
Aleatoribus, or in the injunctions against gaming in the canons of any
Council or Synod previous to 1390, will have no difficulty in finding
"Roulette" and "E or O," implied under the general term _Tabulæ_.
Having thus indicated the value of the hypothetic evidence in favour of
cards being known in early times,--because the game was subsequently
comprehended under a schoolman's definition of the term _Alea_,--it may
be left to pass for what it is worth.

Mons. Eloi Johanneau's proof that cards were known in the eleventh
century, from the testimony of Papias, previously noticed, neither
requires, nor indeed admits of serious refutation. If it could be shown
that the word _Naipe_ or _Naibe_ was ever used in Spain or Italy to
signify a painted cloth or a picture, before it was used to signify a
Playing Card, its affinity with _Nappe_ and _Mappa_ might be admitted
to be clearly established. John of Salisbury, who was born in the
early part of the twelfth century, says not a word in his work 'De
Nugis Curialium'--on the Trifling of Courtiers--which might indicate a
knowledge of cards, although one of the chapters is especially devoted
to an examination of the use and abuse of gaming.[74] Had cards formed
one of the common pastimes of the courtiers of his age, it is highly
probable that he would have mentioned them, by some name or other, so
as to distinguish them from the other games which he enumerates.

The 38th canon of the Council of Worcester, held in 1240, contains
the following prohibition: "Prohibemus etiam clericis, ne intersint
ludis inhonestis, vel choreis, vel ludant ad aleas vel taxillos; nec
sustineant ludos fieri de Rege et Regina, nec arietes levari, nec
palæstras publicas fieri:" that is, "We also forbid clergymen to join
in disreputable games or dancings, or to play at dice; neither shall
they allow games of King and Queen to be acted [fieri], nor permit
ram-raisings, nor public wrestlings."[75] Ducange, who quotes the
passage in his Latin Glossary, under the word Ludi, is inclined to
think that the game _de Rege et Regina_--King and Queen--might have
been the game of cards. There are not, however, any just grounds
for entertaining such an opinion. The conjecture seems to have been
suggested merely from the circumstance of there being a King and Queen
in the cards with which the writer was most familiar; but had he
known that no Queen is to be found in the earliest European cards, he
probably would not have made so bad a guess. Besides, looking at the
context, there can scarcely be a doubt that the _games_--not _game_--of
King and Queen were a kind of mumming exhibitions which the clergy
enjoyed as spectators, not as performers. Payments to minstrels and
mummers for their exhibitions for the amusement of the monks, and eke
of the lord Abbot himself, are not of unfrequent occurrence in the
account books of old monasteries. In the same clause, the clergy are
enjoined not to allow of ram-raisings nor public wrestlings--sports
in which they were as unlikely to appear as actors as in the games of
the King and Queen. What may have been meant by ram-raising--_arietes
levari_--the curious reader is left to find, if he can, in the pages of
Strutt and Fosbroke.

The next passage, supposed to relate to Playing Cards, which demands
attention, is that which occurs in the Wardrobe accounts of Edward I,
anno 1278, and which has been already quoted in the first chapter. It
appears necessary to give it here again, together with the Hon. Daines
Barrington's remarks on it, in the chronological order of evidences
adduced in favour of the antiquity of Card Playing in Europe. "The
earliest mention of cards that I have yet stumbled upon, is in Mr.
Anstis's 'History of the Garter' (vol. ii, p. 307), where he cites the
following passage from the Wardrobe rolls, in the sixth year of Edward
the First: 'Waltero Sturton ad opus regis ad ludendum ad _quatuor
Reges_, viii._s._ v._d._'; from which entry Mr. Anstis, with some
probability conjectures, that Playing Cards were not unknown at the
latter end of the thirteenth century; and perhaps what I shall add, may
carry with it some small confirmation of what he supposes."

The simple fact that the game of cards was known, both in France
and England, by the name of the Four Kings, long before we had any
special dissertations respecting its origin, is of more weight,
in corroboration of Anstis's supposition, than Mr. Barrington's
supplemental conjectures. The first question to be determined, is the
identity of the game of cards, and that of the Quatuor Reges; but,
without adducing the slightest evidence, he assumes the fact, and then
proceeds to speculate where Edward might have learnt the game. But even
admitting that cards were meant by the term _Quatuor Reges_, it is
just as likely that Edward learned the game from his Queen, Eleanor of
Castile, as that he learned it from the Saracens in the Holy Land; for,
admitting it to be of Eastern origin, and that Europeans first obtained
a knowledge of it from the Saracens, or a people of Arab race, it may
be fairly supposed that Spain would be one of the countries in which
cards would be earliest introduced. In the cards now in use in England,
there are certain peculiarities in the names of two of the suits, as
compared with the marks, which seem to intimate that we obtained our
first knowledge of the game from Spain, although subsequently we might
import our cards from France.

Seeing that chess was known in the East by a term signifying the Four
Kings, and that it was a favorite amusement with the higher classes
in Europe in the reign of Edward I, there can scarcely be a doubt that
this was the game to which Walter Sturton's entry relates. If cards
were indeed known in Europe in the early part of the reign of Edward
the First, the silence respecting them, of all contemporary writers,
for about a century afterwards, must be admitted as conclusive, though
negative, evidence of their not being in common use. Petrarch, though
he treats of gaming in one of his dialogues, never mentions them; and
though Boccacio and Chaucer notice various games at which both the
higher and lower classes of the period were accustomed to play, yet
there is not a single passage in the works of either, which can be
fairly construed to mean cards.

From the following passage, which occurs in a work on the 'Government
of a Family,' in manuscript, composed by Sandro di Pipozzi,[76] in
1299, it has been concluded by Breitkopf that cards were at that period
well known in Italy: "Se giucherà di denaro, o cosi, o alle _carte_,
gli apparecchieria la via, &c." Zani, however, opposes to the authority
of the manuscript, the negative evidence of Petrarch, who flourished
at a subsequent period, and who, he thinks, would not have failed to
have mentioned cards if they had then been known among the various
games which he enumerates in the first dialogue of his treatise 'De
Remediis utriusque Fortunæ.'[77] Mons. Duchesne also remarks, in his
'Observations sur les Cartes a jouer,' that, as the copy of Sandro di
Pipozzi's work, cited by Taraboschi, and examined by Zani, is not
of an earlier date than 1400, there is reason to believe that the
express mention of cards in it, was the interpolation of a transcriber.
That such interpolations were frequently made both by printers and
transcribers, will appear evident from the following observations on
several works, both printed and manuscript, which have been cited in
proof of the antiquity of card-playing in Europe.[78]

The Abbé Rive, who ascribes the invention of cards to Spain, endeavours
to show that they were known there in the early part of the fourteenth
century. The evidence of this is, according to his statement, to be
found in the Statutes of the military order of the Band, promulgated
by Alphonso, King of Castile, where there is a passage expressly
forbidding the members to play at cards. Whether cards are expressly
mentioned in any old Spanish manuscripts of the Statutes in question,
has not been ascertained; but of all the different editions, original
and translated, of Guevara's 'Golden Epistles,' the work from which
the Abbé Rive obtained his information, the first in which cards are
expressly named, is that of the French translation by Gutery, published
at Lyons in 1558.[79] As the word is not to be found in the original
Spanish editions, nor in the Italian translations made from them, there
cannot be a reasonable doubt of its being an interpolation of Gutery,
who probably thought that a general prohibition of gaming necessarily
included cards; and thus, "par conséquent," the Abbé Rive is furnished
with positive evidence that the game of cards was common in Spain in
1332. Another authority, referred to by the Abbé Rive in favour of the
antiquity of Spanish cards, is of the same kind. In a collection of the
'Laws of Spain,' printed in 1640, he finds the following passage in
an Ordonnance issued by John I, King of Castile, in 1387: "We command
and ordain that none of our subjects shall dare to play at dice or at
cards (_Naypes_) either in public or in private, and that whoever shall
so play, &c."[80] There can, however, be no doubt that the word cards
(Naypes) is an interpolation; for it is not to be found in the same
Ordonnance as given in the collection entitled 'Ordenanças Reales de
Castilla,' printed at Medina del Campo, 1541. In this earlier edition,
playing at dice and tables for money is indeed forbidden--"de jugar
juego de dados ni de tables, a dinero"--but cards are not mentioned.

Jansen, in his 'Essai sur l'Origine de la Gravure en Bois et en
Taille-douce,' cites the four following verses from the romance of
Renard le Contrefait, pointed out to him by the late Mons. Van Praet,
in evidence of cards being known in France at least as early as 1341,
the year in which the romance was finished:

    "Si comme fols et folles sont,
    Qui pour gagner, au bordel vont;
    Jouent aux dez, aux cartes, aux tables,
    Qui à Dieu ne sont délectables."

The manuscript containing the verses as they are here given is in the
Bibliothèque du Roi; but certainly it is not of earlier date than 1450;
while in another manuscript, of the same romance, apparently about a
hundred years older, also preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi, the
word "Cartes" is not to be found in the corresponding verse, which is
as follows:

    "Jouent à geux de dez ou de tables."

Meerman[81] imagined that he had discovered a positive date for the
early use of cards in France, in the work known as the Chronicle of
Petit-Jehan de Saintré, but which was, in fact, written by Antoine de
Lassale, in 1459.[82] Saintré had been one of the pages of Charles
V, and on his being appointed carver to the King on account of his
good conduct, the governor of the pages is represented as giving them
a lecture on their bad courses: "Observe your companion here, who,
through his good conduct, has acquired the favour of the King and
Queen, and of all; while you are dicers and card-players, keeping bad
company, and haunting taverns and cabarets."[83] The fact of the work
having been composed in 1459, however, renders it of no authority on
the question; and even if it had been written by Jehan Saintré himself,
there cannot be a doubt that the term "_Cartes_" is an interpolation.

The term "_joueux de cartes_," card-players, is indeed to be found in
the earliest printed editions of the work, and also in a manuscript
preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi; but then this manuscript does not
appear to be of an earlier date than the latter end of the fifteenth
century, and there is also reason to believe that it is the identical
manuscript from which the work was first printed. The word _Cartes_,
however, is not to be found in a manuscript copy of the work in the
library of the Sorbonne, nor in another in the library of St. Germains.
The latter is much older than either of the others. Mons. Duchesne says
that, in 1583, it belonged to Claude d'Expilly, and that these two
verses, which show that it was even then considered an old manuscript,
are written in the first folio:

    "Ce livre soit gardé, non tant pour sa beauté,
    Que pour le saint respect de son antiquité."

"From this examination," says Mons. Duchesne, "we may conclude that
the word _Cartes_ is an interpolation made by a transcriber a century
later: consequently it cannot be admitted as a proof that cards were
known in 1367."[84]

In an edition of William de Guilleville's allegorical poem, entitled
'Le Pelerinaige de l'Homme,'[85] printed at Paris by Verard in 1511,
the following verses, in which cards are named, were pointed out to me
by my friend Mr. N. Hill, of the Royal Society of Literature, to whom
I am greatly indebted for much curious and interesting information
relating to the Origin and History of Playing Cards.

At folio xlv, _a_, Oysivete tempts the pilgrim to quit the right
way by recounting to him the pleasures enjoyed by those who place
themselves under her guidance:

    "... Je meyne gens au bois,
    Et la leur fais-je veoir danseurs,
    Jeux de basteaulx et de jougleurs,
    Jeux de tables et déschiquiers,
    De boulles et mereilliers.
    De _cartes_, jeux de tricherie,
    Et de mainte autre muserie."

At folio lxxii, _a_, _Quartes_--for so the word is there spelled--is
noticed as a prohibited game:

    "Mains ieux qui sont denyez,
    Aux merelles, _quartes_, et dez," &c.

As there was reason to suspect that the word _Cartes_ or _Quartes_, in
the printed copies of De Guilleville's poem, was an interpolation, the
same as it was found to be in other works examined by M. Duchesne, M.
Paulin Paris, assistant-keeper of the manuscripts in the Bibliothèque
du Roi, was requested by a friend of Mr. Hill, to compare the printed
text with that of the earliest manuscript copies of the poem preserved
in the collection under his care. The result of the collation was
that the suspected words had been interpolated. The following is a
translation of a portion of M. Paulin Paris's letter on the subject.

"I have compared the verses of our MSS. of the Pilgrimage of Human Life
with the printed editions, and have found the latter very inexact.
Cards are neither named nor alluded to in the MSS.; and in them the
first passage, pointed out by your friend Mr. N. Hill, stands thus:

    Ja leur fais je veoir baleurs,
    Gieux de bastiaux et de jugleurs,
    De tables et de eschequiers,
    De boules et de mereliers,
    De dez et d'entregsterie,
    Et de mainte autre muserie.

  _MS._ 6988, fol. 44, _verso_.
  (No. 2), fol. 47, _verso_.

"The other passage referred to is, in both MSS. as follows:

    Tant l'aime que je en suis sote,
    Et que en pers souvent ma cote,
    A mains jeux qui sont devées,
    Aux merelles, tables, et dez."

As all the different interpolations referred to appear to have been
made in good faith,--not for the purpose of showing the antiquity of
card-playing, nor with any view of deceiving the reader, but merely to
supply what the transcriber, looking at the manners of his own age,
felt to be an omission,--they afford good grounds for concluding that,
at the time when the several works were first written, cards were not
a common game in either France or Spain; for, had they then been well
known in those countries, it is just as likely that they would have
been mentioned by the original writers as that they should have been
interpolated by later transcribers.


In an article on Cards, in the 'Magasin Pittoresque' for April, 1836,
an illustration is given, of which the annexed cut is a fac-simile.
The writer of the article says that it is exactly copied from a
miniature in a MS. of the _Cité de Dieu_, translated from St. Augustine
by Raoul de Presles, who began the translation in 1371, and finished it
in 1375. The writer, considering the MS. to be of the same date as the
translation, says that the miniature represents persons of distinction
of the reign of Charles V.[86] As he adduces, however, no evidence to
show that the MS. is of so early a date, his so-called demonstration
that cards were well known in 1375, is essentially defective; for,
in transcripts of books, nothing is more common than to find, in the
illustrations, things which were unknown when the works were first
written. The costume, indeed, appears more like that of persons of
distinction about the latter end of the reign of Charles VI, 1422, than
of the reign of Charles V, 1364-1380. From the kind of cards which the
parties are seen playing with, no safe conclusion can be drawn with
respect to the age of the manuscript; for it is not positively known
what kind of cards were chiefly used in France between 1392 and 1440.
But, whatever may be the date of the manuscript, it is evident that
numeral cards marked with "pips" and honours, similarly to those now in
common use, were known in France at the time when the drawing was made.

The following account of the introduction of cards into Viterbo, in
1379, previously referred to in Chapter I, is here given as it is
to be found in Leber's 'Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer.'
"Feliciano Bussi relates, in his 'History of Viterbo,'[87] a work but
little known, that in 1379, the epoch of the schism caused by the
opposition of the anti-pope Clement to Urban VI, the mercenary troops
of each party committed all manner of annoyances and spoliations in
the Roman States, and that a great number of cattle, which had been
stolen by the marauders, and driven to Viterbo for the provisionment
of that city, were there seized, and carried off in a moment. 'And
yet,' adds the historian, 'who could believe it! In this same year of
so much distress there was introduced into Viterbo the game of cards,
or, as I would say, playing cards, which previously were not in the
least known in that city;' the words of Covelluzzo, are, folio 28,
verso: 'In the year 1379, was brought into Viterbo the game of cards,
which comes from the country of the Saracens, and is with them called
_Naib_.'" As the introduction of cards into Viterbo is here directly
recorded as a historical fact, there can be little doubt, if the
passage in Covelluzzo be genuine, that cards were known to the Italian
condottieri in 1379. In the chronicle of Giovan Morelli, of the date
1393, _Naibi_ is mentioned as a kind of game; and, from the context, it
has been concluded that it was one at which children only played.[88]
At any rate it appears there as a game at which older people might play
without reproach. Long after cards were condemned by synods and civic
ordinances, as a game of hazard, grave writers allowed that sober,
decent people might enjoy the game provided that they played purely
for the sake of recreation, and not for the chance of winning their
neighbour's money.

Heineken quotes from the 'Güldin Spil,' a book written about the middle
of the fifteenth century by a Dominican friar, of the name of Ingold,
printed at Augsburg, by Gunther Zainer, in 1472, the following passage
relating to cards:[89] "Nun ist das Spil vol untrew; und, als ich
gelesen han, so ist es kommen in Teutschland der ersten in dem iar,
da man zalt von Crist geburt, tausend dreihundert iar." That is: "The
game is right deceitful; and, as I have read, was first brought into
Germany in the year 1300." The title of 'Güldin Spil,'--the Golden
Game,--appears to have been given to the work by the author, on account
of its being a kind of pious travesty of the principal games in vogue
in Germany at the period when he wrote: having given each game a moral
exposition, that which was formerly dross is converted into gold: the
"old man" is put off, and the reformed gambler, instead of idling away
his precious time at tric-trac, dice, or cards for beggarly groschen,
"goes" his whole soul at the 'Güldin Spil.'

That the author had read somewhere of cards having been first brought
into Germany in 1300, may be admitted without question; for to suppose
that he told an untruth, would require to be backed by a supplementary
conjecture as to his motives for falsifying,--a mode of eliciting
the "truth," in frequent use indeed with philosophic historians when
discussing questions of great import in the history of nations, but
not exactly suitable for determining a trifling fact in the history
of Playing Cards. Having admitted the good faith of the author of the
'Güldin Spil,' the next question that presents itself is, whether what
he had read about the introduction of cards into Germany was in itself
true; it is, however, unnecessary to discuss it here, for even if cards
were known in Germany at so early a period, there is no satisfactory
evidence of their having been common in that country until about a
century later.

Von Murr, who also cites from the 'Güldin Spil' the preceding passage
relating to cards, thinks that the epoch assigned, 1300, is at
least fifty years too early.[90] He, however, states that he found
cards--_Carten_--mentioned in an old book of bye-laws and regulations
of the city of Nuremberg, to which he assigns a date between 1380
and 1384. The word occurs in a bye-law relating to gaming--'_Vom
Spil_'--from the penalties of which the following games are, under
certain circumstances, excepted: "Horse-racing, shooting with
cross-bows, _cards_, shovel-board, tric-trac, and bowls, at which a
man may bet from two pence to a groat." Whether the date assigned by
Von Murr be correct or not, I am unable to determine. His reason for
concluding that it was between the years 1380 and 1384, is as follows:
"There is indeed no date to this bye-law, but it is written in the same
hand as a law relating to the Toll-houses before the New Gate; and at
folio 4 there is a precise date, namely the second day before Walpurg's
day, 1384." The reason is not a very good one; for, even admitting
the identity of the hand-writing in the ordinance relating to gaming,
and in the act of 1381 relating to the toll-houses, yet both might
have been copied into the book at a subsequent period. It is also to
be observed, that, according to Von Murr's own account, the date 1384
occurs in the fourth folio, while the ordinance in which cards are
mentioned, is in the _sixteenth_ folio. But though the date assigned
by Von Murr to the Nuremberg regulation, may be a few years too early,
there is good reason to believe that cards were well known in Germany
towards the conclusion of the fourteenth century. According to Mons.
Neubronner, administrator at Ulm, (about 1806,) there was in the
archives of that city an ancient parchment volume, called the Red Book,
on account of its red initial letters, which contained a prohibition
against Card Playing, dated 1397.[91]

Having now laid before the reader the principal authorities which have
been alleged by various writers,--whether for the purpose of showing
the antiquity of card-playing in Europe generally, or with the design
of supporting their own opinion as to the invention of cards in some
particular country--it is now time to enter on what may be termed the
positive history of cards, beginning from the year 1393.

Charles VI of France lost his reason in consequence of a
_coup-de-soleil_, in 1392; and during the remainder of his life
continued insane, though with occasional lucid intervals. In either the
same or in the following year, 1393, this entry occurs in the accounts
of his treasurer, Charles Poupart, or, as he is named by Monstrelet,
Charbot Poupart: "Given to Jacquemin Gringonneur, painter, for three
packs of cards, gilt and coloured, and variously ornamented, for the
amusement of the king, fifty-six sols of Paris."[92] Menestrier, who
was the first to point out this passage, concluded from it that the
game of cards was then first invented by Gringonneur for the purpose of
diverting the king's melancholy; and his account of the invention long
passed as authentic in the politely learned world. That the game of
cards was invented by Gringonneur is in the highest degree improbable;
for the general tenor of the passage in which they are named by Poupart
implies that the game was then already known, though from the notice
of the gilding and colouring of the cards, it may be supposed that
Gringonneur had a special order for them, and that they were not then
in general use.

"If," says Piegnot, "Père Menestrier had paid attention to the manner
in which the passage is drawn up, he would have perceived that
the expression 'for three packs of cards,'--'_pour trois jeux de
cartes_'--clearly announces, from its very simplicity, that cards were
already known, and that their invention was of a much earlier date. The
writer would not have mentioned so simply a collection of figures, just
conceived and painted by Gringonneur on small pieces of paper, and very
remarkable, as well from their symmetry and regularity, as from the
characters represented on them."[93]

The Hon. Daines Barrington, in his 'Observations on the Antiquity
of Playing Cards in England,' doubts if Poupart's entry actually
relates to Playing Cards. He is of opinion that the words "_trois jeux
de cartes_" mean three sets of illuminations upon paper, "_carte_
originally signifying nothing more." If Mr. Barrington had produced
any authority to show that, either in the time of Charles VI, or at
any other period, "un _jeu_ de cartes" was used to signify a set of
illuminations, or that the term ever signified anything else than a
pack, or a game, of cards, his doubt would not have had so much the
appearance of a starved conceit.

Though in 1393 cards might have been but little known and seldom played
at, except by the higher classes, the game in a short time appears to
have become common; for in an edict of the provost of Paris, dated 22d
of January, 1397, working people are forbid to play at tennis, bowls,
dice, _cards_, or nine-pins, on working days. From the omission of
cards in an ordonnance of Charles V, dated 1369, forbidding certain
games and addressed to all the seneschals, baillies, provosts, and
other officers of the kingdom, it may be safely concluded that if cards
were known in France in 1369, the game was by no means so common as in
1397. Duchesne indeed says that it is between 1369 and 1397, a period
of twenty-eight years, that the invention of Playing Cards, or at least
their introduction into France, ought to be placed.

Cards having been presented at the court of France for the amusement of
the king, and prohibited in the city of Paris, either as too good or
too bad for the amusement of working people, appear forthwith to have
become fashionable; but, besides the recommendations alluded to, the
game possesses charms of its own which could scarcely fail to render
it a favorite with gamesters of all classes, as soon as its principles
should be known.[94] To ladies and gentlemen who might play, merely
as a relaxation from the more serious business of hunting and hawking,
dressing and dining, no game could be more fascinating; while to those
who might play for gain, what other game could be more tempting? The
great infirmity of human nature, with the noble as well as the ignoble,
as old stories plainly show, is the too eager desire to obtain money,
or money's worth, in a short time and at little cost; and, hence, to
risk a certain sum on the chance of obtaining a greater, whether at
dice, cards, state lotteries, or art-union little-goes: in the latter,
indeed, under the prudent direction of what may be called "handicap"
legislators,--from their always coming out strong towards the end of
the session, like the beaten horses for a handicap at the end of a race
week,--the spirit of gaming is refined, and made subservient to the
purposes of pure charity and the promotion of the fine arts. He who
devised the game of cards, as now usually played, appears to have had a
thorough perception of at least two of the weak points of human nature;
for next to man's trust in his "luck," in all games of chance, is his
confidence in himself in all games of skill. The shuffling, cutting,
and dealing at cards, together with the chance afforded by the turn-up
of the trump, place the novice, in his own conceit, on a par with the
experienced gamester; who, on the other hand, is apt to underrate his
opponent's chance, from his over-confidence in his own skill.

During the middle ages, the clergy, notwithstanding their vows and
their pretensions to superior sanctity, appear to have been not
a whit more exempt from the weaknesses of human nature than the
unsanctified laity; nay, from the history of the times, it would
seem that their vows rendered them not only more susceptible of
temptation, but more likely to fall. Their preaching pointed one way,
and their lives another; and hence the old proverb, "Mind what the
friar _says_, not what he _does_." The vices of the times are indeed
written in the canons of synods and councils, and in the penitentials
of bishops directed against the immoralities of the clergy; and from
the experience of the past, thus recorded, we have ample proof that
clerical vows are not always a certain charm against secular vices.
After cards were once fairly introduced, it would appear that the
clergy were not long in "cutting in;" for, according to Dr. J. B.
Thiers, they were expressly forbid to play at cards, by the synod of
Langres, 1404.[95]

Menestrier refers to the statutes of Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy, 1430,
forbidding all kinds of gaming for money within his territories, though
his subjects are allowed to amuse themselves at certain games, provided
they play only for meat and drink.[96] "With respect to cards, they
are forbidden; nevertheless, they are allowed to women, with whom men
may also play, provided that they play only for pins,"--"dum ludus fiat
tantum cum spinulis." In this passage a jurist would not construe the
word "spinulis"--pins--literally, but would take it to mean any small
articles of pins' worth. In France, about 1580, the douceur given by
a guest to a waiter at an inn was called "his pins"--"épingles;"[97]
and the proverbial phrase, "Tirer son épingle du jeu," seems to allude
rather to "pin-stakes," than to the game of "push-pin."

Early in the fifteenth century, card-making appears to have become
a regular trade in Germany, and there is reason to believe that
it was not of much later date in Italy. In 1418 the name of a
card-maker--"_Kartenmacher_,"--occurs in the burgess-books of Augsburg.
In an old rate-book of the city of Nuremberg, the name "_Ell.
Kartenmacherin_" occurs under the year 1433; and in the same book under
the year 1435, the name "_Elis. Kartenmacherin_," probably the same
person. In the year 1438 the name "_Margret Kartenmalerin_" occurs.[98]
From those records it would appear that the earliest card-makers and
card-painters of Nuremberg were women; and that cards were known in
Germany by the name of "Karten" before they acquired the name of
"Briefe." Heineken, however, maintains that they were first known in
Germany by the latter name; for as he claimed the invention for his
countrymen, the fact of the name being derived either from the French
or Italian was adverse to his theory.

Nuremberg, Augsburg, and Ulm appear to have been the chief towns in
Germany for the manufacture of cards about the middle of the fifteenth
century; and, from the following passage, cited by Heineken from a
manuscript chronicle of the city of Ulm, ending at 1474, it would
appear that the German manufacturers, besides supplying the home
market did also a large export business: "Playing cards were sent in
small casks [_leglenweiss_] into Italy, Sicily, and also over sea,
and bartered for spices and other wares."[99] It was probably against
the German card-makers and painter-stainers that the magistracy
of Venice issued an order in 1441, forbidding the introduction of
foreign manufactured and printed coloured figures into the city
under the penalty of forfeiting such articles, and being fined xxx
liv. xii soldi. This order appears to have been made in consequence
of a petition from the fellowship of painters at Venice, wherein
they had set forth that "the art and mystery of card-making and of
printing figures, which were practised in Venice, had fallen into
total decay through the great quantity of foreign playing cards, and
coloured printed figures which were brought into the city."[100] The
magistrates' order, in which this passage occurs as the preamble,
was discovered by an Italian architect, of the name of Temanza, in an
old book of rules and orders belonging to the company or fellowship
of Venetian painters. Temanza sent an account of his discovery to
Count Algarotti, who published it in the fifth volume of his 'Lettere

As it has been assumed that the earliest professional card-makers
were wood-engravers, and that the engraving of cards on wood led
to the execution of other figures, it appears necessary to trace
the Briefmaler's progress, and to show how he came to be identified
with the "wood-engraver in general." That the early card-makers or
card-painters of Ulm, Nuremberg, and Augsburg, from about 1418 to 1450,
were also wood-engravers, is founded entirely on the assumption that
the cards of that period were engraved on wood, and that those who
manufactured them, both engraved and coloured the figures. It is not,
however, certain that the figures of the earliest cards, not drawn by
hand, were engraved on wood; in the oldest cards, indeed, which I have
had an opportunity of examining, and which appear to be of as early a
date as the year 1440, it is evident that the figures were executed
by means of a stencil.[101] From the circumstance of so many women
occurring as card-painters in the town books of Nuremberg between 1433
and 1477, there appears reason to conclude that they, at least, were
not wood-engravers.

The name of a wood-engraver proper--_Formschneider_--first occurs in
the town-books of Nuremberg, under the year 1449; and as for twenty
years subsequently, it frequently occurs on the same page with that of
a card-painter--_Kartenmaler_--there cannot be a doubt that there was
a distinction between the professions, although, like the barbers and
surgeons of former times, they both belonged to the same fellowship or

A few years subsequent to the _Formschneider_, the _Briefmaler_ occurs;
but though his designation has the same literal meaning as that of
the _Kartenmaler_, yet his business seems to have been more general,
including both that of the card-painter and wood-engraver. About 1470
we find the _Briefmalers_ not only employed in executing figures, but
also in engraving the text of block-books; and about the end of the
fifteenth century the term seems to have been generally synonymous with
that of _Formschneider_. Subsequently the latter term prevailed as the
proper designation of a wood-engraver, while that of _Briefmaler_ was
more especially applied, like that of the original _Kartenmaler_, to
designate a person who coloured cards and other figures.[102]

Though we have positive evidence that, about the year 1470, the
_Briefmaler_ was a wood-engraver as well as a colourer of cards; and
though it be highly probable that the outlines of the figures on cards
were then engraved on wood, and that, from this circumstance, the
_Briefmaler_ became also a wood-engraver, yet we have no proof that
the earliest wood-engravers in Europe were the card-makers. Von Murr
indeed confidently affirms "that card-makers and card-painters were
known in Germany eighty years before the invention of typography,
and that the card-makers were at first properly wood-engravers, but
that, after the art of wood-engraving was applied to the execution of
sacred subjects, a distinction was made."[103] He who can thus persuade
himself that the germ of wood-engraving in Europe is to be found in
cards, will doubtless feel great pleasure in tracing its interesting
development; the first term, cards engraved on wood, being assumed, we
then have figures of saints with their names, or short explanations,
engraved on wood; next block-books consisting of sacred subjects with
copious explanatory text; and lastly typography and the press: "ce
n'est que le premier pas qui coute."[104]

At what period the art of wood-engraving was first introduced in
Europe, or in what country it was first practised, has not been
precisely ascertained. Not the slightest allusion is made to its
productions by any writers of the fourteenth century; and the earliest
authentic date that has hitherto been observed on any wood-engraving,
is 1423. A wood-engraving said to contain the date 1418 was indeed
discovered at Malines in 1844, pasted in the inside of an old
chest; but as the numerals have evidently been repaired by means of
a black-lead pencil, both the genuineness and the authenticity of
the date have been very justly questioned. The person by whom it was
found, the keeper of a little public-house, almost immediately sold it
to an architect named De Noter, of whom it was purchased by the Baron
de Reiffenberg, for the Royal Library of Brussels, of which he is the
conservator, and where it is now preserved.[105]

Before this discovery, the earliest wood-engraving with a date, was
the St. Christopher, in Earl Spencer's collection, in which the date
1423, partly in words and partly in numerals--"_Millesimo cccc^o xx^o
tercio_"--is seen engraved in the same manner as the other parts of
the subject. The first person who published an account of the St.
Christopher, was Heineken. When he first saw it, it was pasted on the
inside of the cover of a manuscript volume in the library of Buxheim,
near Memmingen in Suabia, within fifty miles of Augsburg, a city
which appears to have been the abode of wood-engravers almost from
the very commencement of the art in Europe, and in which we find a
card-maker so early as 1418. On the inside of the cover, Heineken also
observed another cut, of the annunciation, of the same size as the St.
Christopher, and apparently executed about the same time. The volume
within whose covers those cuts were pasted, was bequeathed to the
convent by Anna, canoness of Buchaw, who was living in 1427, but who
probably died previous to 1435. The Annunciation, as well as the St.
Christopher, is now in the possession of Earl Spencer.

From the time of their first introduction, woodcuts of sacred subjects
appear to have been known in Suabia and the adjacent districts by the
name of _Helgen_ or _Helglein_, a corruption of _Heiligen_, saints; and
in course of time this word also came to signify prints or woodcuts
generally. It would seem that originally the productions of the
wood-engraver were considered as imperfect till they were coloured; and
as the St. Christopher, the Annunciation, and others of an early date,
appear to have been coloured by means of a stencil, there is reason to
conclude that most of the "Helgen" of the same period were coloured in
the same manner. In France the same kind of cuts, probably coloured
in the same manner, were called "_Dominos_,"--a name which of itself
indicates the affinity of the subjects with those of the _Helgen_.
Subsequently, the word "Domino" was used to signify coloured or marbled
paper generally; and the makers of such paper, as well as the engravers
and colourers of woodcuts, were called _Dominotiers_.

Though we cannot reasonably suppose that the cut of St. Christopher,
with the date 1423, was the very first of its kind, there is yet reason
to believe that the art of wood-engraving was then but little known.
As the earliest woodcuts are observed to be coloured by means of a
stencil, it would seem that at the time when wood-engraving was first
introduced, the art of depicting and colouring figures by means of a
stencil was already well known; but as there are no cards engraved
on wood to which so early a date as 1423 can be fairly assigned, and
as at that period there were professional card-makers established
at Augsburg, it would appear that wood-engraving was employed on the
execution of "_Helgen_" before it was applied to cards, and that there
were stencilled cards before there were wood-engravings of saints.
Though this conclusion be not exactly in accordance with an opinion
which I have expressed in another work,[106] it is yet that which, on a
further investigation of the subject, appears to be best supported by
facts, and most strongly corroborated by the incidental notices which
we have of the progress of the Briefmaler or card-painter from his
original profession to that of a wood-engraver in general.

[Illustration: Old Stencilled Cards in the British Museum. No. 1 (p.

[Illustration: Old Stencilled Cards in the British Museum. No. 2 (p.

The annexed cuts are fac-similes of some of the old cards to which I
have alluded at page 83. The originals are preserved in the print-room
of the British Museum; and from a repeated examination of them, I am
convinced that they have been depicted by means of a stencil, and not
printed nor "rubbed off" from wood blocks. They are not coloured,
nor cut into single cards; but appear just as they are shown in the
fac-similes. They formed part of the covers or "boards" of an old book,
and were sold to the British Museum by Mr. D. Colnaghi. Looking at the
marks of the suits in those cards, the character of the figures, and
the manner in which they are executed, I should say that they are not
of a later date than 1440. Though cards of only three suits occur,
namely, Hearts, Bells, and Acorns, there can be little doubt that
the fourth suit was Leaves, as in the pack described by Mr. Gough, in
the eighth volume of the 'Archæologia.' As in Mr. Gough's cards, so
in these, there is no Queen; though, like them, there appears to have
been three "coat" cards in each suit, namely, a King, a Knight, or
Superior Officer, and a Knave, or Servant; in other words, King, Jack,
and Jack's Man. The lower cards, as in Mr. Gough's pack, appear to have
been numbered by their "pips" from two to ten, without any ace.

That those cards were depicted by means of a stencil is evident from
the feebleness and irregularity of the lines, as well as from the
numerous breaks in them, which, in many instances, show where a white
isolated space was connected with other blank parts of the stencil. The
separation seen in the heads of the figures in No. 1 of the fac-similes
here given, would appear to have been occasioned by the stencil either
breaking or slipping while the operator was passing the brush over it.
From the costume of the figures in these cards, I am inclined to think
that they are the production of a Venetian card-maker. A lion, the
emblem of St. Mark, the patron saint of Venice, and a distinctive badge
of the city, appears, as in the annexed cut, in the suit of Bells; and
a similar figure, with part of a mutilated inscription, also occurs in
the suit of Acorns.


Card-playing appears to have been a common amusement with the citizens
of Bologna, about 1423. In that year St. Bernardin of Sienna, who died
in 1444, and was canonized in 1450, preaching on the steps in front of
the church of St. Petronius, described so forcibly the evils of gaming
in general, and of Card-playing in particular, to which the Bolognese
were much addicted, that his hearers made a fire in the public place
and threw their cards into it. A card-maker who was present, and
who had heard the denunciations of the preacher, not only against
gamesters, but against all who either supplied them with cards or dice,
or in any manner countenanced them, is said to have thus addressed him,
in great affliction of mind.[107] "I have not learned, father, any
other business than that of painting cards; and if you deprive me of
that, you deprive me of life, and my destitute family of the means of
earning a subsistence." To this appeal the Saint cheerfully replied:
"If you do not know what to paint, paint this figure, and you will
never have cause to regret having done so." Thus saying, he took a
tablet and drew on it the figure of a radiant sun, with the name of
Jesus indicated in the centre by the monogram I.H.S. The card-painter
followed the saint's advice; and so numerous were the purchasers of
the reformed productions of his art, that he soon became rich. In the
Bibliothèque du Roi at Paris, there is an old woodcut of St. Bernardin,
with the date 1454, which has been supposed to have been engraved
with reference to this anecdote, as the saint is seen holding in his
right hand the symbol which he recommended the card-maker to paint. A
fac-simile of this figure of St. Bernardin is given in the 'Illustrated
London News,' of the 20th of April, 1844, and reprinted in a work
recently published, entitled 'The History and Art of Wood Engraving.'

John Capistran, a disciple of St. Bernardin, and also a Franciscan
friar, followed the example of his master in preaching against gaming;
and his exhortations appear to have been attended with no less success.
In 1452, when on a mission to Germany, he preached for three hours at
Nuremberg, in Latin, against luxury and gaming; and his discourse,
which was interpreted by one of his followers, produced so great an
effect on the audience, that there were brought into the market-place
and burnt, 76 jaunting sledges, 3640 backgammon boards, 40,000 dice,
and cards innumerable. Under an old portrait of Capistran, engraved on
wood by Hans Schaufflein, there is an inscription commemorating the
effects of his preaching as above related.[108]


[72] "Aleæ nomen quamvis pro omni ludo, qui in varietate fortunæ
consistat, sumi queat juxta sententiam, vel opinionem aliquot
scriptorum; quorum è numero est Joannes Azorius in tertia parte
Institutionum Moralium, dicens: 'Aleæ ludus comprehendit Ludum
Chartarum Lusoriarum, Taxillorum, Tabularum, et Sortium.' Propriè
tamen, ut ait Jacobus Spiegelius, accipi solet pro Tesseris, quæ Tali
etiam, vel Taxilli, et vulgò Dadi vocitantur: Tesseræ autem, Tali, vel
Taxilli, et Cubi, vel Dadi, sunt idem, diversi vero quantum ad numerum
laterum et punctorum.... Non desunt alii, qui Aleæ nomen pro Chartis
Lusoriis passim intelligendum esse velint, ut Polydorus Virgilius, et
alii scribunt."--Commentarius contra Ludum Alearum, Chartarum scilicet
ac Taxillorum; a Fratre Angelo Roccha, Episcopo Tagastensi, p. 2, 4to.
Romæ, 1616.

[73] "_Bishop of Bamberg._ What do you say is the name of the emperor
who wrote your _Corpus Juris_?

_Olearius._ Justinian.

_Bishop._ A clever prince!--I drink to his memory. It must be a grand

_Olearius._ It may indeed be styled the book of books: a collection of
all laws, ready for the decision of every case; and whatever is now
obsolete or doubtful is expounded by the comments with which the most
learned men have enriched this most admirable work.

_Bishop._ A collection of all laws! The deuce!--Then the Ten
Commandments are there?

_Olearius._ _Implicitè_, they are; _explicitè_, not.

_Bishop._ That is just what I mean;--there they are, plainly and
simply, with out explication."--_Götz von Berlichingen_, a Play, by
Goethe, act i.

[74] John of Salisbury--Joannes Saresberiensis--was born in England
about 1110. He went to France when he was about seventeen years old,
and remained in that country several years. He subsequently visited
Rome in a public capacity. On his return to England, he became the
chaplain and acquired the friendship of Thomas à Becket. After the
murder of à Becket--of which he was an eye-witness--he withdrew to
France, in order to shun the hostility of his patron's enemies. From
his attachment to à Becket, no less than from his reputation as a
learned and pious man, he was elected Bishop of Chartres, where he died
in 1182. The work by which he is principally known is that referred to
in the text. The general title of it is, 'Policraticus sive de Nugis
Curialium, et Vestigiis Philosophorum, libri octo.' The chapter on
gaming, "De Alea, et usu et abusu illius," is the fifth of the first
book. Edit. Leyden, 1639.

[75] Archæologia, vol. viii, 1787.

[76] Mons. Leber, in his Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer,
remarks that Singer refers to this author as _Pipozzi di Sandro_, and
that the name thus transposed has been copied by other writers on the
subject of cards. It is, however, to be observed that Breitkopf twice
gives the name in the same manner as Singer.

[77] Materiali per servire alla Storia dell' Origine et de' Progressi
dell' Incizioni in rame, in legno, &c. p. 159. 8vo. Parma, 1802.

[78] Those observations have been chiefly derived from Mons. Duchesne's
paper on cards above referred to, and from a letter written by Mons.
Paulin Paris, assistant keeper of the MSS. in the Bibliothèque du Roi,
in answer to certain queries submitted to him through a friend of the

[79] The original Spanish edition of Guevara's Epistles was printed
at Valladolid in 1539, and the work was several times reprinted in
Spain and in Flanders. The letters were also translated into Italian
and French; and several editions were published before the year 1600.
There is an English translation by Geffery Fenton, 1582; and another by
Edward Hellowes, 1584.

[80] "Mandamos y ordenamos q̄ ningunos de los de nuestros reynos,
seā osados de jugar dados ni naypes, en publico ne en escōdido,
y qualquier q̄ los jugare," &c.--Recopilacion de las Leyes destos
Regnos, &c. Edit. 1640.

[81] Meerman, Origines Typographicæ, vol. i, p. 222. Edit. 1765.

[82] "Tout le monde sait que ce charmant ouvrage a été composé en
1459 par Antoine de Lassalle."--Duchesne, Précis Historique sur les
Cartes à jouer, p. 5, prefixed to the 'Jeux de Cartes Tarots,' &c.
Mons. Duchesne himself does not appear to have known "what all the
world knows" when he wrote his 'Observations sur les Cartes à jouer,'
printed in the Annuaire Historique, 1837; for he there seems to admit
that the work was composed by a person who lived at the period to which
it relates, and refers to two manuscripts in which the word "cartes"
is not to be found. He says that a third manuscript, which contains
it, appears to have been transcribed about the end of the fifteenth
century, but does not inform the reader that the work itself is a mere
romance, written in 1459.

[83] "Veez ci vostre compaignon qui, pour estre tel, a acquis la grace
du Roy et de la Royne et de tous, et vous qui estes noiseux et _joueux
de cartes_ et de dez, et sieuvés deshonnestes gens, taverniers, et

[84] Peignot considers the passages in which Cards are mentioned
genuine, both in the Chronicle of Petit-Jehan de Saintré and in the
romance of Renard le Contrefait. He had taken the passages just as
he found them in Meerman and Jansen, and made no further inquiry.
Saint-Foix appears to have been the first person in France who pointed
out the passage relating to cards in the Chronicle of Petit-Jehan de
Saintré. See Peignot's Recherches sur les Danses des Morts, et sur
l'Origine des Cartes à jouer, pp. 211-262, 315.

[85] This work was composed about 1330.

[86] "... Voici une démonstration concluante: c'est le _fac-simile_
d'une miniature du manuscrit de la traduction de la _Cité de Dieu_ de
Saint Augustin, par Raoul de Presles, qui le termina en 1375. Cette
miniature représente des personnages de distinction du règne de Charles
V, débout autour une table ronde et jouant aux cartes. Nous devons
cette miniature à l'obligeance de M. le Comte H. de Viel-Castel, qui
nous l'a communiquée, ainsi que d'autres documens qu'il avait réunis
sur les cartes. Le manuscrit d'où on a tiré la miniature, achevé en
1375, avait été commencé en 1371."--Magasin Pittoresque, Quatrième
Année, Avril, 1836, p. 131.

[87] Istoria della Citta di Viterbo, p. 213. Folio, Roma, 1742.

[88] "Non giuocare a zara, nè ad altro giuoco di dadi, fa de' giuochi
che usano i fanciulli; agli aliossi, alla trottola, a' ferri, a'
_Naibi_, a' coderone, e simili,"--Cronica di Giovan. Morelli, in
Malespini's Istoria Fiorentina, p. 270. 4to, Florence, 1728.

[89] Idée Générale d'une Collection complète d'Estampes, p. 240.

[90] C. G. von Murr, Journal zur Kunstgeschichte, 2ter Theil, s. 98.
8vo, Nuremberg, 1776.

[91] Jansen, Essai sur l'Origine de la Gravure en Bois, &c., quoted by
Peignot, p. 256.

[92] "Donné à Jacquemin Gringonneur, peintre, pour trois jeux de
cartes à or et à diverses couleurs, ornés de plusieurs devises, pour
porter devers le Seigneur Roi, pour son ébatement, cinquante-six sols
parisis."--Menestrier, Bibliothèque curieuse et instructive, tom.
ii, pp. 168-94. 12mo, Trévoux, 1704. According to Barrois, the name
_Gringonneur_ signified a maker of _Grangons_. "Ce nom a fait prendre
le change; il signifie faiseur de grangons. 'Grangium _Grangons_ certus
tesserarum ludus.' Voir Glossarium de Ducange, Supplément, t. ii,
col. 651. Les premières cartes se vendaient à Paris, chez Jacquemin,
gringoneur, fabricant de dés, parce que les dés et les cartes
s'employaient simultanément. (Voir Miniature de notre cabinet dans
l'Abusé en Court, manuscrit de XV^e siècle.) D'où dégringoler, rouler
en sautillant comme les dés."--Elémens Carlovingiens, linguistiques et
littéraires, p. 265. 4to, Paris, 1846.

[93] The following "shrewd reply," which owes its point to Menestrier's
account of the invention of cards, appeared in a weekly journal about
three years ago. "Sir Walter Scott says, that the alleged origin of
the invention of cards produced one of the shrewdest replies he had
ever heard given in evidence. It was made by the late Dr. Gregory, at
Edinburgh, to a counsel of great eminence at the Scottish bar. The
doctor's testimony went to prove the insanity of the party whose mental
capacity was the point at issue. On a cross-interrogation he admitted
that the person in question played admirably at whist. 'And do you
seriously say, doctor,' said the learned counsel, 'that a person having
a superior capacity for a game so difficult, and which requires, in a
pre-eminent degree, memory, judgment, and combination, can be at the
same time deranged in his understanding?' 'I am no card-player,' said
the doctor, with great address, 'but I have read in history that cards
were invented for the amusement of an insane king.' The consequences of
this reply were decisive."

[94] About the beginning of the fifteenth century the passion for
gaming appears to have been very prevalent in France; and persons
who were addicted to it endeavoured to guard themselves from its
fascinations by voluntary bonds, with a penalty in case of infraction.
The following account of a bond of this kind is extracted from the
Memoirs of the Academy of Dijon for 1828. "Mons. Baudot a trouvé
deux actes de ce genre, qui méritent d'être conservés à cause de
leur singularité. Le premier est tiré du protocole de Jehan Lebon,
notaire, et de ses clercs Jehan Bizot, Guyot Bizot de Charmes, et
Jehan Gros. On y lit qu'en 1407, il y eut convention de ne pas jouer
pendant une année, entre Jehan Violier de Vollexon, boucher, à Dijon;
Guillaume Garni, boucher, Huguenin de Grancey, tournestier (employé
aux tournois), Vivien le Picardet, pâtissier, et Gorant de Barefort,
coustellier, tous de Dijon, à peine de deux francs d'or au profit de
ceux qui n'auront pas joué, et de deux francs d'or à lever par le
Procureur de la Ville et Commune de Dijon, au profit de la Ville."--The
second was a similar engagement, in the year 1505.

[95] Thiers, referring to the Synod of Langres of 1404, Tit. de
Ludibus prohibitis, thus gives the prohibition: "Nous défendons
expressement aux Ecclesiastiques, principalement à ceux qui sont
dans les saints ordres, et sur tout aux prêtres et aux curés, de
jouer aux dez, au triquetrac, ou aux cartes."--Traité des Jeux et des
Divertissemens, par M. Jean Baptiste Thiers, Docteur en Théologie,
p. 193. 12mo, Paris, 1686. Though this synod is also referred to by
Menestrier, Bullet, and others, it is overlooked by Mons. Duchesne,
who, speaking of the prohibition of cards to the clergy, says, "C'est
seulement au synode de Bamberg, in 1491, qu'au titre xvi on trouve la
défense: 'Ludosque taxillorum et chartarum, et his similes, in locis
publicis.'"--Observations sur les Cartes à jouer, dans l'Annuaire
Historique, pour l'année 1837, p. 176.

[96] Peignot, who affects great precision in dates and names, says that
the Statuta Sabaudiæ were "publiées en 1470 par Amédée VIII, Duc de
Savoie." Amadeus VIII, the amateur hermit--who was elected Pope by the
Council of Basle in 1439, and who took the name of Pope Felix V--died
in 1451.

[97] "Donnez nous du linge blanc. Faictes que nons ayons des linceux
blancs, et vous aures demain voz espingles."--J. T. Fregii Pædagogus,
p. 112. Basle, 1582.

[98] Von Murr, Journal zur Kunstgeschichte, 2er Theil, s. 121, 122.

[99] Heineken, in his French version of this passage, in the Idée
Générale, erroneously translates the word _leglenweiss_, "en ballots."
In his Neue Nachrichten, however, he gives the correct explanation,
"das ist, in kleinen Fassern"--"that is, in small casks." Though the
word Lägel, a barrel, is obsolete in Germany, yet its diminutive,
"leglin,"--as if Lägelin--is still used in Scotland for the name of the
ewe-milker's kit. It is needless to cite the work from which I copy
this bit of information, as the author, I am sure, will not find any
fault with me for any liberties that I may take.

[100] "Conscioscia che l'arte e mestier delle carte e figure stampide,
che se fano in Venesia è vegnudo a total deffaction, e questo sia per
la gran quantità de carte a zugur e figure depente stampide, le qual
vien fate de fuora de Venezia."--Algarotti, Lettere Pittoriche, tom. v,
p. 320.

[101] A stencil is a thin piece of pasteboard, parchment, or metal,
in which the outlines and general forms of any figures are _cut out_,
for the purpose of being "stencilled" on cards, paper, pasteboard,
plastered walls, &c. The operation is performed by passing over the
stencil a brush charged with colour, which entering into the _cut out_
lines imparts the figure to the material beneath.

[102] In a work entitled "ΠΑΝΟΠΛΙΑ omnium illiberalium mechanicarum
aut sedentariarum artium," &c., with cuts designed by Jost Amman, and
descriptions in Latin verse by Hartman Schopper, Frankfort, 1568,
there is a cut of a _Briefmaler_, and another of a _Formschneider_;
the former appears to be colouring certain figures by means of a
stencil; while the latter appears to be engraving on wood. There are
also editions of the work, with the descriptions in German verse by
Hans Sachs, the celebrated Meistersänger and shoemaker of Nuremberg.
Though it appears evident that at the time of the publication of this
work the business of a _Briefmaler_ was considered as distinct from
that of a _Formschneider_, there is yet reason to believe that the
old Briefmalers still continued both to engrave and print woodcuts.
On several large cuts with the dates 1553 and 1554, we find the words
"Gedrukt zu Nürnberg durch Hanns Glaser, Brieffmaler."

[103] "Kartenmacher, und Kartenmaler, oder wie sie später (1473)
hiessen, Briefmaler, sind schon in Deutschland 80 Jahre vor der
Erfindung der Buchdruckerkunst gewesen. Die Kartenmacher waren anfangs
die eigentlichen Formschneider, ehe man geistliche Figuren schnitt, da
sie dann in der Folge der Zeit eine besondere Innung ausmachten."--Von
Murr, Journal zur Kunstgeschichte, 2er Theil, s. 89.

[104] "L'homme le plus versé dans la connaissance des premiers produits
de la xylographie, le Baron de Heineken, était intérieurement persuadé
que la première empreinte tirée sur un ais grossièrement sculpté, qui
parut en Europe, _était une carte_. Dans son opinion, que nous croyons
bien fondée, la gravure des cartes à jouer conduisit à celle des images
de Saints, qui donna l'idée de la gravure des inscriptions ou légendes,
d'où naquit l'imprimerie.--Ainsi, une carte aurait produit la presse!
Quelle mère et quelle postérité!"--Leber, Etudes Historiques sur les
Cartes à jouer, p. 3.

[105] The subject of this cut is the Virgin with the infant Jesus in
her arms, surrounded by four female saints, namely, St. Catherine, St.
Barbara, St. Dorothy, and St. Margaret. A fac-simile of it is given in
the Athenæum for the 4th October, 1845. The Baron de Reiffenberg, who
published a particular account of the cut, and of the circumstances of
its discovery, entertains no doubt of the authenticity of the date;
and considers that the costume of the figures and the general style
of drawing are in perfect accordance with the period. Another writer,
however, questions the authenticity of the date, which he says has been
retouched with a black-lead pencil; and, from the costume, he concludes
that it is not of an earlier date than 1468. He supposes that the
numeral l may have been omitted before xviii in the date, which in the
fac-simile of the cut stands thus: mcccc · xviii.--See Quelques
Mots sur la Gravure au Millésime de 1418, par C. D. B. 4to, Brussels,

[106] "It has been conjectured that the art of wood-engraving was
employed on sacred subjects, such as the figures of saints and holy
persons, before it was applied to the multiplication of those 'books
of Satan,' playing cards. It, however, seems not unlikely that it
was first employed in the manufacture of cards; and that the monks,
availing themselves of the same principle, shortly afterwards employed
the art of wood-engraving for the purpose of circulating the figures
of saints; thus endeavouring to supply a remedy for the evil, and
extracting from the serpent a cure for his bite."--A Treatise on Wood
Engraving, Historical and Practical, p. 58. Published by Charles Knight
and Co. London, 1839.

[107] Father Tommaso Buoninsegni, in his 'Discorso del Giuoco,' p. 27,
Florence, 1585, thus refers to the opinion of St. Bernardin and others
on the subject of gaming. "Sono stati alcuni tanto scrupolosi e severi,
i quali hanno detto, che non solo quegli che giuocano à restituire
tenuti sono, ma di più li heredi, e quei che prestano dadi, tavole,
carte, e chi vende, e compera baratterie e bische, ed inoltre li
artefici, i quali fanno e vendono carte, e dadi, ed altri strumenti da
giuocare; e di più li Ufficiali, Rettori, Magistrati e Signori, i quali
potendo prohibire cotali giuochi, non li proibiscono."

In the notice of the life of St. Bernardin, in the Acta Sanctorum,
cited by Peiguot, he is said to have required that cards [_naibes_],
dice, and other instruments of gaming should be given up to the
magistrates to be burnt. The anecdote of the card-painter is given in
Bernini's Histoire des Hérésies, tom. iv, p. 157. Venise, 1784. Thiers,
in his Traité des Jeux, pp. 159-161, gives an extract from a sermon
of St. Bernardin against gaming: his reference to the works of St.
Bernardin is "_Serm. 33, in Dominic._ 5, _Quadrag_. 1 _part. princ_."
but he does not mention the edition.

It may here be observed that the opinion of Dr. Jeremy Taylor on this
subject is opposed to that of St. Bernardin. See his discussion of
the Question on Gaming: "Whether or no the making and providing such
instruments which usually minister to it, is by interpretation such an
aid to the sin as to involve us in the guilt?"

[108] Geschichte der Holzschneidekunst von den ältesten bis auf die
neuesten Zeiten, nebst zwei Beilagen enthaltend den Ursprung der
Spielkarten und ein Verzeichniss der sämmt xylographischen Werke, von
Joseph Haller, s. 313. 8vo, Bamberg, 1823.



Having now shown at what period cards were certainly well known in
Europe, and at what period card-making was a regular business in Italy
and Germany, I shall proceed to lay before the reader a series of facts
showing the prevalence of the game in various countries, both among
great and little people.

From the repeated municipal regulations forbidding card-playing, to
be found in the Burgher-books of several cities of Germany, between
1400 and 1450, it would seem that the game was extremely popular in
that country in the earlier part of the fifteenth century; and that
it continued to gain ground, notwithstanding the prohibitions of men
in office. There are orders forbidding it in the council-books of
Augsburg, dated 1400, 1403, and 1406; though in the latter year there
is an exception which permits card-playing at the meeting-houses of the
trades. It was forbidden at Nordlingen in 1426, 1436, and 1439; but in
1440 the magistrates, in their great wisdom, thought proper to relax
in some degree the stringency of their orders by allowing the game to
be played in public-houses. In the town-books of the same city there
are entries, in the years 1456 and 1461, of money paid for cards at the
magistrates' annual goose-feast or corporation dinner. In the books of
the company of "Schuflikker"--cobblers--of Bamberg, there is a bye-law
agreed to in 1491, which imposes a fine of half a pound of wax--not
shoemakers', but bees' wax for the company's holy candle, to burn at
the altar of the patron saint,--upon any brother who should throw the
backgammon pieces, cards, or dice out of the window.[109] From this
it may be concluded that the "Schuflikker" of Bamberg in 1491 were
accustomed, like gamesters of a more recent period, to vent their rage,
when losers, on the cards and dice.

Baptista Platina, in his treatise 'De Honesta Voluptate'--which is
neither more nor less than an antique "School of Good Living," teaching
how creature comforts may be best enjoyed--mentions cards as a game
at which gentlemen may play, after dinner or supper, to divert their
minds, as deep thinking after a hearty meal impedes digestion. There
was, however, to be no cheating nor desire of gain--which is as much
as to say that the stakes were to be merely nominal--lest bad passions
should be excited, and the process of healthy concoction disturbed.[110]

Galeottus Martius, a contemporary of Platina, is perhaps the earliest
writer who "speculated," or at least published his speculations, on the
allegorical meaning of the marks of the four suits of cards. I shall
give a translation of the passage, which occurs in chapter xxxvi of his
treatise 'De Doctrina promiscua,' written, according to Tiraboschi,
between 1488 and 1490. I leave others to divine the author's precise
meaning, referring them to the original text which is given below. The
topics of this chapter are: "The greater and lesser Dog Star, Orion,
the Evening Star, the Pleiades, the Hyades, Bootes, the Kids, the
planet Venus, and the game of Cards." Towards the conclusion, after
having exhausted his astronomical topics, he thus proceeds, _apropos_
of the benign influence of Venus.

"From the excellency of this planet it is not surprising that the
ancients called a happy throw at dice Venus,--not Jove, though
considered of greater fortune. Thus Propertius:

    "Venus I hoped with lucky dice to cast,
    But every time the luckless Dogs turned up."

"An unlucky cast was called the Dog--"_Canis_"--and also the Little
Dog--"_Canicula_"--with reference to the Stars. Thus Persius:

    "Far as the luckless little Dog-star's range."

"What kind of stars the Great and Little Dog were, has been already
shown. Some persons, indeed, might laugh at the invention of such
kind of games being ascribed to the learned, were it not plain from
reason that the game of cards was also devised by wise men. To say
nothing about the Kings, Queens, Knights, and Footmen,--for every
one knows the distinction between dignity and military service,--is
it not evident, when we consider the significance of swords, spears,
cups, and country loaves, that the inventor of the game was a man of
shrewd wit? When there is need of strength, as indicated by the Swords
and Spears, many are better than few; in matters of meat and drink,
however, as indicated by the Loaves and Cups, a little is better than
a great deal, for it is certain that abstemious persons are of more
lively wit than gluttons and drunkards, and much superior in the
management of business. What I call country loaves, from their form
and colour,--Pliny speaks of bread of a yellow colour--are the marks
which are ignorantly supposed to signify pieces of money. The Cups are
goblets, for wine."[111]

The remainder of the passage cannot be literally translated into
English, as it relates chiefly to the pronunciation of the word
"_Hastas_"--Spears. The substance of it, however, is as follows: "The
common people say 'Hastas,' as the aspiration H, and the letter V
are interchangeable, and so are B and V, both in Greek and Latin. As
Bastoni [clubs] are vulgarly called Hastoni, so have they sometimes
the form of spears [Hastarum], but mostly that of bills, for both
are military weapons." The original passage is extremely perplexing;
and the only thing in it that appears plain to me is the writer's
desire to convert Bastoni--Clubs--into "Hastas," Spears. The Bastoni,
which he says are called Hastoni, or the Hastoni which are called
Bastoni,--for there is here an ambiguity, as in the celebrated oracular
response, "Aio te, Æacida, Romanos vincere posse"--can only relate
to the figures of the things as seen on cards, and not to the things
themselves; for the author says that they have sometimes the shape of
spears, but more frequently that of bills. The real meaning of this I
take to be, that the Bastoni--Clubs--on cards were more like bills than
spears, notwithstanding that H and V, and V and B, were interchangeable
letters. From the account of Galeottus, it is evident that the usual
marks of the suits of Italian cards were in his time, Coppe, Spadi,
Danari, and Bastoni,--Cups, Swords, Money, and Clubs.

In 1463 it would appear that cards were well known in England; for,
by an act of parliament passed in that year, which was the third of
Edward IV, the importation of playing cards was expressly prohibited.
This act, according to Anderson, was passed in consequence of the
manufacturers and tradesmen of London, and other parts of England,
having made heavy complaints against the importation of foreign
manufactured wares which greatly obstructed their own employment.[112]
If we suppose that cards were included in the prohibition for the
above reason, it would follow that card-making was then a regular
business in England.

Whether cards were home-manufactured or obtained from abroad, they
appear about 1484 to have been, as they are at present, a common
Christmas game. Margery Paston thus writes to her husband, John Paston,
in a letter dated Friday, 24th Dec., 1484: "Right worshipful husband,
I recommend me unto you. Please it you to weet that I sent your eldest
son John to my Lady Morley, to have knowledge of what sports were used
in her house in the Christmas next following after the decease of my
lord her husband; and she said that there were none disguisings, nor
harpings, nor luting, nor singing, nor none loud disports; but playing
at the tables, and chess, and _cards_; such disports she gave her
folks leave to play, and none other. Your son did his errand right
well, as ye shall hear after this. I sent your younger son to the
Lady Stapleton; and she said according to my Lady Morley's saying in
that, and as she had seen used in places of worship thereas [where]
she hath been."[113] It may not be improper here to caution the reader
against confounding "places of worship," with "houses of prayer,"
and hence inferring that cards were then a common game in churches,
with gentlemen's servants, at Christmas time. By "places of worship"
are meant the dwelling-places of worshipful persons, such as lords,
knights, and justices of the peace: in those days there were no
stipendiary police-magistrates, and every Shallow on the bench was "a
gentleman born."

Whether Richard III, in whose reign the letter above quoted was
written, added dicing and card-playing to his other vices, we have
no account either in public history which deals, or ought to deal,
wholesale, in "great facts," or in private memoirs, which are more
especially devoted to the retailing of little facts. His successor,
however, Henry VII, was a card player; for Barrington observes that
in his privy-purse expenses there are three several entries of money
issued for his majesty's losses at cards. Of his winnings there is no
entry; though his money-grubbing majesty kept his accounts so exactly
as to enter even a six-and-eightpenny bribe, given to propitiate
his mercy in favour of a poor criminal,--thus turning a penny by
trafficking with his prerogative of pardoning:

    "To have the power to forgive,
    Is empire and prerogative."

It would appear that cards was a common game at the court of Henry the
VII, even with the royal children; for, in 1503, his daughter Margaret,
aged 14, was found playing at cards by James IV of Scotland, on his
first interview with her, after her arrival in Scotland for the purpose
of being married to him.[114] James himself is said to have been
greatly addicted to card-playing; and in the accounts of his treasurer
there are several entries of money disbursed on account of the game. On
Christmas night, 1496, there are delivered to the king at Melrose, to
spend at cards, "thirty-five unicornis, eleven French crowns, a ducat,
a ridare, and a leu"--in all forty-two pounds. On the 23d August, 1504,
when the king was at Lochmaben, he appears to have lost several sums
at cards to Lord Dacre, the warden of the English marches; and on the
26th of the same month, there is an entry of four French crowns given
"to Cuddy, the Inglis luter, to louse his cheyne of grotis, quhilk he
tint at the cartis,"--to redeem his chain of groats which he lost at

M. Duchesne, in his 'Observations sur les Cartes à jouer,' says,
somewhat inconsistently, that cards are of Italian origin, and that
it was either at Venice or at Florence, that the Greek refugees from
Constantinople, first made them known. M. Duchesne is as incorrect in
his chronology, as he is singular in his notions with respect to the
Italian origin of playing cards,--first brought to Venice or Florence,
by Greeks.[116] The refugees to whom he apparently alludes were the
Greeks who sought an asylum in Italy, when Constantinople was taken
by the Turks, in 1453, which is sixty years after the time that we
have positive evidence of cards being known in France. But though no
evidence has been produced to show that cards were first brought into
Europe from Constantinople, it is yet certain that they were known
to the Greeks, before the end of the fifteenth century; for Ducange,
in his Glossary of Middle-Age Greek, under the word "XAPTIA, Ludus
chartarum,[117] quotes the following verse from a manuscript of Emanual
Georgillas on the Plague at Rhodes:

  "Και τα ταυλια, και τα χαρτια, και ζαρια κατακαυσουν"

  "Burn the tables, cards, and dice."

"It appears from this," says Ducange, "that the game of cards, the
origin of which is uncertain, was at least known in 1498, the year in
which this mortality happened." In the 'Journal des Dames,' for the
10th April, 1828--a publication, which I have not had the fortune to
see, but which is referred to by Brunet the younger, in his 'Notice
Bibliographique sur les Cartes à jouer,'--there is a detailed account
of the modern Greek cards manufactured at Frankfort.[118]

Towards the close of the fifteenth, and in the early part of the
sixteenth century, before Luther had sounded the tocsin of religious
reform, and given a new impulse to both the busy and the idle, the
Germans appear to have been greatly addicted to gaming. Woodcuts of
this period showing men and women playing at cards and dice are common.
John Geiler of Kaisersberg, a famous preacher in his day, who, like
Latimer, was accustomed to season his sermons with a little humour--not
to say fun--rings a peal against gaming in his 'Speculum Fatuorum,'
first printed at Strasburg about 1508. He says that there are some
games at cards which are purely of chance, such as "_der offen Rusch
und Schantzen_,"[119] while others, such as "_des Karnefflins_" depend
on both chance and skill. In treating of the lawfulness of playing
at cards, dice, and similar games "for the sake of recreation"--a
saving clause which appears to have been introduced in favour of the
laboriously studious and devout,--he cites authorities both _pro_
and _con_. A certain gloss says that to play at such games, whether
for money, or "gratis," is a deadly sin; and Hostiensis says that to
play for recreation, for money,--"to kill themselves for love, with
wine"--is a deadly sin in the laity as well as the clergy. Angelus,
however, says that it is lawful for both clergy and laity to play for
recreation, for small stakes: "_pro modico non notabili_." Geiler's own
conclusion is that, as doctors differ, there is danger. Gaming in his
time, as in our own, appears to have levelled all distinctions: lords
and ladies, and even clergymen, dignified or otherwise, eager to win
money, and confiding in their luck, or their skill, cared but little
for the rank or character of those with whom they played, provided they
could but post the stakes; and felt no more compunction in winning a
ruffling burgher's money, than a peer would in receiving the amount
of a bet from a cab-man, or a wealthy citizen, a few years ago, in
rendering bankrupt the wooden-legged manager of a thimble-rig table at
Epsom or Ascot.--The "thimble-rig," however, is now numbered with the
things that have been--"_fuit_." Lord Stanley brought it into political
disrepute; and Sir James Graham put it down, just about the time that
the railway speculation began to be the "rage" under the auspices of a
knowing Yorkshireman.

Thomas Murner, a Franciscan friar, availing himself apparently of
the popularity of card-playing, introduced the term "Chartiludium"
as a "caption" in the title of his 'Logica Memorativa,' printed at
Strasburg, in 1509.[120] The work is evidently that of a scholastic
pedant, who might possibly be expert enough in ringing the changes on
verbal distinctions, but who had not the least knowledge of things, nor
any idea of the right use of reason. The book is adorned with numerous
cuts, which represent cards, inasmuch at the top of each there is an
emblem, just as there is the mark of the suit in each of our coat
cards. The cuts and the text taken together, for they mutually render
each other more intelligible, form such a mass of complicated nonsense
as would puzzle even a fortune-teller to interpret. In his prologue,
Murner asks pardon for the title of his book; and assures the studious
youths, for whose instruction it was devised, that he had not been led
to adopt it from any partiality to card-playing; that, in fact, he had
never touched cards, and that, from his very childhood he had abhorred
the perverse passion for play. In 1518 Murner, apparently stimulated by
the success of his logical card-play, published an introduction to the
civil law, written and pictorially illustrated in the same manner as
the former.[121]

As I have not been able to make anything of Murner's logical
card-play, either as regards the instruments or the matter professed
to be taught, I willingly avail myself of what Mons. Leber has said on
the subject in his 'Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer.'--"These
cards," says Mons. Leber, "made much noise in their time; and this
might well be, for they were a novelty which it was easier to admire
than to comprehend. At first people fancied that they saw in them the
work of the devil; and it was even a question whether the author should
not be burnt, seeing that he could be nothing more than a conjurer
with the logicians of that age. But the conjurer's pupils made such
extraordinary progress, that people cried out "wonderful!" and Murner's
book was pronounced divine. Although those cards are fifty-two in
number, they have nothing in common with our pack. They differ from
all other cards, whether for gaming, or of fanciful device, in the
multiplicity and the division of the suits, which the inventor has
applied to the divisions of logic, after a method of his own. Of these
suits there are no less than sixteen, corresponding with the same
number of sections of the text, and having the following names and

    I. ENUNCIATIO           Bells.
    II. PREDICABILE         Crayfish.
    IV. SILLOGISMUS         Acorns.
    V. LOCUS DIALECTICUS    Scorpions.
    VI. FALLACIA            Turbans.
    VII. SUPPOSITIO         Hearts.
    VIII. AMPLIATIO         Grasshoppers.
    IX. RESTRICTIO          Suns.
    X. APPELLATIO           Stars.
    XI. DISTRIBUTIO         Pigeons.
    XII. EXPOSITIO          Crescents.
    XIII. EXCLUSIO          Cats, or Tigers.
    XIV. EXCEPTIO           Shields of Arms.
    XV. REDUPLICATIO        Crowns.
    XVI. DESCENSUS          Serpents.

"Such is the whimsicality of those signs, and such the oddity of
their relation to the things signified, that the learned Singer has
been deterred from the attempt to make them known; at any rate, he
declares that he will not undertake to explain that which even the most
profound logicians of the day might not be able to comprehend. This is
easily said, but we see no impossibility in explaining how the author
understood himself. One example will be sufficient to give an idea of
Murner's figured language, and of the parts which might be played
by serpents, cats, acorns, and crayfish in the chair of Aristotle when
its occupant was a friar of the sixteenth century.

"The figure of a man with a crown on his head, a patch over one of
his eyes, a book in one hand, and a trowel in the other, relates to
section, or "Tractatus," X, APPELLATIO. It displays three symbols,
the object of which is intelligence or definition: 1, the logical
appellation; 2, relative terms or ideas which have become connected in
the mind; 3, privative terms, expressive of privation or exclusion.
The open book, [which appears shut] is the symbol of the definition;
the trowel indicates connexion; and the patch over the eye signifies
privation. The star, which occupies the place of the mark of the suit,
and casts its light on all the other three symbols, signifies that
clearness is the first merit in every definition." The cut here given
is a fac-simile of that referred to.


Rogers, availing himself of the poetic license, though but to a small
extent, has represented the followers of Columbus as playing at cards
in his first voyage of discovery, to the West Indies, in 1492.

    "At daybreak might the caravels be seen,
    Chasing their shadows o'er the deep serene;
    Their burnish'd prows lash'd by the sparkling tide,
    Their green-cross standards waving far and wide.
    And now once more to better thoughts inclined,
    The seaman, mounting, clamour'd in the wind.
    The soldier told his tales of love and war;
    The courtier sung--sung to his gay guitar.
    Round, at Primero, sate a whiskered band;
    So Fortune smiled, careless of sea or land."[122]

Garcilasso de la Vega, to whom Mr. Rogers refers, says nothing about
Primero or the followers of Columbus playing at the game; he only
mentions, in his 'History of the Conquest of Florida,' that the
soldiers who were engaged in that expedition, having burnt all their
cards after the battle of Mauvila, [about 1542], made themselves
new ones of parchment, which they painted admirably, as if they had
followed the business all their lives; but as they either could not, or
would not, make so many as were wanted, players had the cards in their
turn for a limited time.[123] Although we have no positive evidence of
the fact, it is yet not unlikely that there were cards in the ships
of Columbus; unless indeed they had been especially prohibited to the
crews on this occasion, as they were to the soldiers and sailors of the
Spanish Armada in 1588.[124] Herrera has recorded in his 'History of
the Spanish Discoveries in America,' that Montezuma, emperor of Mexico,
who was made prisoner by Cortes in 1519, took great pleasure in seeing
the Spanish soldiers play at cards.

Barrington, in his 'Observations on the Antiquity of Card-playing in
England,' says, "During the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI, this
amusement seems not to have been common in England, as scarcely any
mention of it occurs either in Rymer's Fœdera, or the statute book."
Had Mr. Barrington been as well read in old poems and plays as he was
in the more ancient statutes, it is likely that he would have been of
a different opinion. He says, "It is not improbable, however, that
Philip the Second, with his suite, coming from the court of Charles
V, made the use of cards much more general than it had been, of which
some presumptive proofs are not wanting." The supposition is plausible;
but as the presumptive proofs which he alleges, were as likely to be
found in the reign of Edward IV, as in the reign of Mary, they are
of no weight in the determination of the question. As Catherine, the
wife of Henry VIII, was a Spanish princess, and as it is recorded
that, amongst her other accomplishments, she could "play at tables,
tick-tack, or gleek, with cardes or dyce,"[125] the persons forming
her suite were just as likely as those of the suite of Philip II, to
have brought into England Spanish cards with the marks of swords and
clubs proper--_Espadas_ and _Bastos_: but there can scarcely be a doubt
that such cards were known in England long before. Mr. Barrington's
partiality to his theory about Spanish cards, and of the game becoming
much more general in England after the marriage of Philip and Mary, has
probably caused him either to entirely overlook, or attach too little
importance to a presumptive proof, to be found in the statute-book, of
cards being a common amusement in England in the reign of Henry VIII.
In a statute relating to plays and games, passed in the thirty-third
year of that king's reign, 1541, we find the following restrictions.
"No Artificer, or his Journeyman, no Husbandman, Apprentice, Labourer,
Servant at Husbandry, Mariner, Fisherman, Waterman, or Serving-man,
shall play at Tables, Tennis, Dice, _Cards_, Bowls, Closh, Coyting,
Logating, or any other unlawful game out of Christmas; or then, out of
their master's house or presence, in pain of 20_s._; and none shall
play at Bowls in open places, out of his garden or orchard, in pain
of 6_s._ 8_d._"[126] In the morality of Hycke-Scorner, reprinted in
Hawkins's 'Origin of the English Drama,' from a black letter copy in
Garrick's collection, of at least as early a date as the commencement
of the reign of Henry VIII, the following are enumerated as forming
part of the company of the ships that came over with Hycke-Scorner:

    "Braulers, lyers, getters, and chyders,
    Walkers by night, and great murderers,
    Overthwarte gyle, and joly carders."

In the morality of Lusty Juventus, written by R. Wever, in the reign of
Edward VI, Hypocryse says to Juventus, whom he invites to breakfast:

    "I have a furny carde in a place,
    That will bear a turne besides the ace;
    She purvoyes now apace
        For my commynge."

From a subsequent passage it appears that this "furny carde"[127] is
the naughty woman, "litle Besse," the personification of "Abhominable

In the comedy of 'Gammer Gurton's Needle,' said to have been first
printed in 1551, old dame Chat thus invites two of her acquaintance to
a game at cards:

    "What, Diccon? Come nere, ye be no stranger:
    We be fast set at trump, man, hard by the fire;
    Thou shalt set on the king, if thou come a little nyer.
    Come hither, Dol; Dol, sit down and play this game,
    And as thou sawest me do, see thou do even the same;
    There is five trumps besides the queen, the hindmost thou shalt
      find her."

In a Satire on Cardinal Wolsey and the Romish Clergy by William Roy,
without date, but most likely printed in 1527,[128] some of the bishops
are charged with gaming in addition to their other vices:

    "To play at the cardes and dyce,
    Some of theym are nothynge nyce,
      Both at hasard and mom-chaunce."

In the privy purse expenses, from 1536 to 1544, of the Princess Mary,
daughter of Henry VIII, afterwards Queen Mary, there are numerous
entries of money delivered to the princess to play at cards. In a
prefatory memoir, Sir Frederick Madden remarks: "Cards she seems to
have indulged in freely; and there is a sum generally allotted as
pocket-money for the recreation every month."[129] As Mary is said to
have been extremely devout, we may presume that, adopting the decisions
of the more indulgent casuists, she availed herself of their permission
to play at cards as a recreation when her mind was fatigued with the
exercise of her strenuous piety. The records of the burning of men and
women in her reign for the sake of _religion_, form a singular contrast
with the entries in her privy purse expenses of money delivered to her
to play at cards.

From the preceding incidental notices of cards in poems and plays,
as well as from the direct evidence of the statute book and the privy
purse expenses of the Princess Mary, it would appear that card-playing
was common in England during the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI,
both in the cottage and the palace; and there is reason to believe
that about the same period the game was equally common in Scotland.
William Dunbar, who wrote in the reigns of James IV and James V, in his
'General Satire,' exposing the depravity of all classes of people in
the kingdom, thus alludes to the prevalence of dicing and card-playing:

    "Sic knavis and crakkaris, to play at carts and dyce,
    Sic halland-scheckaris, qwhilk at Cowkilbyis gryce
      Are haldin of pryce, when lymaris do convene;
    Sic store of vyce, sae mony wittis unwyse,
      Within this land was nevir hard nor sene."

In the poems of Sir David Lyndsay, there are several allusions to
card-playing; and in his 'Satire of the Three Estaites,' which Chalmers
says was first acted at Cupar, Fifeshire, in 1535, the Parson declares
himself to be an adept at the game:

    "Thoch I preich nocht, I can play at the caiche:
    I wot there is nocht ane amang yow all
    Mair ferylie can play at the fute-ball;
    And for the cartis, the tabels, and the dyse,
    Above all parsouns I may beir the pryse."

In Sir David's poem, entitled 'The Cardinal,' exposing the personal
vices and tyrannical conduct of Cardinal Beaton, who was assassinated
at St. Andrews in 1546, that prelate is represented as a great

    "In banketting, playing at cartis and dyce,
    Into sic wysedome I was haldin wyse;
    And spairit nocht to play with king nor knicht,
    Thre thousand crownes of golde upon ane night."

In the examination of Thomas Forret, a dean of the Kirk, and vicar
of Dollar, on a charge of heresy brought against him by John Lauder,
a tool of Cardinal Beaton's, at Edinburgh, 1st March, 1539, Forret's
answer to one of the charges of his accuser, affords some idea of the
manner in which many bachelor priests of the period were accustomed to
spend their tithes:

"_Accuser._ False Heretic, thou sayest it is not lawful to Kirkmen to
take their teinds (tythes) and offerings and corps-presents, though we
have been in use of them, constitute by the Kirk and King, and also our
holy father the Pope hath confirmed the same?

"_Dean Forret._ Brother, I said not so; but I said it was not lawful
to Kirkmen to spend the patrimony of the Kirk, as they do, on riotous
feasting, and on fair women, and at playing at cards and dice."[131]

Pinkerton, in his 'History of Scotland,' says: "Stewart the poet, in an
address to James V, advises him to amuse himself with hunting, hawking,
and archery, justing, and chess; and not to play at cards or dice,
except with his mother or the chief lords, as it was a disgrace for a
prince to win from men of inferior station, and his gains at any time
ought to be given to his attendants."

At a period somewhat later, it would appear that card-playing was
a common amusement on the borders of Scotland, and that the sturdy
rievers, whose grand game was cattle lifting, were accustomed to while
away their idle hours at cards for placks and hardheads. The following
curious passage occurs in a letter dated Newcastle, 12th January
(1570), printed in the second volume of Sir Ralph Sadler's 'State
Papers.' The writer was a gentleman named Robert Constable, who appears
to have been sent into Scotland to endeavour to persuade his kinsman,
the Earl of Westmoreland, to return to England and submit himself to
Elizabeth's mercy.[132]

"I left Ferniherst, and went to my ostes house,[133] where I found
many guests of dyvers factions, some outlaws of England, some of
Scotland, some neighbours thereabout, at cards; some for ale, some for
placks and hardhedds [a small coin]; and after I had diligently learned
and enquired that there was none of any surname that had me in deadly
fude, nor none that knew me, I sat down and plaid for hardhedds among
them, where I heard _vox populi_ that the Lord Regent would not, for
his owne honour, nor for the honour of his country, deliver the Earls,
if he had them bothe, unless it were to have their Quene delivered to
him; and if he wold agree to make that change, the borderers would
start up in his contrary, and reave both the Quene and the Lords from
him, for the like shame was never don in Scotland; and that he durst
better eate his own lugs than come agen to seke Farneherst; if he did,
he should be fought with ere he came over Sowtray edge. Hector of
Tharlows[134] hedd was wished to have been eaten amongs us at supper."

In the old ballad entitled 'The Battle of the Reed Swire,' giving an
account of a fray at a Warden meeting, which ended in a general fight,
we find cards mentioned. This meeting was held in 1576 near the head
of the river Reed, on the English side of the Carter fell; and appears
to have been attended, like a fair, by people from both sides of the

    "Yet was our meeting meik enough,
      Began with mirriness and mows;
    And at the brae abune the heugh
      The clerk sat down to call the rows;

      And sum for kye, and sum for ewes,
    Callit in of DANDRIE, HOB, and JOCK:
      I saw come marching owre the knows
    Fye hundred FENNICKS in a flock.

    "With jack and speir, and bowis all bent,
      And warlike weapons at their will;
    Howbeit they were not weil content,
      Yet be me troth we feird na ill:
      Some gaed to drink, and some stude still,
    And sum to cards and dyce them sped;
      While on ane Farstein they fyld a bill,[135]
    And he was fugitive that fled."

About the same period the game of cards was a common amusement in the
south of Ireland. Spenser, in his 'View of the State of Ireland,'
written about 1590, speaks of an idle and dissolute class of people
called "Carrows," who, he says, "wander up and down to gentlemen's
houses, living only upon cards and dice; the which, though they have
but little or nothing of their own, yet will they play for much money;
which, if they win, they waste most lightly; and if they lose, they
pay as slenderly, but make recompense with one stealth or another;
whose only hurt is not that they themselves are idle lossels, but that
through gaming they draw others to lewdness and idleness."[136]

The counterpart to this picture was to be found in Spain about the
same period; and as the intercourse between the two countries was
frequent, and the favorite game in both was "One-and-Thirty," it is
not unlikely that the Irish obtained their knowledge of cards from the
Spaniards. In Cervantes' 'Comical History of Rinconete and Cortadillo,'
a young Spanish vagabond gives the following account of his skill
at cards: "I took along with me what I thought most necessary, and
amongst the rest this pack of cards, (and now I called to mind the
old saying, 'He carries his All on his back,') for with these I have
gained my living at all the publick houses and inns between Madrid and
this place, playing at One-and-Thirty; and though they are dirty and
torn, they are of wonderful service to those who understand them, for
they shall never cut without leaving an ace at bottom, which is one
good point towards eleven, with which advantage, thirty-one being the
game, he sweeps all the money into his pocket: besides this, I know
some slight tricks at Cards and Hazard; so that though you are very
dexterous and a thorough master of the art of cutting buskins, I am
every bit as expert in the science of cheating people, and therefore I
am in no fear of starving; for though I come but to a small cottage,
there are always some who have a mind to pass away time by playing a
little;[137] and of this we may now try the experiment ourselves: Let
us spread the nets, and see if none of these birds, the carriers, will
fall into them; which is as much as to say that you and I will play
together at One-and-Thirty, as if it was in earnest; perhaps somebody
may make the third, and he shall be sure to be the first to leave his
money behind him."

At what period cards were first used in Europe for the purposes
of divination or fortune-telling has not been ascertained. In the
'Magasin Pittoresque' for 1842, page 324, there is a cut entitled
"Philippe-le-Bon consultant une tireuse de cartes," copied from a
painting ascribed to John Van Eyck. Though it has been denied that this
picture is really by Van Eyck, it is yet admitted that the costume
is that of the reign of Charles VIII, between 1483 and 1498.[138]
Supposing then that the picture belongs to the latter period, we have
thus evidence of cards being used for the purposes of fortune-telling
before the close of the fifteenth century. The gypsies, who are
unquestionably of Asiatic origin, appear to have long used them for
this purpose; and if they brought cards with them in their earliest
immigration into Europe, as Breitkopf supposes, they are just as likely
to have brought with them their occult science of cards as to have
acquired it subsequently from Europeans. The earliest work, expressly
treating of the subject appears to be 'Le Sorti,' written or compiled
by Francesco Marcolini, printed at Venice in 1540. In the prologue,
the author professes to explain the mode of applying what he calls his
pleasant invention--"piacevole inventione;" but beyond the fact that
certain cards are to be used, I have not been able to make out his
meaning. The only cards to be employed were the King, Knight, Knave,
ten,[139] nine, eight, seven, deuce, and ace of the suit Danari or
Money. Besides the small cuts of cards, of which the following are
specimens, the work contains a number of wood-engravings, some of which
are designed in a spirited manner. A work similar to Marcolini's,
entitled 'Triompho di Fortuna,' by Sigismond Fanti, professing to teach
the art of solving questions relating to future events, but without
using cards, was printed at Venice in 1527.


Juggling and fortune-telling by means of cards, whenever introduced,
appear to have had many professors in the latter half of the sixteenth
century. A trick performed with cards by a juggler, appears to have
excited the inquisitive genius of Lord Bacon when a boy; and his
biographer, Basil Montagu, thinks that from this circumstance his
attention was first directed to an inquiry into the nature of the
imagination.[140] Reginald Scott, in his Discovery of Witchcraft, first
published in 1584, has a chapter "Of Cards, with good cautions how to
avoid cousenage therein; special rules to convey and handle the cards;
and the manner and order how to accomplish all difficult and strange
things wrought with cards."

"Having now," says he, "bestowed some waste money among you, I will
set you to cards; by which kind of witchcraft a great number of people
have juggled away not only their money, but also their lands, their
health, their time, and their honesty. I dare not (as I could) show the
lewd juggling that cheaters practice, lest it minister some offence to
the well-disposed, to the simple hurt and losses, and to the wicked
occasion of evil doing. But I would wish all gamesters to beware, not
only with what cards and dice they play, but especially with whom, and
where they exercise gaming. And to let dice pass, (as whereby a man may
be inevitably cousened,) one that is skilful to make and use Bumcards
may undo a hundred wealthy men, that are not given to gaming; but if he
have a confederate present, either of the players or standers-by, the
mischief cannot be avoided. If you play among strangers, beware of him
that seems simple or drunken; for under their habit the most special
couseners are presented; and while you think by their simplicity and
imperfections to beguile them, (and thereof, perchance, are persuaded
by their confederates, your very friends as you think,) you yourself
will be most of all over-taken. Beware also of the betters by and
lookers on, and namely of them that bet on your side; for whilst they
look on your game without suspicion, they discover it by signs to your
adversaries, with whom they bet and yet are their confederates."

Among the tricks with cards which he notices, are the following: "How
to deliver out four Aces and to convert them into four Knaves. How
to tell one what card he seeth in the bottom, when the same card is
shuffled into the stock. To tell one, without confederacy, what card
he thinketh. How to tell what card any man thinketh, how to convey the
same into a nut-shell, cherry-stone, &c., and the same again into one's
pocket. How to make one draw the same, or any card you list, and all
under one devise." The two verses which he quotes in the margin should
be inscribed as a motto on the dial-plate of every gamester's watch.
"Of dice play, and the like unthrifty games, mark these two old verses,
and remember them:

    Ludens taxillis, bene respice quid sit in illis:
    Mors tua, sors tua, res tua, spes tua, pendet in illis."

Rowland, in his 'Judicial Astrology Condemned,' relates the following
anecdote of Cuffe, the Secretary of the Earl of Essex, "a man of
exquisite wit and learning, but of a turbulent disposition," who was
hung at Tyburn, on the 13th of March, 1602, for having counselled and
abetted the Earl in his treason. "Cuffe, an excellent Grecian,[141]
and Secretary to the Earl of Essex, was told twenty years before his
death that he should come to an untimely end, at which Cuffe laughed,
and in a scornful manner, intreated the astrologer to show him in what
manner he should come to his end; who condescended to him, and calling
for cards, intreated Cuffe to draw out of the pack three which pleased
him. He did so, and drew three Knaves and laid them on the table with
their faces downwards, by the wizard's direction, who then told him, if
he desired to see the sum of his bad fortunes, to take up those cards.
Cuffe, as he was prescribed, took up the first card, and looking on it,
he saw the portraiture of himself, _cap-a-pie_, having men compassing
him about with bills and halberds; then he took up the second, and
there he saw the judge that sat upon him; and taking up the last card,
he saw Tyburn, the place of his execution, and the hangman, at which he
laughed heartily; but many years after, being condemned for treason, he
remembered and declared this prediction."

Queen Elizabeth, as well as her sister, Mary, was a card player;
and even her grave Lord Treasurer, Lord Burleigh, appears to have
occasionally taken a hand at Primero.[142] That she sometimes lost her
temper, when the cards ran against her, may be fairly inferred from
the following passage, which occurs in a letter, written in the latter
part of her reign, by Sir Robert Carey to his father, Lord Hunsdon:
her violent language must have been the result of her holding a bad
hand at the moment that the presence of young Carey reminded her of his
father's procrastination. "May it please your L. t'understande that
yesterday yn the afternune I stood by hyr Ma^{tie} as she was att Cards
in the presens chamber. She cawlde me to hyr, and askte me when you
mente too go too Barwyke. I towlde hyr that you determinde to begyn
your jorney presently after Whytsontyd. She grew yntoo a grete rage,
begynnynge with Gods wonds, that she wolde sett you by the feete, and
send another in your place yf you dalyed with hyr thus, for she wolde
not be thus dalyed withall.[143]

Though the laity of all ranks and conditions--except
apprentices[144]--appear to have played at cards and dice without let
or hinderance, notwithstanding any statute to the contrary, yet the
clergy seem to have been rather more sharply looked after. In the
'Injunctions geven by the Quenes Majestie, as well to the Clergye as
the Laity,' printed by Richard Jugge and John Cawood, 1559, the clergy
are thus admonished: "Also the sayde ecclesiastical persons shall in
no wyse, nor for any other cause then for theyr honeste necessities,
haunt or resort to anye Tavernes or Alehouses. And after theyr meates,
they shall not geve themselves to any drynkyng or ryot, spendyng theyr
tyme idelly by day or by nyght, at dyse, cardes, or tables playing,
or anye other unlawfull game."[145] In the 'Injunctions exhibited by
John, Bishop of Norwich, at his first visitation, in the third year
of our Soveraign Ladie Elizabeth,' printed at London by John Daye,
1561, officials are enjoined to inquire, "Whether any parson, vicare,
or curate geve any evell example of lyfe; whether they be incontinent
parsones, dronkardes, haunters of tavernes, alehouses, or suspect
places; dycers, tablers, carders, swearers, or vehementlie suspected

A notice of a dramatic representation of the game of cards occurs in
the accounts of Queen Elizabeth's 'Master of the Revels,' 1582.[146] In
that year he and his officers were commanded "to show on St. Stephen's
day at night, before her Majesty at Wyndesore, a Comodie or Morral
devised on a game of the cardes," to be performed by the children of
her Majesty's Chapel. From the following observations of Sir John
Harrington on this "Comodie or Morral," it would seem to have been a
severe satire on those Knaves who enrich themselves at the nation's
expense: "Then for comedies, to speake of a London comedie, how much
good matter, yea and matter of state, is there in that comedie cald the
play of the cards? in which it is showed how foure Parasiticalle knaves
robbe the foure principall vocations of the Realme, _videlicet_, the
vocations of Souldiers, Scollers, Marchants, and Husbandmen. Of which
comedie I cannot forget the saying of a notable wise counseller who is
now dead (Sir Frauncis Walsinghame), who, when some (to sing Placebo)
advised that it should be forbidden, because it was somewhat too
plaine, and indeed, as the old saying is, _Sooth boord is no boord_,
yet he would have it allowed, adding that it was fit that 'They which
doe that they should not, should heare that they would not.'"[147]

The mention of a comedy shown before the Queen at Windsor by the
children of her Majesty's Chapel, naturally suggests the recollection
of John Lyly's Court Comedies, which were wont to be shown by the
same children, as well as by the "children of Poules;" and as in one
of those comedies,--Alexander and Campaspe,--Lyly has committed an
anachronism with respect to cards,[148] an opportunity is thus afforded
of here introducing the pleasantly conceited song that contains the
error,--a song, which Elia would have encored, and which even Mrs.
Battle herself would have allowed to be sung at the card table during
the intermission of the game at the end of a rubber, when cutting in
for new partners.[149]

    "Cupid and my Campaspe play'd
    At cards for kisses; Cupid paid:
    He stakes his quiver, bow and arrows,
    His mother's doves, and team of sparrows;
    Loses them too: then down he throws
    The coral of his lip, the rose
    Growing on's cheek (but none knows how);
    With these the chrystal on his brow,
    And then the dimple of his chin:
    All these did my Campaspe win.
    At last he set her both his eyes:
    She won, and Cupid blind doth rise.
      O Love, has she done this to thee?
      What shall, alas, become of me!"

Before taking leave of the reign of Elizabeth, it seems proper to
insert here what Philip Stubbes says about Cards, Dice, Tables,
Tennis, and other games, in his 'Anatomie of Abuses.'[150] "As for
Cardes, Dice, Tables, Boules, Tennisse, and such like," says the moral
dissector, speaking in the person of Philoponus, "thei are _Furta
officiosa_, a certaine kind of smothe, deceiptfull, and sleightie
thefte, whereby many a one is spoiled of all that ever he hath,
sometimes of his life withall, yea, of bodie and soule for ever: and
yet (more is the pitie) these be the only exercises used in every mans
house, al the yere through. But especially in Christmas time there is
nothyng els used but Cardes, Dice, Tables, Maskyng, Mummyng, Bowling,
and such like fooleries. And the reason is, thei think thei have a
commission and prerogative that tyme to doe what thei list, and to
followe what vanitie they will. But (alas) doe thei thinke that thei
are privileged at that time to doe evill? the holier the time is (if
one time were holier then another, as it is not) the holier ought their
exercises to bee."

He, however, thinks that at some games, under certain circumstances,
Christian men may play for the sake of recreation; for, in answer to
the question of Spudeus, "Is it not lawfull for one Christian man
to plaie with an other at any kinde of game, or to winne his money,
if he can?" Philoponus thus replies: "To plaie at Tables, Cardes,
Dice, Bowles, or the like, (though a good Christian man will not
so idely and vainely spende his golden daies), one Christian with
an other, for their private recreations, after some oppression of
studie, to drive awaie fantasies, and suche like, I doubt not but
thei may, using it moderately, with intermission, and in the feare
of God. But for to plaie for lucre of gaine, and for desire onely of
his brothers substance, rather then for any other cause, it is at no
hande lawfull, or to be suffered. For as it is not lawfull to robbe,
steale, and purloine by deceite or sleight, so is it not lawfull to
get thy brothers goodes from hym by Cardyng, Dicyng, Tablyng, Boulyng,
or any other kind of theft, for these games are no better, nay worser
than open theft, for open theft every man can beware of; but this
beying a craftie polliticke theft, and commonly doen under pretence of
freendship, fewe, or none at all, can beware of it. The commaundement
saieth, Thou shall not covet nor desire any thing that belongeth to thy
neighbour. Now, it is manifest, that those that plaie for money, not
onely covet their brothers money, but also use craft, falshood, and
deceite to winne the same."--There are doubtless many card-players,
who, conscious of their want of craft, can safely deny the truth of
Stubbes's sweeping conclusion; but it is to be feared that most crafty
players will not lose if they can avoid it, either by hook or by crook.

In the reign of James I, the game "went bonnily on." His son, Henry,
Prince of Wales, who died in 1612, aged nineteen, used occasionally to
amuse himself at cards, but so nobly and like himself, as showed that
he played only for recreation, and not for the sake of gain.[151] James
himself was a card-player; and his favorite game was Maw, which appears
to have been the fashionable game in his reign, as Primero was in the
reign of Elizabeth. His Majesty appears to have played at cards just
as he played with affairs of State--in an indolent manner, requiring
in both cases some one to hold his cards, if not to prompt him what to
play. Weldon, speaking of the poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury, in his
'Court and Character of King James,' says: "The next that came on the
stage, was Sir Thomas Monson; but the night before he was to come to
his tryal, the King being at the game of Maw, said, 'to-morrow comes
Thomas Monson to his tryal.' 'Yea;' said the King's card-holder, 'where
if he do not play his master's prize, your Majesty shall never trust
me.' This so ran in the King's mind, that at the next game he said he
was sleepy, and would play out that set next night." From the following
passage in a pamphlet, entitled 'Tom Tell-troath,' supposed to have
been printed about 1622,[152] it would seem that the writer was well
acquainted both with his majesty's mode of playing at cards, and with
the manner in which he was tricked in his dawdling with state affairs:
"In your Majestie's owne tavernes, for one healthe that is begun to
your-selfe, there are ten drunke to the Princes your forraygn children.
And, when the wine is in their heads, Lord have mercie on their tonges!
Ever, in the very gaming ordinaries, where men have scarce leisure to
say grace, yet they take a time to censure your Majestie's actions,
and that in their oulde schoole terms. They say, you have lost the
fairest game at Maw that ever King had, for want of making the best
advantage of the five finger, and playing the other helpes in time.
That your owne card-holders play bootie, and give the signe out of your
owne hand. That hee you played withall hath ever been knowne for the
greatest cheater in Christendome.[153] In fine, there is noe way to
recover your losses, and vindicate your honour, but with fighting with
him that hath cozened you. At which honest downe righte play, you will
be hard enough for him with all his trickes."

The following verses, which might have been written by Tom Tell-troath
himself, form part of an inscription beneath a caricature engraving
of the same period, representing the Kings of England, Denmark, and
Sweden, with Bethlem Gabor, engaged in playing at cards, dice, and
tables with the Pope and his Monks.[154]

    "Denmarke, not sitting farr, and seeing what hand
    Great Brittayne had, and how Rome's loss did stand,
    Hopes to win something too: Maw is the game
    At which he playes, and challengeth at the same
    A Muncke, who stakes a chalice. Denmarke sets gold,
    And shuffles; the Muncke cuts: Denmarke being bold,
    Deales freely round; and the first card he showes
    Is the five finger, which, being turn'd up, goes
    Cold to the Muncke's heart; the next Denmarke sees
    Is the ace of hearts: the Muncke cries out, I lees!
    Denmarke replyes, Sir Muncke, shew what you have;
    The Muncke could shew him nothing but the Knave."

From the allusions to the five fingers and the ace of hearts, in the
preceding extracts, it would appear that the game of Maw was the same
as that which was subsequently called Five-Cards, for, in both games,
the five of trumps--called the five fingers--was the best card, and
next to that was the ace of hearts.[155]

From the frequent mention of cards by writers of the time of James
I, it would appear that the game was as common a diversion with his
Majesty's peaceable subjects, as it was with the fighting men who
followed the banner of Wallenstein or Tilly in the Thirty-Years' War.
Inordinate gaming in one country, according to certain authorities,
was the result of long-continued peace and too much ease; according
to others, it was the natural consequence of war; in England, the
devil, finding men idle, gave them employment at cards and dice; and in
Germany, where they were busy in the work of destruction, he encouraged
them to play as a relaxation from their regular labours. Prodigals, in
each country, lighted their candle at both ends: English gallants used
to divert themselves with cards at the playhouse before the performance
began;[156] and desperate hazarders in the imperial camp staked, on a
cast at dice, their plunder, ere it had well come into their possession.

In the reign of James I, a controversy arose respecting the nature of
lots, in which the lawfulness--"_in foro theologorum_"--of deciding
matters by lot, and of playing at games of chance, such as cards and
dice, was amply discussed. It was maintained by one party, that as lots
were of divine ordinance, for the purpose of determining important
matters,[157] and of so ascertaining, as it were, the divine will,
their employment for the purpose of amusement, was a sinful perversion
of their institution, and a disparaging of Divine Providence, which was
thus made the arbiter of idle and immoral games.[158] In opposition
to this opinion, the learned Thomas Gataker published his treatise,
historical and theological, 'Of the Nature and Use of Lots,' in
1619. In this work he treats of casual events in general, and of the
different kinds of lots, which he thus classes under three heads: 1,
Lots which are commonly employed in serious affairs; 2, Lots which
enter into games of chance; 3, Lots extraordinary or divinatory.
The first are generally admitted to be innocent; but the third are
absolutely condemned by Gataker, except when they are expressly
required to be used by a revelation or a divine command.[159] With
regard to lots of the second kind, he contends that they are neither
prohibited in the Scriptures nor evil of themselves; though, like those
of the first, they are liable to great abuse. The abuse he earnestly
condemns; but at the same time shows that it is not a necessary
consequence of the employment of lots in games of amusement. He also
refutes the arguments of James Balmford, who, in a small tract which
appears to have been first published about 1593, had maintained that
all games of chance were absolutely unlawful. An account of the
controversy on this subject, between Gataker on one side, and William
Ames and Gisbert Voet on the other, will be found in the preface to
the second edition of Barbeyrac's 'Traité du Jeu.'[160]

In the reign of James I, and in the early part of that of his
successor, ere the discussion of political grievances had produced a
decided effect on the public mind, the fashionable vices of excess
in apparel, gaming, drinking, and smoking tobacco, were fertile
themes of declamation with a certain class of reformers, both lay and
clerical. Their denunciations of the vanity and wickedness of wearing
fine clothes are merely variations to Stubbes's 'Anatomy of Abuses;'
while their fulminations against tobacco are generally pitched in the
somewhat loud key of King James's Counterblast. Their common-places
against drunkenness and gaming, are, in general, "very common
indeed,"--as Sir Francis Burdett said of a certain common lawyer, who,
since his elevation to the peerage, has been convicted of a petty
larceny on the literary property of Miss Agnes Strickland, and who
seems to be an adept at Cribbage, though no card-player.

In a woodcut on the title-page of 'Woe to Drunkards,' a sermon preached
by Samuel Ward, of Ipswich, 1627, the vices of that age are typically
contrasted with the virtues of a former one. In the upper compartment
we are shown what men were of old by the open Bible, the foot in the
stirrup, and the hand grasping the lance; while in the lower, the
degeneracy of their descendants is typified by the leg and foot,
decorated with a broad silk garter and a large rosette; by cards and
dice, and a hand holding at the same time a lighted pipe and a drinking
cup with a cockatrice in it. Twenty years afterwards, these types
would have been more strictly applicable, with the inscriptions merely


At what time the manufacture of cards was established in this country,
has not been ascertained; though from their being included in an Act of
Parliament of 1463, prohibiting the importation of sundry articles, as
being injurious to native manufacturers and tradesmen, it would seem
that there were card-makers in England even at that early period.[161]
Barrington, referring to a proclamation of Elizabeth, and another of
James I, says, "It appears that we did not then make many cards in
England." In his paper in the 'Archæologia,' he gives a fac-simile of
the cover of an old pack of cards, as a decisive proof that cards were
originally made in Spain. On this cover was printed a wood engraving
of the arms of Castile and Leon, together with a Club, a Sword, a
Cup, and a piece of Money, the marks of the four suits of Spanish
cards. To an inscription purporting that they were fine cards, made
by JEHAN VOLAY--"Cartas finnas faictes par Jehan Volay"--there was
also added, in letters of a different character, either by a stencil,
or by means of inserting a new piece of wood in the original block,
the name "EDWARD WARMAN," probably that of the English vendor of the
cards. The maker's name, Barrington reads, "JE (for JEAN or JOHN)
HAUVOLA," and the final Y he mistakes for the Spanish conjunction
"and." The whole of the inscription, he says, being rendered into
English, runs thus: "Superfine cards made by John Hauvola, and (Edward
Warman)," the last name being substituted for that of a former
partner of John Hauvola.[162] Mr. Barrington's reading of the maker's
name, JE. HAUVOLA, instead of JEHAN VOLAY, and his then introducing
_Edward Warman_ into the firm, by means of the final Y, construed
as a copulative conjunction, are fair specimens of the proofs and
illustrations which he adduces in favour of his theory about Spanish

Jean Volay, as I learn from Leber,[163] was one of the most celebrated
French card-makers of the sixteenth century; at what time "Edward
Warman" lived, whose name also appears on the cover, is not known; but
Mr. Barrington says that a person of that name kept a stationer's shop
somewhere about Norton Folgate, about fifty years before the date of
his paper, that is about 1737. Any vogue that Spanish cards might have
had in the more northerly countries of Europe, during the times of
Elizabeth and James I, was probably owing rather to the circumstance of
so many Spaniards being then resident in the Low Countries than to any
superiority of the cards manufactured in Spain. Until a comparatively
recent period, large quantities of cards used to be sent from Antwerp
to Spain.[164]


From the following verses, in "The Knave of Harts his Supplication
to the Card Makers," in Samuel Rowlands' satire entitled 'The Knave
of Harts,'[165] 1612, it would appear that cards were then commonly
manufactured in England, for it cannot be fairly supposed that the
Knave's supplication was addressed to foreign card-makers. The
foregoing cut, which is a fac-simile of that prefixed to the edition of
1613, shows the Knaves of Hearts and Clubs in the costume complained of.

    "We are abused in a great degree,
    For there's no Knaves so wronged as are we
    By those that chiefly should be our part-takers:
    And thus it is, my maisters, you card-makers,
    All other Knaves are at their own free-will,
    To brave it out, and follow fashion still
    In any cut, according to the time,
    But we poore Knaves (I know not for what crime),
    Are kept in pie-bald suites, which we have worne
    Hundred of years; this hardly can be borne.
    The idle-headed Frenche devis'd us first,
    Who of all fashion-mongers is the worst;
    For he doth change farre oftner than the moone;
    Dislikes his morning suite in th' after-noone.
    The English is his imitating ape,
    In every toy the tailors-sheares can shape,
    Comes dropping after as the divell entices,
    And putteth on the French-man's cast devices;
    Ye wee (with whom thus long they both have plaid),
    Must weare the suites in which we first were made.

         *       *       *       *       *

    How can we choose but have the itching gift,
    Kept in one kinde of cloaths, and never shift?
    Or to be scurvy how can we forbeare,
    That never yet had shirt or band to weare?
    How bad I and my fellow Diamond goes,
    We never yet had garter to our hose,
    Nor any shooe to put upon our feete,
    With such base cloaths, 'tis e'en a shame to see't;
    My sleeves are like some morris-dauncing fellow,
    My stockings idiot-like, red, greene, and yellow:
    My breeches like a paire of lute-pins be,
    Scarce buttock-roome, as every man may see.
    Like three-penie watchmen three of us doe stand,
    Each with a rustie browne-bill in his hand:
    And Clubs he holds an arrow, like a clowne,
    The head-end upward, and the feathers downe.
    Thus we are wrong'd, and thus we are agriev'd,
    And thus long time we have beene unreliev'd.
    But, card-makers, of you Harts reason craves,
    Why we should be restrained, above all Knaves,
    To weare such patched and disguis'd attire?
    Answer but this, of kindnesse, we require.

         *       *       *       *       *

    Good card-makers (if there be goodness in you),
    Apparell us with more respected care,
    Put us in hats, our caps are worne thread-bare;
    Let us have standing collers, in the fashion,
    (All are become a stiff-necke generation);
    Rose hat-bands with the shagged-ragged ruffe,
    Great cabbage-shoostrings (pray you bigge enough),
    French dublet, and the Spanish hose to breech it,
    Short cloakes, old mandilions[166] (we beseech it);
    Exchange our swords, and take away our bils,
    Let us have rapiers, (Knaves love fight that kils);
    Put us in bootes, and make us leather legs:
    This Harts, most humbly, and his fellows begs."

In Rowlands' 'More Knaves Yet? The Knaves of Spades and Diamonds,'
published after his 'Knave of Harts,' the Knaves of Spades and Diamonds
are represented in a modernised costume, bestowed on them by the
printer, and the favour is thus acknowledged.


    "Our fellow Hartes did late petition frame,
    To card-makers some better sutes to clayme,
    And for us all, did speake of all our wronges:
    Yet they, to whom redresse herein belongs
    Amend it not, and little hope appeares.
    I thinke before the conquest many yeares,
    We wore the fashion which we still retaine:
    But seeing that our sute is spent in vaine,
    Weele mend our selves as meanes in time doth grow,
    Accepting what some other friends bestowe.
    As now the honest printer hath bin kinde,
    Bootes and stockins to our legs doth finde,
    Garters, polonia heeles and rose shooe-strings,
    Which, somewhat, us two knaves in fashion brings;
    From the knee downeward, legs are well amended,
    And we acknowledge that we are befrended,
    And will requite him for it as we can:
    A knave some time may serve an honest man.
    To do him pleasure such a chaunce may fall,
    Although indeed no trust in knaves at all.
    He that must use them, take this rule from mee,
    Still trust a knave no further than you see.
    Well, other friends I hope wee shall beseech
    For the great large abhominable breech,
    Like brewers hop-sackes; yet since new they be,
    Each knave will have them, and why should not wee?
    Some laundresse we also will intreate,
    For bandes and ruffes, which kindnes to be great
    We will confesse, yea and requite it too,
    In any service that poore knaves can doe:
    Scarffes we do want, to hange our weapons by,
    If any punck will deale so courteously
    As in the way of favour to bestow them,
    Rare cheating tricks we will protest to owe them.
    Or any pander with a ring in's eare,
    That is a gentleman (as he doth sweare),
    And will afford us hats of newest blocke,
    A payre of cardes shall be his trade and stocke,
    To get his lyving by, for lack of lands,
    Because he scornes to overworke his handes.
    And thus ere long we trust we shall be fitted,
    Those knaves that cannot shift are shallow witted."

By a proclamation of Charles I, June, 1638, it was ordered that after
the Michaelmas next all foreign cards should be sealed at London, and
packed in new bindings, or covers. A few years later, it would appear
that the importation of foreign cards was absolutely prohibited; for,
in July, 1643, upon the complaint of several poor card-makers, setting
forth that they were likely to perish by reason of divers merchants
bringing playing-cards into the kingdom, contrary to the laws and
statutes, order was given, by a committee appointed by parliament for
the navy and customs, that the officers of the customs should seize all
such cards, and proceed against the parties offending.[167]

When the civil war commenced, and the people became interested in a
sterner game, card-playing appears to have declined. The card-playing
gallant whose favorite haunts had been the playhouse and the tavern,
now became transformed into a cavalier, and displayed his bravery in
the field at the head of a troop of horse; whilst his old opponent,
the puritanical minister, incited by a higher spirit of indignation,
instead of holding forth on sports and pastimes and household vices,
now thundered on the "drum ecclesiastic" against national oppressors;
urged his congregation to stand up for their rights as men against the
pretensions of absolute monarchy and rampant prelacy, and to try the
crab-tree staff against the courtier's dancing rapier.

Among the numerous pamphlets which appeared during the contest there
are a few whose titles show that the game of cards, though not so much
in vogue as formerly, was still not forgotten.[168] The following are
the titles of three of such pamphlets, all quartos, the usual form of
the literary light infantry of the period. "Chartæ Scriptæ, or a New
Game at Cards, called Play by the Booke, 1645."--"Bloody Game of Cards,
played between the King of Hearts and his Suite against the rest of the
pack, shuffled at London, cut at Westminster, dealt at York, and played
in the open field."--"Shuffling, cutting, and dealing, in a game at
pickquet, being acted from the year 1653 to 1655, by O. P. and others,
1659."[169] In a 'Lenten Litany,' a backward prayer for the Rump,
written in the time of the Long Parliament, the appointment of three
keepers to the great seal is thus commemorated:

    "From Villany dressed in a doublet of Zeal,
    From three Kingdoms baked in one Commonweal,
    From a Gleek of Lord Keepers of one poor seal
                          Libera nos Domine."[170]

It was probably as much owing to the circumstance of regular
playing-cards being in small request, as to any desire to promote
learning, that we have the "Scientiall Cards" mentioned in the
following title of a work, in which cards are made subservient to
the purposes of instruction, and which appears to have been one of
the earliest of the kind published in England.[171] "The Scientiall
cards; or a new and ingenious knowledge grammatically epitomised,
both for the pleasure and profit of schollers, and such as delight to
recollect (without any labour) the rudiments of so necessary an art
as grammer is, without hindering them from their more necessary and
graver studies, offering them as a second course unto you. Which, in
all points and suits, do represent your vulgar or common cards; so that
the perfection of the grammer principles may hereby be easily attained
unto, both with much delight and profit. Together with a key showing
the ready use of them. Written by a lover of ingenuity and learning.
And are to be sold by Baptist Pendleton at his house, near St.
Dunstan's Church in the east, or by John Holden, at the Anchor in the
New Exchange. 1651." Of those cards, or of the key, showing how they
are to be used, I know nothing beyond what is contained in the title
above given, which is preserved amongst Bagford's collections, Harleian
MSS. No. 5947, in the British Museum. I, however, greatly suspect that
the "lover of learning and ingenuity" who devised them, was specially
employed for the purpose by the maker, Mr. Baptist Pendleton, who,
sensible of the decline of his regular business, and noting the signs
of the times, might think it both for his interest and credit to
manufacture cards, which might serve indifferently for the purposes of
instruction, but equally as well for play as "your vulgar or common
cards," which were then in very bad repute. The Scientiall cards would
appear to have been well adapted for the use of persons who wished to
save appearances with the Puritans, and yet had no objection to play a
quiet game with the profane.

In 1656 was published a little book intitled 'The Schollers Practicall
Cards,' by F. Jackson, M.A., containing instructions by means of
cards how to spell, write, cypher, and cast accounts; together with
many other excellent and necessary rules of calculation, without
either almanack or ephemeris. "I am persuaded," says the author in his
preface, "that the cards, now in common use, may be reduced to such a
way of use as may not only contribute to knowledge and good learning,
but may also remove the scandall and abuse, which every tinker that
can but tell his peeps [pips] exposeth them unto. To that end I have
framed, for the recreation of sober and understanding people, that
which (although in form they represent common cards) in the inside,
as to the use that be made of them, affords profitable learning and
honest recreation: and herein there is much difference; the common
cards being meer fiction, like the foolish romances, not applicable to
any morall, or anything to be learned by them that is laudable." His
method, like all others of the same kind, may be interesting, from its
complicated absurdity, to those who already understand what he proposes
to teach; but must have formed an almost unsurmountable obstacle to the
unlettered, unless they were previously well grounded in Gleek, Ruff,
Post and Pair, Saunt,[172] Lodam, and Noddy,--the games to which he
chiefly refers in his instructions.

William Sheppard, sergeant-at-law, a great stickler, during the
ascendency of the Rump, for the reformation of the law and the
correction of manners, thus sets forth certain grievances, and, like
a good Samaritan, propounds a remedy for them in his work, entitled
'Englands Balme.'[173]

"It is objected,

"That there is no certain and clear law to punish prophane jesting,
fidling, ryming, piping, juggling, fortune-telling, tumbling, dancing
upon the rope, vaulting, ballad-singing, sword-playing, or playing
of prizes, ape-carrying, puppet-playing, bear-baiting, bull-baiting,
horse-racing, cock-fighting, carding, dicing, or other gaming;
especially the spending of much time, and the adventuring of great sums
of money herein.

"It is offered to consideration,

"That to the laws already made: 1. That it be in the power of any two
justices of the peace to binde to the goode behaivour such as are
offensive herein. 2. That they be, so long as they use it, uncapable
of bearing any office in the commonwealth. 3. That all payments to the
commonwealth be doubled on such persons."

His saintly delicacy, if not his Christian charity, is displayed in the
following "grievance" and "remedy:"

"There are some other cases wherein the law also is said to be somewhat
defective: as

     "That there is no law against lascivious gestures, wanton and
     filthy dalliance and familiarity, whorish attire, strange
     fashions; such as are naked breasts, bare shoulders, powdering,
     spotting, painting the face, curling and shearing the hair; excess
     of apparel in servants and mean people.

"It is offered to consideration,

     "1. That the justices of the peace at their Quarter Sessions may
     binde any such to the good behaivour.

     "2. That for a whorish attire, something of note be written upon
     the door of her house to her disgrace, there to continue till she
     wear sober attire."

The character of this puritanical reformer's liberality may be
estimated by his proposed remedies for the abuses of the press. As
his party were in power, there was no longer any occasion for free
discussion. Milton was opposed to such canting reformers as Sheppard,
and maintained the liberty of unlicensed printing.

"It is objected,

     "That there are disorders in printing of books, for which there is
     no remedy.

"It is offered for this to consider of these things:

     "1. That printing-houses be reduced to a number.

     "2. That no books be printed but be first perused.

     "3. That no dangerous books be printed here, carried beyond sea,
     and brought in hither.

     "4. That the right of every mans copy be preserved.

     "5. That every man shall licence his own book and be answerable
     for it."

On the accession of Charles II, a reaction took place; and people who
had felt themselves coerced in their amusements by the puritanical
party, seem now to have gloried in their excesses, not so much from
any positive pleasure that they might feel in their vicious courses,
but as evincing their triumph over those who formerly kept them in
restraint. From the example of the king himself, a sensual, selfish
profligate, vice became fashionable at court, where gross depravity
of manners seems to have been admitted as _prima facie_ evidence of
loyal principles. His majesty's personal favorites, from the wealthy
noble who had a seat at the council-table, to the poor gentlemen who
served as a private in the horse-guards, seem all to have been eager
to divert the "merry monarch" by their shameless profligacy. The man
of _ton_ of the period, was professionally a rake and a gamester,
and often a liar and cheat; boasting of an intrigue with "my lady,"
while in truth he was _kept_ by "my lord's" mistress; and pretending
that he had won a hundred pieces of "the duke," at the groom-porter's
at St. James's, when he had merely "rooked" a gay city 'prentice
of five pounds at a shilling ordinary in Shire Lane. The morals and
manners of the country, generally, at that period, are not, however,
to be estimated by those of the court and the so-called "fashionable
world." A numerous and influential class remained uncontaminated by
their example; and laboured zealously to stem the torrent of vice
which, issuing from the court, threatened to deluge the whole country.
Though "the saints" no longer enjoyed the fatness of the land, they
still exercised great influence over the minds of the middle classes,
and fostered in them a deep religious feeling, and a strict observance
of decency, which were in direct opposition to the principles and
practice of the sovereign and his court. At no period of our history,
do the profligacy of one class and the piety of another appear in
more striking contrast. On looking closer, however, it would seem
that this effect is, in a great degree, produced by the approximation
of the extremes of each,--of sinners who painted themselves blacker
than they really were, and of saints who heightened their lights and
exalted their purity, while they were in truth but as "a whitened
wall." A slight glance at the literature of the time of Charles II,
will show that mankind do not become worse as the world grows older:
the depravity which existed in his reign, is generally dwelt on by
historians and moralists, though but few take the trouble of informing
their readers that correctives for it, in the shape of good books,
were at no period more abundant. For a picture of the manners of the
time, we are referred to licentious plays and obscene poems, as if they
formed the staple literature of the day,--as if all men frequented the
playhouse and read Rochester, but never went to church or conventicle,
nor read the numerous moral and religious works which then issued from
the press. In the time of Charles II, the representation of plays was
almost exclusively confined to London; and it may be questioned if
even one of the licentious comedies of the period was represented on a
provincial stage. The obscene books which were written in his reign for
the entertainment of the fashionable world have sunk into disrepute,
and are only to be found in the libraries of collectors of what are
termed "Facetiæ;" while those of higher purpose are in constant demand,
and are known to millions. More copies of Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress'
have been sold than of all the bad books that ever were written through
the encouragement of Charles II and his courtiers.

But to come from this digression to the game we have in hand.
Barrington, who is singularly unfortunate in his speculations about
cards, and who seems to have been prone to draw general conclusions
from special premises, says, that "Ombre was probably introduced
by Catherine of Portugal, the queen of Charles II, as Waller hath
a poem 'On a card torn at Ombre by the Queen.'" The game, however,
was introduced before the arrival of the queen; for a work entitled
the 'Royal game of Ombre' was published at London in 1660,[174] and
Catherine did not arrive at Portsmouth till 14th May, 1662. Charles,
on hearing of the queen's arrival, seems to have intrusted a right
reverend prelate with a delicate commission: his majesty, according to
Aurelian Cook, Gent., "having sent the Bishop of London thither before
him to consummate the sacred rights of marriage, which was to be done
in private."[175]

From the following passage in Pepys's Diary, under the date 17th Feb.
1667, it would appear that her majesty was accustomed to play at cards
on a Sunday,--a crime of the greatest magnitude in the eyes of certain
persons, who insist that the Christian Sunday should be observed like
a Jewish Sabbath, and who yet have no objection to roast pig.[176]
"This evening," says Mr. Pepys, "going to the Queene's side to see the
ladies, I did finde the Queene, the Duchesse of York, and another or
two, at cards, with the room full of ladies and great men; which I was
amazed at to see on a Sunday, having not believed it, but, contrarily,
flatly denied the same a little while since to my cosen Roger Pepys."
The Duchess of York here mentioned, was Anne Hyde, first wife of James,
Duke of York, afterwards James II. Her daughter, Mary, afterwards
Queen of England, used also to play at cards on a Sunday, as we learn
from the following passage in the diary of her spiritual director, Dr.
Edward Lake, printed in the Camden Miscellany, vol. i, 1847: "Jan. 9.
1677-8. I was very sorry to understand that the Princess of Orange,
since her being in Holland, did sometimes play at cards upon the
Sundays, which would doubtless give offence to that people. I remember
that about two years since being with her highness in her closett,
shee required my opinion of it. I told her I could not say 'twas a sin
to do so, but 'twas not expedient; and, for fear of giving offence, I
advised her highness not to do it, nor did shee play upon Sundays while
shee continued here in England." Card-playing on Sundays would appear
to have been equally common with the select circle who had the honour
of partaking of his majesty's amusements. Evelyn, in his Memoirs,
writing on 6th Feb. 1685, the day when James II was proclaimed, says,
"I never can forget the inexpressible luxury and profaneness, gaming
and all dissoluteness, and as it were total forgetfulness of God (it
being Sunday evening), which this day se'nnight I was witness of, the
king sitting and toying with his concubines, Portsmouth, Cleaveland,
and Mazarine, &c., a French boy singing love songs in that glorious
gallery, whilst about twenty of the great courtiers and other dissolute
persons were at Basset[177] round a large table; a bank of at least
£2000 in gold before them, upon which two gentlemen who were with me
made reflexions with astonishment. Six days after, all was in the dust!"

In the sixteenth year of the reign of Charles II an act was passed
which might justly be entitled "An Act to legalise Gaming; to prevent
wealthy Pigeons being plucked by artful Rooks, and to discourage
Betting or Playing for large Sums upon Tick." An act of the same kind,
passed in the reign of Queen Anne, was repealed in 1844, in consequence
of its penalties being likely to fall heavy on some eminent sporting
characters who had been so indiscreet as to receive sundry large sums
in payment of bets lost to them upon credit. Its enactment and its
repeal are significant indications of the state of the sporting world
at the two respective periods. It seems to have been framed on a
presumption that, in gaming, noble and wealthy sportsmen would be most
likely to lose; and to have been repealed because certain noble and
wealthy sportsmen had won, and received their bets. The parties in
whose favour the act was repealed, were said to have been liable to
penalties to the amount of £500,000: the law did not anticipate that
lords and squires would be winners, nor intend that needy prosecutors
should be enriched at their expense. The preamble and some of the
provisions of the act of Charles II are here given as "Curiosities of
Gambling Legislation."

"Whereas all lawful Games and Exercises should not be otherwise used
than as innocent and moderate recreations, and not as constant trades
or callings, to gain a living, or make unlawful advantage thereby; and
whereas by the immoderate use of them many mischiefs and inconveniences
do arise, and are dayly found to the maintaining and encouraging of
sundry idle, loose, and disorderly persons in their dishonest, lewd,
and dissolute course of life, and to the circumventing, deceiving,
cousening, and debauching of many of the younger sort, both of the
nobility and gentry, and others, to the loss of their precious time,
and the utter ruin of their estates and fortunes, and withdrawing them
from noble and laudable employments and exercises.

"Be it therefore enacted, that if any person or persons, of any degree
or quality whatsoever, shall by any fraud, cousenage, circumvention,
deceit, &c. in playing at Cards, Dice, Tables, Tennis, Bowls, Kittles,
Shovel-board, or in or by Cock-fightings, Horse-races, Dog-matches, or
Foot-races &c. or by betting on the sides or hands of such as play,
win, obtain, or acquire any sum or sums of money or any other valuable
thing; that then every person so offending shall _ipso facto_ forfeit
treble the sum or value of money, or other thing, so won, gained, or

"And for the better avoiding and preventing of all excessive and
immoderate playing and gaming for the time to come, be it further
enacted, that if any person shall play at any of the said games, or any
other pastime whatsoever (otherwise than with and for ready money), or
shall bet on the sides of such as play, and shall lose any sum of money
or other thing played for, exceeding the sum of one hundred pounds, at
one time or meeting, upon ticket or credit, or otherwise, and shall
not pay down the same at the time when he shall so lose the same, the
party who loseth the said moneys, or other things so played for, above
the said sum of one hundred pounds, shall not, in that case, be bound
or compelled to pay or make good the same; and that all Contracts,
Judgments, Statutes, Recognizances, Mortgages, &c. made, given,
acknowledged, or entered for security and payment of the same shall be
utterly void and of none effect. And, lastly, it is enacted, that the
person, or persons, so winning the said moneys, or other things, shall
forfeit and lose treble the value of all such sum and sums of money, or
other thing which he shall so win (above the said sum of one hundred
pounds), the one moiety to the King, and the other to the Prosecutor."
The passion for gaming at that period, and its consequences to wealthy
flats, are thus described by Dryden:

    "What age so large a crop of vices bore,
    Or when was avarice extended more?
    When were the dice with more profusion thrown?
    The well-filled fob not emptied now alone,
    But gamesters for whole patrimonies play:
    The steward brings the deeds which must convey
    The lost estate. What more than madness reigns,
    When one short sitting many hundreds drains,
    And not enough is left him to supply
    Board wages, or a footman's livery?"

During the reign of Charles II, the business of card-making greatly
increased in England: and the game appears to have been so generally
understood as to induce many ingenious persons to employ cards not only
as a means of diffusing useful and entertaining knowledge, but also of
advertising their wares. The same mode of instruction was adopted about
the same period in France; but in England it appears to have embraced
a wider range of subjects; in France, scientific cards appear to have
been devised for the exclusive use of the nobility and gentry, and to
have been confined to their instruction in the conundrums of heraldry
and the elements of history and geography;[178] while in England they
were "adapted to the meanest capacity;" and in addition to the uses
for which they were employed in France, were made subservient to the
purposes of communicating knowledge in grammar, history, politics,
morality, mathematics, and the art of carving.

A Mons. De Brainville invented at Lyons, about 1660, a pack of
Heraldic cards, in which the Aces and Knaves, "les As et Valets,"
were represented by the arms of certain princes and nobles. Now as
this was evidently a breach of etiquette and a derogation of heraldic
nobility--Mons. De Brainville, like Mr. Anstis, does not seem to
have rightly understood his own "foolish business"[179]--the plates
were seized by the magistrates. As it appeared, however, that he had
given offence through pure inadvertence, and not with any satirical
intention, the plates were restored to him on condition of his
altering the odious names of "As" and "Valets" into Princes and
Chevaliers. In 1678 Antoine Bulifon carried the same kind of cards to
Naples, where Don Annibal Aquaviva established a society to play at
Blazon, under the name of "Armeristi," with the map of Europe for a
device, and the motto, "Pulchra sub imagine Ludi."[180]

About the same time that Heraldic cards were introduced into Naples, a
pack of the same kind as these of Mons. De Brainville were engraved in
England. In these cards, specimens of which are given in the annexed
plate, the honours of the several suits are thus represented. Each of
the cards representing a Knave, is marked P, for Prince; and a stamp
appears on the Ace of Spades.

    KING, by the arms of the Pope.
    QUEEN          "         King of Naples.
    PRINCE (Knave) "         Duke of Savoy.
    ACE            "         Republics of Venice, Genoa, and Lucca.

    KING           "         King of France.
    QUEEN          "         Sons of France, the Dauphin, Duke of Anjou,
                               and Duke of Orleans.
    PRINCE         "         Princes of the Blood--Bourbon, Berry,
                               Vendome, and Alençon.
    ACE            "         Ecclesiastical Peers--Rheims, Langres,
                               and Laon.
    KING           "         King of Spain.
    QUEEN          "         King of Portugal.
    PRINCE         "         Castile and Leon.
    ACE            "         Arragon.

    KING           "         King of England.
    QUEEN          "         Emperor of Germany.
    PRINCE         "         Bohemia and Hungary.
    ACE            "         Poland.

In the annexed specimens, which are of the same size as the originals,
the honours represented are the King of Clubs, the Queen of Hearts,
the King of Diamonds, and the Ace of Spades. The arms of the Pope,
representing the King of Clubs, are those of Clement IX, who was
elected 20th June, 1667, and died 9th December, 1669.

In another pack of Heraldic cards, relating entirely to England,
probably engraved about the same period, the armorial ensigns of the
King and the nobility were thus distributed amongst the _Têtes_ and
_Pips_.[181] The King and Queen of Hearts were respectively represented
by the arms of England and of the Duke of York; of Diamonds, by the
arms of Ireland, and of Prince Rupert; of Spades, by the arms of
France, and of the Archbishops of Canterbury and York; and of Clubs,
by the arms of Scotland, and of the Dukes of Norfolk, Somerset, and
Buckingham. In this pack there were no Knaves. The arms of the Earls
were distributed amongst the sevens, eights, nines, and tens; the
Viscounts furnished the sixes; the Bishops were quartered on the fives;
and the Barons' coats armorial clothed the nakedness of the lower
orders, from the fours to the aces,--the aces in the Heraldic game
being low. From a kind of title-page, or perhaps wrapper, preserved
in Bagford's collection, in the British Museum, it would appear that
the publication of those cards was licensed by the Duke of Norfolk, as
Earl Marshal of England, and as such entitled to take cognizance of all
matters relating to heraldry.

[Illustration: _The_ POPE, _The_ EMPEROUR

_Castille & Leon_,

_Eclesiasticks Dukes and Peirs (Reims, Longres, Laon)_]

In playing the game armorial with Heraldic cards, the players were
required to properly describe the various colours and charges of the
different shields; but as this could not be done without some previous
knowledge of the science of heraldry, a Mons. Gauthier was led to
devise, about 1686, a new pack of Heraldic cards, simply explaining the
terms of blazon, and thus serving as an introduction to the grand
game.[182] The Heraldic game, however, never was popular; and does not
even appear to have been in much esteem with the higher orders, for
whose instruction and entertainment it was specially devised. It would
seem to have declined in France with the glory of Louis XIV, and not to
have survived the Revolution in England.

About 1679, there was published a pack of cards, containing, according
to the advertisement, "An History of all the Popish Plots that have
been in England, beginning with those in Queen Elizabeth's time, and
ending with the last damnable plot against his Majesty Charles II, with
the manner of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey's murder, &c. All excellently
engraved on copper-plates, with very large descriptions under each
card. The like not extant. Sold by Randal Taylor, near Stationers Hall,
and by most booksellers, price One Shilling each pack." In a "puff
collusive,"[183] forming a kind of postscript to this announcement,
approbation of these cards is thus indirectly made a test of staunch
Protestantism. "Some persons who care not what they say, and to whom
lying is as necessary as eating, have endeavoured to asperse this
pack by a malitious libel, intimating that it did not answer what is
proposed. The contrary is evident. Aspersers of this pack plainly show
themselves popishly affected."[184]

Such a pack of cards as that announced in the advertisement referred
to--"containing an history of all the popish plots that have been in
England, beginning with those in Queen Elizabeth's time"--I have never
seen; and from the objection which was made to it at the time, namely,
that "it did not answer what was proposed," I am inclined to think that
it was the same pack as that which relates entirely to the pretended
Popish plot of 1678, and the murder of Sir Edmundbury Godfrey. A pack
of the latter now before me appears to have been published about 1680,
and certainly subsequent to the 18th of July, 1679; as on the Four
of Clubs is represented the trial of Sir George Wakeman and three
Benedictine monks, who on that day were arraigned at the Old Bailey
on an indictment of high treason for conspiring to poison the king.
The complete pack consists of fifty-two cards; and each contains a
subject, neatly engraved, either relating to the plot or the trial
and punishment of the conspirators, with a brief explanation at the
foot. At the top are the marks of the suit; and the value of the low
cards, from one to ten, is expressed in Roman numerals. The suits of
Hearts, Diamonds, and Clubs consist chiefly of illustrations of the
pretended plot, as detailed in the evidence of Titus Oates and Captain
Bedloe; while the suit of Clubs relates entirely to the murder of Sir
Edmundbury Godfrey. An idea of the whole pack may be formed from the
following description of a few of the cards of each suit. HEARTS:
King: the King and privy councillors seated at the council-table;
Titus Oates standing before them: inscription at the foot, "_Dr. Oates
discovereth y^e Plot to y^e King and Councell_." The Eight: "_Coleman
writeing a declaration and letters to la Chess_,"--Père la Chaise.
The Ace: the Pope with three cardinals and a bishop at a table, and
the devil underneath: "_The Plot first hatcht at Rome by the Pope and
Cardinalls, &c._" DIAMONDS: Knave: "_Pickerin attempts to kill y^e K.
in S^t James Park_." The Four: "_Whitebread made Provintiall_." The
Ace: "_The consult at the white horse Taverne_." CLUBS: King: "_Cap^t
Bedlow examind by y^e secret Comitee of the House of Commons_." The
Nine: "_Father Connyers preaching against y^e oathes of alegiance &
supremacy_." The Six: "_Cap^t Berry and Alderman Brooks are offer'd_
500£ _to cast the plot on the Protestants_." SPADES: Queen: "_The Club
at y^e Plow Ale house for the murther of S. E. B. Godfree_." The Nine:
"_S^r E. B. Godfree strangled, Girald going to stab him_." The Five:
"_The body of S^r E. B. G. carry'd to Primrose hill on a horse_."

Another pack of historical cards, apparently published in the same
reign, but of inferior execution to the former, appears to have related
to the Rye-house plot. As these cards are of even greater rarity than
those relating to the Popish plot, the following description of four
of them--all that I have ever seen--is here given as a stimulus to
collectors. Queen of Hearts: "_Thompson one of y^e conspirators taken
at Hammersmith_." Knave of Diamonds: "_Rumbold the malster_;" on a
label proceeding from his mouth is the inscription, "_They shall dye_."
Ace of Clubs: "_Keeling troubled in mind_:" on a label proceeding from
his mouth, "_King killing is damnable_." Ace of Spades: "_Hone taken
prisoner at Cambridge_." Shortly after the Revolution of 1688, one or
two packs of cards appeared with subjects relating to the misgovernment
of James II, and the birth of his son the Prince of Wales. In the reign
of either Charles II or James II was published a pack of mathematical
cards, by Thomas Tuttell, "mathematical instrument-maker to the King's
most excellent Majesty." Those cards were designed by Boitard, and
engraved by J. Savage; they represent various kinds of mathematical
instruments, together with the trades and professions in which they are
used. They were evidently "got up" as an advertisement. A few years
afterwards, Moxon, also a mathematical instrument-maker, followed suit.

"It would be difficult," says Mons. Leber, "to name an elementary
book of science or art, which had not a pack of cards as an auxiliary.
Grammar, Rhetoric, Fable, Geography, History, Heraldry, the principles
of Morals and Politics,--all these things, and many others besides,
were to be learnt through the medium of play. The game of cards had
served for the amusement of a royal lunatic; and similar games were
comprehended in the plan for the education of one of our greatest
kings.[185]--Though France had a large share in the dissemination of
such treasures of knowledge, England showed herself not less diligent
in working the same mine; if to us she owes the game of Piquet, it is
from her own proper resources that she has endowed the culinary art
with a game of a different kind, yet highly interesting considered
in its relation to the play of the jaws, the most ancient and highly
esteemed of all play. It was in December, 1692, that the London papers
first announced to the world the invention of the game of Carving at
Table. This precious announcement is conceived in the following terms:
'THE GENTEEL HOUSEKEEPER'S PASTIME; or the mode of Carving at the
table, represented in a pack of Playing Cards, with a book by which
any ordinary capacity may learn how to cut up, or carve in mode, all
the most usual dishes of flesh, fish, fowl, and baked meats, with
the several sawces and garnishes proper to each dish of meat. Price
1_s._ 6_d._ Sold by J. Moxon, Warwick Lane.'"[186] In those cards the
suit of Hearts is occupied by flesh; Diamonds by fowl; Clubs by fish;
and Spades by baked meats. The King of Hearts presides over a sirloin
of beef; of Diamonds over a turkey; of Clubs over a pickled herring;
and of Spades over a venison pasty. A red stamp on the Ace of Spades
belonging to a pack which I have had an opportunity of examining,
contains the words "Six pence." If this was the duty on each pack, it
was certainly great for the period.

In the reign of Queen Anne and that of George I, several packs of
satirical and fanciful cards were published. A pack of the latter
description, now in the possession of Thomas Heywood, Esq., of
Pendleton, near Manchester, relates entirely to the subject of love.
Each card is neatly engraved on copper; and, from the stamp on the Ace
of Spades, it appears evident that they were manufactured and sold for
the purposes of play. The subject of this card is a Cupid plucking a
rose, with the inscription "In love no pleasure without pain," and the
following verses at the foot:

    "As when we reach to crop y^e blooming rose
    From off its by'r, y^e thorns will interpose;
    So when we strive the beauteous nymph to gain,
    Y^e pleasures we pursue are mixed with pain."

All the other cards have, in the same manner, explanatory verses at the
foot. The mark of the suit is placed at the top, to the left, and above
it is engraved the value of the card, in Roman numerals. In the coat
cards, the name of each,--King, Queen, or Knave--is engraved above the
mark of the suit. This pack has been in the possession of Mr. Heywood's
family for upwards of a century.

A pack of satirical cards, belonging to W. H. Diamond, Esq., Frith
street, Soho square, appear to have been executed about the same time.
Each subject has an explanatory couplet at the bottom, and the value
of each in the game is indicated by a small card engraved at the top,
to the left. As in the other pack, there is a red stamp on the Ace of
Spades. All the subjects are coarsely engraved, though some of them
display points of character very much in the style of Hogarth. In the
Three of Spades there is a billiard-table, at which a gentleman is
playing with a curved cue. The inscription is:

    "Think not a losing gamester will be fair,
    "Who at y^e best ne're playd upon the square."

In the Ten of Spades, a Moorfields quack is seen pointing to his sign,
with the inscription:

    "To famed Moorfields I dayly do repair;
    Kill worms, cure itch, and make y^e ladies fair."

In the Ace of Diamonds, a lady is seen showing her palm to a
fortune-teller, with the inscription:

    "How can you hope this Gipsey drabb should know
    The Fates decrees, and who was made for you."

In the Four of Diamonds, a lady is seen exchanging some of her clothes
for china ware, with an itinerant dealer. The inscription is:

    "Your pockets, madam, surely are wondrous bare,
    To sell your very clothes for china ware."

In the Ten of Diamonds, the interior of a shop is shown, with articles
of plate on the shelves. A woman is standing behind the counter, on
which are a box and dice, and in front are a lady and gentleman who
seem to have just thrown. The inscription is:

    "At Epsom oft these rafflings I have seen,
    But assignation's what they chiefly mean."

In England, books containing instructions for playing at cards appear
to have been first published in the reign of Charles II, to the
great benefit, most assuredly, of all adepts who had acquired their
knowledge by practice; for in card-playing, as well as in chemistry,
the experienced manipulators have a great advantage over the merely
book-learned when matters are brought to the test. The real science
of play is not to be acquired by the study of books, but by frequent
encounters across the table, with men, whose keenness ensures attention
to the rules of the game. But, even with the knowledge thus acquired,
the proficient will gain but little, unless he also be skilled in the
discrimination of flats and sharps.

In 1670, an edition of a book entitled 'Wits Interpreter,' was enlarged
with directions for playing the "Courtly Games of L'Hombre, Piquit,
Gleek, and Cribbage;" and in 1674 appeared Cotton's "Compleat Gamester;
or, Instructions how to play at all manner of usual and most Gentile
games, either on Cards, Dice, Billiards, Trucks, Bowls, or Chess." This
book was several times reprinted; and in an edition published in 1709,
the following are enumerated as the principal games at cards: Piquet;
Gleek; l'Ombre, a Spanish game; Cribbage; All-Fours; English Ruff and
Honours, alias Slam; Whist; French Ruff; Five Cards; a game called
Costly Colours; Bone-Ace; Put, and the High Game; Wit and Reason, a
game so called; a Pastime called the Art of Memory; a game called
Plain-Dealing; a game called Queen Nazareen; Lanterloo; a game called
Penneech; Bankafalet; Beast;[187] and Basset.[188]

The game of Whist, or Whisk, as it seems to have been usually called,
is unquestionably of English origin, and appears to have been popular
long before it became fashionable.

    "Let India vaunt her children's vast address,
    Who first contriv'd the warlike sport of Chess;
    Let nice Piquette the boast of France remain,
    And studious Ombre be the pride of Spain;
    Invention's praise shall England yield to none,
    While she can call delightful Whist her own.
    But to what name we this distinction owe,
    Is not so easy for us now to know:
    The British annals all are silent here,
    Nor deign one friendly hint our doubts to clear:
    Ev'n HUME himself, whose philosophic mind
    Could not but love a pastime so refin'd:
    Ungrateful HUME, who, till his dying day,
    Continued still his fav'rite game to play;[189]
    Tho' many a curious fact his page supplies,
    To this important point a place denies."[190]

Barrington's observations on the introduction of the game into
respectable company, are as follows: "Quadrille (a species of Ombre)
obtained a vogue upon the disuse of the latter, which it maintained
till Whisk was introduced, which now [1787] prevails not only in
England, but in most of the civilized parts of Europe.[191] If it
may not possibly be supposed that the game of Trumps (which I have
before taken notice of, as alluded to in one of the old plays contained
in Dodsley's Collection) is Whisk, I rather conceive that the first
mention of that game is to be found in Farquhar's 'Beaux Stratagem,'
which was written in the very beginning of the present century.[192]
It was then played with what were called _Swabbers_,[193] which were
possibly so termed, because they who had certain cards in their hand
were entitled to take up a share of the stake, independent of the
general event of the game. The fortunate, therefore, clearing the
board of this extraordinary stake, might be compared by seamen to the
_Swabbers_ (or cleaners of the deck), in which sense the term is still
used. Be this as it may, Whisk seems never to have been played on
principles till about fifty years ago, when it was much studied by a
set of gentlemen who frequented the Crown coffee-house in Bedford row:
before that time it was confined chiefly to the servants' hall with
All-Fours and Put."

From Mr. Barrington's own references it would appear to have been a
favorite game with country squires about 1707, the date of the Beaux
Stratagem; and occasionally indulged in by clergymen about 1728,
the date of Swift's Essay on the Fates of Clergymen. Their example,
however, seems to have been unable to retrieve it from the character of
vulgarity, until it was seriously taken up by "a set of gentlemen," who
appear to have commenced their studies at the Crown coffee-house, in
Bedford row, just about the time that the Treatise on Whist, by "Edmond
Hoyle, Gent.," was first published by Thomas Osborne, at Gray's Inn.
The studies of such gentlemen, and the celebrity of their scientific
instructor, are thus commemorated in the prologue to the 'Humours of
Whist,' a dramatic satire quoted in the preceding page.

    "Who will believe that man could e'er exist
    Who spent near half an age in studying Whist;
    Grew grey with Calculation,--Labour hard!--
    As if Life's business centred in a card?
    That such there is, let me to those appeal,
    Who with such liberal hands reward his zeal.
    Lo! Whist he makes a science; and our Peers
    Deign to turn school-boys in their riper years;
    Kings too, and Viceroys, proud to play the game,
    Devour his learned page in quest of Fame:
    While lordly sharpers dupe away at WHITE's,
    And scarce leave one poor cull for common bites."

Though Mr. Barrington has not assigned any grounds for supposing that
Whist was the same game as that which was formerly called Trumps,
or Trump, it is not unlikely that he was induced to suggest the
possibility of their being the same from his having read, in 'The
Compleat Gamester,' that Whist differed but little from the game called
English Ruff and Honours, and in consequence of his having learnt,
from Cotgrave's Dictionary, that Ruff and Trump were the same.[194]
He says, in a note, that "In 1664, a book was published, entitled 'The
Compleat Gamester,' which takes no notice of Whisk." Though it be true
that "Whisk" is not named in the first edition of the book--printed in
1674, not 1664--yet the following passage, distinctly asserting that
Whist was then a common game in all parts of England, appears in the
second edition published in 1680.

"Ruff and Honours (by some called Slam), and Whist, are games so common
in England, in all parts thereof, that every child almost, of eight
years, hath a competent knowledge in that recreation; and therefore
I am more unwilling to speak anything more of them than this, that
there may be a great deal of art used in dealing and playing at these
games, which differ very little one from the other." In the 'Memoirs
of the most Famous Gamesters, from the reign of Charles II, to that of
Queen Anne,' 1714, a sharper named Johnson, who was hanged in 1690,
is mentioned as having excelled in the art of securing honours for
himself and partner when dealing at Whist; and in the works of Taylor
the Water-poet, printed in 1630, Whisk is mentioned among the games at
which the prodigal squanders his money:

    "The prodigalls estate like to a flux,
    The Mercer, Draper, and the Silkman sucks:
    The Taylor, Millainer, Dogs, Drabs, and Dice,
    Trey-trip, or Passage, or the Most-at-thrice.
    At Irish, Tick-tacke, Doublets, Draughts, or Chesse,
    He flings his money free with carelessnesse:
    At Novum, Mumchance, Mischance (chuse ye which),
    At One-and-thirty, or at Poor-and-rich,
    Ruffe, Slam, Trump, Noddy, Whisk, Hole, Sant, New-cut.
    Unto the keeping of four Knaves he'll put
    His whole estate; at Loadum or at Gleeke,
    At Tickle-me quickly, he's a merry Greek;
    At Primifisto, Post-and payre, Primero,
    Maw, Whip-her-ginny, he's a lib'ral hero;
    At My-sow pigg'd: but (reader, never doubt ye)
    He's skill'd in all games, except Looke about ye.
    Bowles, Shove-groat, Tennis, no game comes amiss,
    His purse a nurse for anybody is;
    Caroches, Coaches, and Tobacconists,
    All sorts of people freely from his fists
    His vaine expenses daily sucke and soake,
    And he himself suckes only drinke and smoake.
    And thus the Prodigall, himselfe alone,
    Gives sucke to thousands, and himself sucks none."[195]

In an edition of 'The Compleat Gamester' of 1709, it is said that the
game of Whist is so called from the silence that is to be observed in
the play; and Dr. Johnson, from the manner in which he explains the
term, seems to have favoured this opinion: "Whist, a game at cards,
requiring close attention and silence."[196] The name, however, appears
more likely to have been a corruption of the older one of Whisk. As the
game of Whisk and Swabbers was nearly the same as that of the still
older one of Ruff and Honours, it would seem that the two former terms
were merely the ludicrous synonyms of the latter,--introduced perhaps
about the time that Ruffs were going out of fashion, and when the
Honours represented by the coat cards were at a discount. The fact that
a game, so interesting in itself, should be so slighted, as it was,
by the higher orders, from the reign of Charles II to that of George
II, would seem to intimate that they were well aware of the ridicule
intended to be conveyed by its popular name of Whisk and Swabbers.
Looking at the conjunction of these terms, and considering their
primary meaning,[197] there can scarcely be a doubt that the former
was the original of Whist, the name under which the game subsequently
obtained an introduction to fashionable society, the Swabbers having
been deposed and the Honours restored.

In playing the game, Swabbers seem to have signified either the
Honours, or the points gained through holding them. At the older game
of Ruff and Honours, Ruff signified the Trump. It would appear that
when the Ruff was called a Whisk, in ridicule of the Ruff proper,
the Honours, or points gained through them were, "in concatenation
accordingly, designated Swabbers." In the present day, a Parisian
tailor calls, facetiously, the shirt-ruffle of a shopmate a damping
clout; and Philip Stubbes, in his 'Anatomie of Abuses,' 1583, thus
speaks of the ruffs of the gallants of his time: "Thei have great and
monsterous ruffes, made either of cambricke, holland, lawne, or els of
some other the finest cloth that can be got for money, whereof some be
a quarter of a yarde deepe, yea some more, very few lesse: so that thei
stande a full quarter of a yarde (and more) from their necks, hanging
over their shoulder points instead of a vaile. But if Æolus with his
blasts, or Neptune with his stormes, chaunce to hit upon the crasie
barke of their bruised ruffes, then they goeth flip-flap in the winde,
like ragges that flew abroode, lying upon their shoulders like the
dishcloute of a slut."

In the reign of Queen Anne, card-playing seems to have attained its
full tide in every part of civilized Europe. In England, in particular,
it was at once fashionable and popular; Ombre was the favorite game of
the ladies; and Piquet of the gentlemen, _par excellence_; clergymen
and country squires rubbed on at Whist; and the lower orders shuffled
away at All-Fours, Put, Cribbage, and Lanterloo. Subsequently some
of the games may have been more diligently studied, and the chances
more nicely calculated "on principles," but at no other time, either
before or since, was card-playing more prevalent amongst people of
all classes. The more pious indeed did their best to discourage the
general passion for play; but their dissuasions appear to have produced
but little effect; as indeed might be expected at a period when one
of the first statesmen of the time piqued himself rather on his skill
in gaming than on his political reputation, and when kind landlords,
of the Sir Roger de Coverley school, used to send a string of hog's
puddings and a pack of cards as a Christmas gift to every poor family
in the parish.[198] The character of the statesman alluded to--Lord
Godolphin, who died 1712,[199]--is thus sketched by Pope in his first
Moral Epistle:

    "Who would not praise Patricio's high desert,
    His hand unstained, his uncorrupted heart,
    His comprehensive head! all interests weighed,
    All Europe saved, yet Britain not betrayed?
    He thanks you not; his pride is in piquette,
    Newmarket fame, and judgement in a bet."

The following particulars relating to the manufacture of cards in
the reign of Queen Anne, are derived from a broadside entitled
"Considerations in relation to the Imposition on Cards, humbly
submitted to the Hon. House of Commons." It is without date, but
was certainly printed in the reign of Queen Anne, for the purpose of
being circulated among the members of the House of Commons on the
occasion of a proposal to lay a tax of sixpence per pack on cards.
"Nine parts in ten of the cards now made," it is stated, "are sold from
6_s._ to 24_s._ per gross; and even these at 6_s._ will by this duty
be subjected to £3 12_s._ tax. This, with submission, will destroy
nine parts in ten of the manufacture; for those cards which are now
bought for 3_d._ [per pack] can't then be afforded under 10_d._ or
1_s._ If any of your honours hope by this tax to suppress expensive
card-playing, it is answered that the common sort who play for innocent
diversion will only be hindered; the sharp gamesters who play for money
will not be discouraged; for those who play for many pounds a game will
not be hindered by 12_d._ a pack." There were then 40,000 reams of
Genoa white paper annually imported, chiefly for the purpose of making
cards. The business was in the hands of small masters, mostly poor,
of whom there were no less than a hundred, in and about London. Their
price to retailers, one sort of cards with another, was three halfpence
a pack, and their profit not above a halfpenny. Though cards were at
that period much smaller than they are at present, it is difficult to
conceive how they could be manufactured at so low a price.

As Pope's description of the game of Ombre in the Rape of the Lock
has been so frequently referred to by writers of all kinds,--whether
treating, like Richard Seymour, Esq., on Court Games, or, like Miss
Mitford, on Country Contentments,[200]--the omission of a reference to
it here might be considered a gross oversight; but as it is impossible
to go a pitch beyond the encomiums which have been bestowed on it, the
following remarks by an old author may be introduced as a variation:
"Mr. Pope, too, most certainly has his merit; yet the generality of
polite men heed him little more than a pack-horse upon the road; they
hear the jingle of his bells and pass on, without thinking of the
treasure he carries. I have frequently thought it odd, that in all the
good company I have kept, I never heard a line quoted from any part of
him, unless, now and then, an accidental one, from his beautiful and
accurate description of the game of Ombre."[201]

During the greater portion of the "Georgian Era" it would seem that
cards were as much played at by all classes as in the reign of Queen
Anne. In the early part of George I, Seymour published his 'Court
Gamester,' written, as the title-page states, for the use of the young
Princesses.[202] The only games of which Mr. Seymour treats are Ombre,
Piquet, and the Royal Game of Chess. His instructions for playing at
Ombre and Piquet are minute and precise, and have all the appearance of
having been adapted for royal capacities. At cards with princesses, he
may have been a master, in both senses of the word, and have played,
in any company, a "decent hand;" but at Chess, it is evident, he was a
mere novice,--"aut caprimulgus, aut fossor." Though, in the title-page,
the work is said to have been written for the use of the young
princesses, yet, in the preface, the author candidly acknowledges
that he had been induced to compile it for the fashionable world at
large, seeing that "gaming had become so much the fashion among the
beau-monde, that he who in company should appear ignorant of the games
in vogue would be reckoned low-bred and hardly fit for conversation."
In his explanation of the Spanish terms employed in the game of Ombre,
he is laudably precise; though when he renders the words, "_No se deve,
por Dios_," by "_It is not lost, by G--d_," he seems wishful rather
to give the spirit of the exclamation than the simple meaning of the
phrase, and to be emphatic even at the risk of appearing profane.
It is to be hoped that the princesses confined themselves to the
original Spanish, and that they were ignorant that it contained an
oath, supposing the objectionable English words to be merely added,
_elegantiæ causa_, by their polite teacher.

About the time that Seymour's 'Court Gamester' was first published, a
spirit of gambling seems to have pervaded all classes. Skill in the
games at cards most in vogue was a test of gentility; stock-jobbing,
or speculating for a rise or a fall in the public funds, had become a
regular trade; and even pious ministers, of high dissenting principles,
who looked on card-playing as sinful, scrambled as eagerly as the most
profane for shares of South Sea stock, and were blinded to the sense
of Christian duty by the dazzling hope of becoming suddenly rich. The
South Sea bubble, however, at length burst, and its promoters and their
dupes were appropriately caricatured in a pack of cards.[203] The South
Sea directors, instead of having thousands of pounds presented to them
by the shareholders, as a tribute to their speculative genius, were
summoned before a parliamentary committee to give an account of their
estates. Parliamentary committees have of late been employed for a
purpose widely different:

                              "... multi
     Committunt eadem diverso crimina fato:
     Ille crucem pretium sceleris tulit, hic _diadema_."

About 1737, Hoyle's 'Treatise on Whist' was first published. The work,
which seems to have been admirably adapted to the wants of society
at the time, was most favorably received; and in the course of the
succeeding ten or twelve years it ran through as many editions as
Lindley Murray's Grammar, in the same period, in modern times. It
proved a "lucky hit," both for the author and the publisher, who took
every precaution to secure their copyright: injunctions were held up
_in terrorem_ against pirates; and purchasers were informed that no
copies of the work were genuine unless they bore the signatures of

[Illustration: Signature of Edmond Hoyle.]


[Illustration: Signature of Tho. Osborne]

The race of "Wits," who had previously exercised no small influence
on the world of fashion, was then on the decline; the beau-monde had
acquired the ascendency over Grub street; and gentlemen of rank and
fashion formed themselves into clubs, for the purposes of gaming and
social intercourse, from which thread-bare poets and hack pamphleteers
were excluded by the very terms of subscription, to say nothing of
the preliminary ordeal of the ballot. Those were the golden days of
Beau Nash; when George the Second was king; and his son, the Duke
of Cumberland, the patron of Broughton and Figg; when Cibber was
Poet-Laureate, and when Quin's brutality passed for wit; when the
Guards, the pride of the army, were such heroes as we see them in
Hogarth's March to Finchley; and when such statesmen as Bubb Doddington
had the entrée, by the back stairs, both at Leicester House and St.
James's. Even those who professed to correct the vices of the age seem
in some degree to have been infected with its spirit; Richardson, the
novelist, writing with the ostensible design of reforming "Rakes"
and retaining innocent young women in the paths of virtue, seems
often to indulge, more especially in Pamela and Clarissa Harlowe, in
describing scenes and suggesting circumstances which only could have
been conceived by a prurient imagination; and even John Wesley appears
to have encouraged his poor converted sinners to exaggerate their
petty vices, when speaking their experience at a love-feast, and to
dwell, with a peculiar kind of complacency, on their former state of
carnal wickedness as compared with their present state of spiritual
grace,--just as William Huntington, S.S., when in the fulness of
sanctity, dwelt on the memory of his former backslidings, and told all
the world, with ill-dissembled pride, that his first-born love-begotten
son was an exact copy of his father, both in humour and in person.

The reign of Beau Nash at Bath forms a "brilliant" era in the annals of
ostentatious frivolity. Under his auspices the City of the Sick[204]
became the favorite place of resort for the fashionable and the gay;
and in the pools where formerly lepers alone washed to cleanse them of
their sores, smooth-skinned ladies dabbled for pleasure, to the sound
of soft music, while gentlemen, enraptured, looked on.[205] The Beau
was admirably fitted, from his mercurial talents, to discharge the
peculiar duties of purveyor of pleasure to the fashionable society of
his age: he could administer flattery to a duchess while he pretended
to reprove her; and could persuade the little madams, of the Would-be
family, that they were honoured by his patronising condescension, at
the very time that he was endeavouring to make them appear ridiculous,
for the amusement of _real_ ladies. He displayed great tact in bringing
parties together who wished to be better acquainted, and denounced
scandal as the bane of fashionable society. He promoted play as a
recreation for the polite of both sexes; and encouraged dancing, not
only as a healthy exercise _per se_, but for the benefit of the rooms,
and for the sake of aiding the salutary operation of the waters. In his
dress he was "conspicuously queer," as was requisite in a Master of the
Ceremonies: he wore a large white hat,--cocked, be it observed,--the
buckle of his stock before instead of behind, and, even in the coldest
weather, his waistcoat unbuttoned, displaying the bosom of his shirt.
He drove six greys in his carriage, and when he went in state to the
rooms he was always attended by a numerous escort and a band of music,
the principal instruments of which were French horns,--"Sonorous metal,
blowing martial sounds." On his decease, which took place in 1761, the
corporation of Bath, grateful for the benefits conferred on their city
through his means, erected a marble statue of the Grand Master of the
Ceremonies in the Pump-room, between the busts of Newton and Pope; and
his good-natured friend, the Earl of Chesterfield, in an epigram, thus
did justice to his memory and the taste of the corporation:

    "The Statue, placed these busts between,
      Gives Satire all its strength;
    Wisdom and Wit are little seen,
      But Folly at full length."

The Earl of Chesterfield was a frequent visitor at Bath, where he
found many admirers of his wit, and many opportunities of exercising
it. Bath, indeed, was the very place for such a genius to shine in,
for in no other city in the kingdom were manners and morals, such
as his lordship's, more highly appreciated. His lordship was fond
of play too; and was partial to the company of Mr. Lookup, one of
the most noted professional gamesters of the day. Lookup, as well
as Colonel Charteris,--of notorious memory in the annals of gaming
and debauchery,--was from the north of the Tweed. He was born in
the neighbourhood of Jedburgh, and was bred an apothecary. On the
expiration of his apprenticeship, he proceeded southward, and obtained
a situation in the shop of an apothecary at Bath. On the death of his
master, he wooed and won the widow; and having thus obtained possession
of about five hundred pounds in ready money, he gave up the shop, and
devoted himself entirely to play, an itch for which he is said to have
brought with him from his native country. In Lookup's youth, and,
indeed, for many years afterwards, a fondness for card-playing was more
prevalent in Jedburgh than in any other town on the Scottish border.

Lookup, having determined to make gaming his business, devoted, like a
sensible man, his whole attention to it: he calculated the odds coolly,
played steadily, and, consequently, won considerably from those
fashionable amateurs whose confidence was not according to knowledge.
He was not only a proficient in all the usual games at cards, but also
played well at billiards. Lord Chesterfield used sometimes to amuse
himself at billiards with Lookup; and on one occasion had the laugh
turned against him by a _ruse_ of his antagonist, who, after winning a
game or two, asked his lordship how many he would give if he were to
put a patch over one eye. His lordship agreed to give him five;[206]
and Lookup having won several games in succession, his lordship threw
down his mace, declaring that he thought Lookup played as well with
one eye as with two. "I don't wonder at it, my lord," replied Lookup,
"for I have only seen out of one these ten years." The eye of which
Lookup had lost the use appeared as perfect as the other, even to a
near observer. With the money which he had at various times won of Lord
Chesterfield, chiefly at Piquet, he built some houses at Bath, which he
jocularly called "Chesterfield Row."

Lookup's gambling career, though successful, was not uniformly smooth;
and on one occasion he got himself very awkwardly entangled in the
meshes of the law. A gentleman, who had lost between three and four
hundred pounds to Lookup at Cribbage, being persuaded that there had
been "a pull" upon him, brought an action against Lookup for double
damages, according to the statute made and provided for the special
protection of the Tom-Noddy class of gamesters,--pitiful, whimpering,
greedy fools, who call upon the world to commiserate their losses,
though occasioned solely by their attempts on the purses of people
more knowing, though not a whit more knavish, than themselves. In
the course of some proceedings arising out of this action, Lookup,
through the blunder of his attorney, it is said, swore to the truth of
a circumstance which was subsequently proved to be false. Lookup was
hereupon prosecuted for perjury, and imprisoned; and only escaped the
pillory in consequence of a flaw in the indictment: the blunder of his
own attorney brings him into peril, and the blunder of his opponent's
sets him free; John a-Nokes's broken arm is a set-off against Tom
a-Styles's broken leg; each party is left to pay his own costs, and
thus the Law at least is satisfied. The oyster is swallowed, and the
scales of justice are evenly balanced with a shell in each.

Lookup, like his contemporary, Elwes the miser, who was also a great
card-player, frequently lost large sums by projects which he was
allured to engage in by the tempting bait of a large return for his
capital; a corrective occasionally administered by fortune to her
spoiled children when they leave their old successful course of retail
trickery, to embark as merchant adventurers on the sea of speculation.
But though fortune frowned on him when he gave up gaming as a regular
profession, to become the principal partner in a saltpetre manufactory
at Chelsea, she yet looked favorably on some of his other speculations
which were more in accordance with his old vocation: the shares which
he held in several privateers, in the French war from 1758 to 1763,
paid well; and he was highly successful as an adventurer in the slave
trade. He is said to have died "in harness,"--that is, with cards in
his hand,--when engaged in playing at his favorite game of Humbug, or
two-handed Whist. Foote--who is supposed to have represented him in
the character of Loader, in the farce of the Minor--is said to have
observed, on learning the circumstances of his death, that "Lookup
was humbugged out of the world at last." He died in November, 1770,
aged about seventy. His biographer thus sums up his character: "Upon
the whole, Mr. Lookup was as extraordinary a person as we have met
with for several years in the metropolis. He possessed a great share
of good sense, cultivated by a long acquaintance with the world; had
a smattering of learning, and a pretty retentive memory; was fluent
in words, and of a ready imagination. We cannot add, he was either
generous, grateful, or courageous. In his sentiments, his cunning, and
his fate, he nearly resembles the famous Colonel Charteris; a Scotchman
by birth, and a gamester by profession, he narrowly escaped condign
punishment for a crime that was not amongst the foremost of those of
which he probably might be accused."[207] Had he lived in the railway
era, he would, most assuredly, have been either a king or a stag royal:

    "The craven rook and pert jackdaw,
      Although no birds of moral kind,
    Yet serve, when dead, and stuffed with straw,
      To show us which way points the wind."

The reign of George II is a historical picture of "great breadth,"
abounding in strongly marked characters, strikingly contrasted;
but chiefly undignified, and generally low. The Carnal man is a
ruffian rioting in Gin Lane; whilst the Spiritual is typified by a
sinister-looking personage, with lank hair, cadaverous visage, and
a cock-eye, preaching Free Grace from a tub to a miscellaneous
company at Mile-end Green,--the indifference of the unregenerate being
indicated by a prize fight in the background. Here a poor rogue is
going, drunk, to Tyburn, for having robbed a thief-taker's journeyman
of a silver watch, a steel chain, and a tobacco-stopper,--worth
altogether forty shillings and threepence, the value required by law
to entitle the thief-taker to his price of blood; and there a wealthy
soap-boiler, who has made a fortune by cheating the excise, is going
in state to Guildhall as Lord Mayor of London. Here a young rake is
making violent love to his mother's maid, who has been induced to
encourage his attentions from her reading Pamela; and there his aunt,
a maiden lady of fifty-two, but having in her own right three thousand
a year, is complacently listening to the matrimonial proposals of a
young New-light preacher. Here is Colley Cibber sipping his wine at the
table of "my lord;" and there sits Samuel Johnson, behind the screen
in Cave's back shop, eagerly devouring the plate of meat which the
considerate bookseller has sent him from his own table. Here are Johnny
Cope and the dragoons riding a race from Preston Pans; and there sits
the young Chevalier, unkempt and bare-legged, smoking a short pipe in
a Highland hut. Here hangs the sign of the Duke of Cumberland's head;
and there, grinning down on it from the elevation of Temple Bar, are
the heads of the decapitated rebels. Here Ranelagh is seen shut up on
account of the earthquake at Lisbon;[208] and there a batch of gambling
senators are hurrying down to the House from the club at WHITE'S, to
give their votes in favour of a bill to repress gaming.

The several acts passed against gaming, in the reign of George II,
appear to have had but little effect in restraining the practice,
either at the time, or in any subsequent reign; for though occasionally
a solitary loose fish might become entangled in their meshes, they
never interrupted the onward course of the great shoal.

The shameless inconsistency of many of the noble lords and honorable
gentlemen who were parties to the enactment of those laws, is cleverly
shown up in an ironical pamphlet entitled, "A Letter to the Club at
White's. In which are set forth the great Expediency of repealing the
Laws now in force against Excessive Gaming, and the many Advantages
that would arise to this Nation from it. By Erasmus Mumford, Esq.,"
1750. The following passages appear most worthy of transcription, both
as showing the composition of a celebrated club about a hundred years
ago, and as containing the pith of the writer's argument.

"The pertinency of my address to you, my Lords and Gentlemen, on
this occasion, must be evident to every one that knows anything of
your history; as that you are a Club of about Five Hundred, much the
greatest part of you Peers and Members of Parliament, who meet every
day at a celebrated Chocolate House, near St. James's, with much
greater assiduity than you meet in the Court of Requests; and there,
all party quarrels being laid aside, all State questions dropped, Whigs
and Tories, Placemen and Patriots, Courtiers and Country Gentlemen,
you all agree for the good of the Public, in the salutary measures
of excessive gaming. But then as this is against laws of your own
making, though now become old-fashioned, musty things, it would save
appearances a little to the world methinks, that they should be
repealed in the same solemn form in which they were enacted. And as
you are, by yourselves and your relations, a great majority of the
Legislature, and have no party bias whatsoever on this article, so it
would certainly be as easy for you, as it is, in my opinion, incumbent
on you, to accomplish such a repeal.... For, whatever we mean in our
hearts, the forms of government should be carefully preserved; and
though gaming is of the highest advantage to this nation, as I shall
presently make appear, yet to practise it in defiance of all order,
in the very sight, as it were, of the Government, and against the
spirit and letter of the laws which you made yourselves, is entirely
inconsistent with the character of Patriots, Nobles, Senators, Great
Men, or whatever name of public honour you would chuse to call
yourselves by.

"Besides, we have some odd queer maxims in our heads, that the Law is
the same for the King and the Cobler, &c., nor is there in any Act of
Parliament that has come to my knowledge, any exception of this same
house called White's and the good company who frequent it. If you have
any act against Gaming with any such exception in it, be so good as to
produce it; for I believe verily that, besides yourselves, there is not
a man in the kingdom who knows any thing of it. I have read the last
Act over and over, and I protest that I can't see any such thing; and
yet I don't know how to persuade myself that so many noble Lords and so
many of the House of Commons, of all parties and denominations, should
every day meet together in open contradiction to such an Act, without a
saving clause to shelter themselves under.--

"But though it does no other harm at present, yet still it continues
to be an act of the Lords and Commons of the kingdom, (of which you,
to your eternal praise, are a great part,) and which has had the Royal
assent. And whilst it does so continue, it not only hinders the rest
of the kingdom, who are so silly as to mind Acts of Parliament, from
Gaming, but it prevents a scheme, which I have had in my head for some
time, from taking place; which is, that you should use your utmost
endeavours with his Majesty, that he would be pleased, in consideration
of the great good of his people, to give neither place nor pension to
any Peer, howsoever deserving in all other respects, who is not of
your body; and that a Bill should be brought in to render every one
incapable of sitting as a member in either House of Parliament, how
sound soever his political principles may be, who is not likewise a
member of the Gaming Club at WHITE's. This, I apprehend, would be an
effectual way of introducing this wholesome innocent diversion into
every house of Fashion and Politeness in the kingdom, and make your
illustrious body more in vogue, if that can be, than it is at present.--

"But this scheme, which I apprehend to be of such great utility, can
never be executed whilst these Acts of Parliament remain unrepealed....
There is one difficulty indeed which I am aware of, which, as I don't
know how to get over very well myself, I must submit to your greater
wisdom; and that is, getting the king and his chief ministers to
consent. For as to the former, though he allows of the practice in his
palace once a year, from mere antient custom,[209] yet it is well known
that he discourages it very much; and the moment he heard of a table at
his house at Kensington, sent immediate orders to forbid it. And as to
the Secretaries of State, though they have this diversion once a year
or so at their houses, for the entertainment of the Foreign Ministers,
yet they never play themselves, nor show any other countenance to it,
directly nor indirectly."[210]

In the political pamphlets which appeared in opposition to the ministry
in the latter part of the reign of George II, the club at White's is
frequently alluded to; and in 'A Political and Satirical History of the
years 1756, 1757, 1758, 1759, and 1760, in a series of one hundred and
four Humourous and Entertaining Prints,'[211] the gaming propensities
of Lord Anson, the circumnavigator, who was at the same time a member
of the club and of the government, are keenly satirised. In Plate 7
he is represented as a Sea Lion, with the body of a man and the tail
of a fish; in one hand he holds a dice-box, and in the other a card;
and on the wall are two pictures, the one showing an E.O. table, and
the other a table covered with money, with the inscription "_Blacks_
and WHITES." In another print he figures as the Knave of Diamonds,
with the inscription at the top, "_Hic niger est_;" and at the bottom,
"ACAPULCA." In the Key prefixed to the work the person represented
is thus denounced: "This caricatura's propensity to gaming tells us
at once how valuable he must be to a shipwrecked state, and that he
deserves (like a drunken pilot in a storm) to be thrown overboard, to
make room for one of clearer brains and more integrity." The three
other Knaves are: SPADES, inscribed "Monsr. Dupe;" and in the Key it is
said that, by the flower-de-luces, seen on the ground, is expressed,
"how much this caricatura was connected with our enemies, and was even
a Dupe to them against the interests of his country." HEARTS, with a
fox's head, and inscribed "Monsr. Surecard:" in the Key it is said
that this character "infers, by the sharpness of the nose, that craft
and subtilty which is natural to creatures of a similar kind, known by
the name of FOXES, and is here pointed out as a Knave." CLUBS, with a
broken yoke in his hand, and inscribed "Null Marriage:" the Key says,
"this caricatura was esteemed the most atrocious Knave in the pack, and
the worst of the black sort."

Another plate in the same series of caricatures displays the gamester's
coat of arms. The shield is charged with cards, dice, and dice-boxes,
and is surrounded by a chain, from which hangs a label inscribed
"CLARET." Supporters, two Knaves. Crest, a hand holding a dice-box.
Motto, "_Cog it_ AMOR NUMMI." In Plate 90, of which a copy is here
given, the principal performers figuring on the political stage in
1759 are represented as coat cards.[212] In the suit of HEARTS, the
King, Optimus, is George II; Queen, Britannia; Knave, Pitt. DIAMONDS,
King, the King of Prussia; Queen, the City of London; Knave, Prince
Ferdinand. SPADES, King, the King of Poland; Queen, the Queen of
Hungary; Knave, Holland. CLUBS, King, the King of France; Queen,
Gallia; Knave, Marshal Broglie. In the Key it is said that "the labels
and characters here represented are sufficient to explain the meaning
of the print, with the least application."

[Illustration: The Court Cards of 1759 or Hearts is Trump & has won the

In a work relating to the authorship of Junius's Letters,[213] the
following account is given of the volume of caricatures in question.
It is not, however, correct in every point; for though it may be true
that the earlier plates were at first privately distributed, it is
certain that subsequently they were publicly sold. The first collection
of them, published in a volume, consisted only of the caricatures
for 1756-7; and appears to have been enlarged from time to time, by
the addition of such plates as had been published separately in the
preceding year. The edition of the first volume which I have consulted,
containing the plates from 1756 to 1760, is the fifth,--a proof that
latterly those caricatures were not privately distributed, whatever
they might have been at the commencement. Though Lord George Townshend
might have supplied the publisher with sketches or hints,[214] for
some of the subjects, and even have suggested the publication of the
series, it would be absurd to conclude that he was the designer of the
whole. There are only four subjects in the volume relating to Lord
George Sackville; and they are among the most worthless of the series,
both with respect to conception and design.

"Soon after the unfortunate misunderstanding at Minden, Lord George
Townshend (who had formerly been on friendly terms with Lord George
Sackville, particularly at the battle of Dettingen) joined with the
court party in publicly censuring his conduct. He had an ingenious
turn for drawing, and he even went so far as to caricature Lord George
flying from Minden, which, with many others, he privately circulated
among his friends. This book of caricatures, bearing date from 1756 to
1762, is extremely curious. As they were privately distributed, they
are, of course, seldom to be met with. I never saw but one complete
set, now in the possession of W. Little, Esq., of Richmond, who has
obligingly allowed me to copy the one in question, which is submitted
to the reader's inspection. We have Lord Orford's testimony to prove
that this book was the production of Lord George Townshend. Lord
Orford has described the first of the series, vol. ii, p. 68, 'A new
species of this manufacture now first appeared, invented by Lord George
Townshend; they were caricatures on cards. The original one, which had
amazing vent, was of Newcastle and Fox, looking at each other, and
crying with Peachum, in the Beggar's Opera, '_Brother, brother, we
are both in the wrong_.' On the Royal Exchange a paper was affixed,
advertising 'Three kingdoms to be let: inquire of Andrew Stone, broker,
in Lincoln's Inn Fields.'--The whole series forms a curious collection.
Those on Lord George Sackville were very severe."

The example set by the club at White's appears to have been much more
influential in promoting gaming than the denunciation of an Act of
Parliament to have been effective in repressing it: the letter of
the act was, indeed, killing, but the spirit of the legislators, as
displayed at White's, kept the game alive. New clubs of the same
kind,--on the principle of mutual insurance against informers,--were
established in the metropolis; and even in the provinces, country
gentlemen and tradesmen, becoming aware of the advantages of the
social compact, formed themselves into little clubs for the purpose of
indulging in a quiet game at cards or dice. Card-playing about the same
time, or a little later, was greatly promoted by the establishment of
assembly-rooms in country towns, where cock-fighting squires, after
attending the pit in the morning, might enjoy in the evening the more
refined amusements of dancing and cards.[215] The example set by the
higher classes was followed by the lower; and at a "merry night" in a
Cumberland village, some fifty years since, cards were as indispensable
as at an assize ball in the county town: with the exception of the
dress of the company and the arrangement of the rooms, the one
assembly, at the commencement at least, seems to have displayed all the
essentials of the other.

    "Ay, lad, see a murry-neet we've had at Bleckell!
      The sound o' the fiddle yet rings i' my ear;
    Aw reet clipt and heeled were the lads and the lasses,
      And monnie a clever lish hussey was there:
    The bettermer sort sat snug i' the parlour;
      I' th' pantry the sweethearters cuttered sae soft;
    The dancers they kicked up a stour i' the kitchen;
      At lanter the caird-lakers sat i' the loft."[216]

The passion for card-playing appears to have been extremely prevalent
in the earlier part of the reign of George III.[217] In almost every
town where there is an assembly-room, traditional anecdotes are handed
down of certain keen players keeping up the game for twenty-four
successive hours, till they were up to their knees in cards; and there
is scarcely a county in England that has not a story to tell of two or
three of its old landed gentry being ruined at cards by the Prince of
Wales. Even villages have their annals of gaming; of once substantial
farmers turning horse-coursers and riding headlong to ruin on a leather
plater; of others going more quietly off at cards, staking their
corn before it was housed; and of certain desperate cock-fighters
losing their whole substance at a single match, and then straightway
hanging themselves in their own barn. The love of card-playing, to the
great horror of the inordinately pious, seems even to have infected
ladies who were, in other respects, irreproachable:--good wives,
affectionate mothers, teaching their children the Catechism, going
regularly to church on Sundays, and taking the sacrament every month;
yet, alas! dearly loving a snug private party of four or five tables,
and immensely fond of Quadrille; and making but a poor atonement for
their transgression by never touching a card in Passion week, nor the
night before the Communion, nor even on the Wednesdays and Fridays
in Lent,--whenever they could avoid playing, "consistently with good

A discourse against gaming, preached in 1793, by Dr. Thomas Rennell,
Master of the Temple, seems to have made much noise about the time, but
no converts. The most original passage in the work is the following,
wherein he asserts that the habit of card-playing renders the mind
insensible of Gospel evidence: in the present day, it may be observed
in passing, that a similar effect has been ascribed to the study of
Oriel-college logic. "The mind of one immersed in cards soon becomes
vacant, frivolous, and captious. The habits form a strange mixture of
mock gravity and pert flippancy. The understanding, by a perpetual
attention to a variety of unmeaning combinations, acquires a kind of
pride in this bastard employment of the faculty of thought, which is
so far from having any analogy to the real exercise of reason, that we
generally find a miserable eminence in it attainable by the dullest,
the most ignorant, and most contemptible of mankind. The gamester,
however, frequently mistakes this skill for general acuteness, and
from that conceit either totally rejects the Gospel evidence, or if
political or professional considerations render this indecent or
inexpedient, he harbours all that contemptible chicane, all that petty
sophistry, all that creeping evasion, with which a selfish heart, and a
contracted understanding, meets and embraces the prevailing heresy of
the times in which we live."[219]

The following appears to be levelled at an individual of no small
reputation in his day, and whose memory is likely to outlast Dr.
Rennell's. "What is it that converts those designed by Providence
to be the GUARDIANS and PROTECTORS into the BANE and CURSE of their
country? I will answer, the GAMING TABLE. The reverses here every
moment occurring unite beggared fortunes, mortified pride, callous
baseness, and inflamed appetites, directing their joint operations to
the destruction of that common mother which gave them birth. And here
I wish to be rightly understood--that with a frugal, active, dignified
poverty, the discharge of public duty is perfectly compatible. Such a
poverty was highly reverenced in the best ages of Pagan antiquity, as
the nurse of every great and useful exertion; but as distant as light
from darkness is such a poverty from that degraded, malevolent, abject
MENDICITY, the offspring of vice, the organ of faction, and the parent
of universal prostitution and venality."

Dr. Parr, in his copy of this discourse, wrote the following note,
which may serve as a tail-piece to the present chapter: "Dr. Rennell
is said, with his own hand, to have put a copy of this animated sermon
under the knocker of Mr. Fox's door in South street. I could wish the
story to be untrue. But the eloquent preacher did not employ his great
talents in a sermon against Sabbath-breaking, though his illustrious
patron, Mr. Pitt, had lately fought a duel with Mr. Tierney on
Wimbledon Common."


[109] Heller, Vom Ursprung der Spielkarten, in der Geschichte der
Holzschneidekunst, s. 307.

[110] "Interim vero jocis et ludo, minime concito, vacandum, ne sensus
cogitatione occupati concoctionem impediant. Careat jocus (quem
urbanum, facetum, modestum volo) dicacitate, scurrilitate, mordacitate.
Nolo mimos; non proterviam; non dicteria; non convicia, unde ira et
indignatio, et plerumque magna rixa oritur. Ludus sit talis, tessera,
saccho (ut nostra appellatione utur), _carthis variis imaginibus
pictis_. Absit inter ludendum omnis fraus et avaritia, qua illiberalior
et destestandus fit ludus, nec ullam affert ludenti voluptatem; cum
timor, ira, et immensa habendi cupiditas variis modis ludentes cruciet."

The first edition of Platina's treatise, De Honesta Voluptate, appeared
at Venice, 1475. The preceding extract is from the second edition,
printed in 1480.--Platina was born in 1421, and died in 1481.

[111] "Non mirum ergo ob hujus planctæ excellentem prærogativam si
in taxillis felicem jactum, non Jovem qui major fortuna putatur, sed
Venerem nuncupavit antiquitas. Unde Propertius,

    Me quoque per talos Venerem quærente secundos,
      Semper damnosi subsiliere Canes.

Canem vero et Caniculam damnosum jactum etiam siderum comparatione
appellaverunt. Sic Persius:

    ... Damnosa canicula quantum

Canis vero et canicula qualia sint sidera superius patuit. Sed forsitan
quidam riderent hujuscemodi ludorum inventionem, doctis quoque viris
tribui, nisi et ludum quem chartarum nominant vulgò et à sapientibus
fuisse excogitatum ratio dictaret; nam, ut regum, reginarum, equitum
peditumque potentiam præteream (quilibet enim dignitatis militiæque
differentiam novit), nonne cum ensium, hastarum, scyphorum, paniumque
agrestium vim consideramus, perspicacissimi ingenii inventorem esse
cognoscimus? Cum viribus ubi est opus, ut in hastis ensibusque videtur,
multitudo superat paucitatem: in esculentis vero poculentisque, ut
per panes vinumque figuratur, paucitas multitudinem vincit; constat
enim abstemios crapulosis edacibusque viris acrioris esse ingenii,
et in negotiis agendis fore superiores. Panes autem rusticos voco,
propter formam et colorem, croceo enim colore olim fuisse Plinius
narrat, (nam cuppæ scyphi sunt, ubi vinum,) et illi sunt panes, quos
imperite nummos credunt. Hastas, sic dixit vulgus, quoniam H aspiratio
et V convertantur, ut Hesper, Vesper. B autem et V sibi invicem
sedem præbere Græcus Latinusque testantur; ut Bastoni Hastoni vulgò
appelleutur, ita ut aliquando hastarum plerumque bipennium formam
gerant; utrumque enim militiæ; instrumentum est."--Galeottus Martius,
De Doctrina Promiscua, cap. xxxvi, pp. 477-8. 16mo, Lyons, 1552.

[112] Anderson's History of Commerce, vol. i, p. 483.--The passage
relating to cards, in the act referred to, was pointed out to the Hon.
D. Barrington by Mr. John Nichols. Gough, in his 'Observations on the
Invention of Cards,' in the Eighth Volume of Archæologia, says, that
Mr. Le Neve produced before the Society of Antiquaries a minute to
show that cards were manufactured in England before the 1st of Edward
IV; for then a person had his name from his ancestor having been a
card-maker. Mr. Gough observes that the ancestor of this person--Hugh
Cardmaker, prior of St. John the Baptist, at Bridgenorth--was
probably a maker of cards for dressing flax or wool. A _Karter_--a
wool-comber--occurs in the town-books of Nuremberg, in 1397.

[113] Fenn's Paston Letters, vol. ii, p. 333, edit. 1778.

[114] "The kynge came privily to the said castell [of Newbattle],
and entred within the chammer with a small company, where he founde
the quene playing at the CARDES."--Leland's Collectanea, vol. iii,
Appendix, p. 284. Cited by Warton, in his History of English Poetry,
who also observes that cards are mentioned in a statute of Henry VII,
in the year 1496.

[115] Private Life of James IV of Scotland, in Chambers's Edinburgh
Journal, Nos. 9 and 10, 1832.

[116] "Les cartes, comme tout ce qui tient aux arts, out une origine
Italienne: c'est à Venise ou à Florence que les Grecs réfugiés de
Constantinople les ont d'abord fait connaître."--Annuaire Historique
pour I'année 1837, p. 188.

[117] Ducange, Glossarium ad Scriptores mediæ; et infimæ Græcitatis.
Folio, 1688. Under the words Αζαρια and Χαρτια. Ταυλια is merely
a different mode of spelling ταβλια--_tabulæ_, tables, a kind of
backgammon board with its appendages.

[118] The following is Mons. Brunet's prefatory note to his brochure,
which was published at Paris, in 1842. "Les curieux, les amateurs
de livres recherchent avec empressement tout ce qui a rapport aux
cartes; c'est ce qui m'a porté à consacrer un instant de loisir à la
traduction de ce que je venais de lire, à cet égard, dans un ouvrage
allemand, vaste répertoire de I'érudition bibliographique la plus
étendue (Lehrbuch einer Literargeschichte der berühmtesten Volker des
Mittelalters, von J.G.T. Grasse, Dresden und Leipsig, Arnoldische
Buchhandlung, 1842, Band II, s. 879-85); j'ajoute quelques indications
nouvelles à cet aperçu, que je n'imprime d'ailleurs qu'à quelques

[119] Geiler's second bell--his peal consists of seven--rings to this
tune. "Secunda nola est: ludcre alea dissimilibus. Tangit hæc nola
feminas nobiles et sacerdotes: feminas, inquam, quæ immiscent se
turbis virorum et cum eis ludunt, contra c. ii de judiciis, lib. vi;
sacerdotes et prelatos ludentes cum laicis,--laici sunt clericis oppido
infesti, unde scandalizantur; nobiles qui ludunt cum nebulonibus et
lenonibus, ut in speculo nostro vulgari habes."--Speculum Fatuorum,
auctore Joanne Geiler de Keisersberg, concionatore Argentorense, sect.
LXXVII. Lusorum turba (_Spiel Narre_). Edit. Strasburg, 1511. It may
here be observed that Geiler's bells are intended by himself for the
caps of "_Spiel Narre_"--gambling fools.

[120] "Logica Memorativa: Chartiludium logice, sive dialectice memoria;
et novus Petri Hyspani textus emendatus. Cum jucundo pictasmatis
exercitio: eruditi viri F. Thomæ Murner, ordinis minorum, theologie
doctoris eximii." 4to, Strasburg, 1509 Leber says that the book
was first printed at Cracow in 1507; and that an edition of it, in
octavo, was printed at Paris in 1629. Murner was one of Luther's early
opponents; and one of the pamphlets which was published during their
controversy bears the following title: "Antwort dem Murner, uff scine
frag, ob der Künig von Engellant ein lügner sey, oder der götliche
doctor Mart. Luther, 1523." "An answer to Mumer on his question,
'Whether the King of England, or the reverend Doctor Martin Luther, is
a liar?'"

[121] "Chartiludium Institute summarie, doctore Thoma Murner memorante
et ludente." 4to, Strasburg, 1518. A copy of this book was sold at
Dr. Kloss's sale in 1835; and in the Catalogue, No. 2579, we are
informed that "this very rare and curious volume contains very many
wood-engravings, illustrative of four distinct games played by the
ancients with paper." Such games, we may presume, as are played at with
the Statutes at large. If Murner understood any game, he must have
learnt it subsequent to the publication of his Logical Card-play; and
if he were able to make it subservient to the explanation of anything
else, he must have improved himself greatly between 1508 and 1518.

[122] The Voyage of Columbus, in Poems by Samuel Rogers. Mr. Rogers's
note on the passage above quoted is: "Among those who went with
Columbus were many adventurers and gentlemen of the court. Primero was
then the game in fashion. See Vega, p. 2, lib. iii, c. 9."

[123] "Y porque decimos, que estos Españoles jugavan, y no hemos dicho
con què; es de saber, que despues que en la sangrienta battalla de
Manvila los quemaron los naypes, que llevavan con todo lo demàs que
alli perdieron, hacian naypes de pergamino, y los pintavan à las mil
maravillas; porque en qualquiera necessidad que se los ofrescia, se
animavan à hacer lo que avian menester. Y salian con ello, como si toda
su vida huvieran sido Maestros de aquel oficio; y porque no podian,
ò no querian hacer tantos, quantos eran menester, hicieron los que
bastavan, sirviendo por horas limitadas, andando por rueda entre los
jugadores; de donde (ò de otro paso semejante) podriamos decir, que
huviese nascido el refràn, que entre los Tahures se usa decir jugando:
Demonos priesa señores, que vienen por los naypes; y como los que
hacian los nuestros eran de cuero, duravan por peñas."--La Florida del
Inca [Garcilasso de la Vega], Parte Primera del Libro Quinto, capitulo
i, p. 198. Folio, Madrid, 1723.

[124] "Also I order and command that there be a care that all soldiers
have their room clean, and unpestered of chests, and other things,
without consenting in any case to have cards; and, if there be any,
to be taken away presently: neither permit them to the mariners; and
if the soldiers have any, let me be advertised."--Orders set down by
the Duke of Medina to be observed in the Voyage towards England, 1588;
reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany.

[125] Strutt, who quotes this passage in his Sports and Pastimes,
refers to Sir William Forrest, and Warton's History of English Poetry,
vol. iii, sect. iii, p. 311. Sir William Forrest's work, entitled 'The
Poesye of Princelye Practise,' was written towards the conclusion of
the reign of Henry VIII, and presented to Edward VI. The author allows
that a king, after dinner, may for a while "repose" himself at tables,
chess, or cards; but denies the latter to labouring people. Strutt says
that the work is in manuscript, in the Royal Library.

[126] Sir Robert Baker, in his Chronicle, states that in the eighteenth
year of Henry VIII a proclamation was made against all unlawful games,
so that in all places, tables, dice, cards, and bowls were taken and
burnt; but that this order continued not long, for young men, being
thus restrained, "fell to drinking, _stealing conies_, and other worse

[127] Furny--French, _fourni_--prepared, sorted, furnished, in complete
fashion, in full equipage. The card was a _coat_ card, in a certain
sense, though certainly not an honour.

[128] For some account of the author of this satire, the reader is
referred to Annals of the English Bible, by Christopher Anderson, vol.
i, pp. 63, 116, 136, 137. 8vo, 1845.

[129] Privy Purse Expenses of the Princess Mary, daughter of King Henry
VIII, afterwards Queen Mary. With a Memoir of the Princess, and Notes,
by Fred. Madden, Esq., F.S.A. 1831. From the following references in
the index, the reader may judge of Mary's partiality to the game.

"Cards, money delivered to the Princess to play at, p. 3, 10, 11, 14,
19, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 31, 32, 35, 49, 50, 55, 57, 59, 67, 69, 73,
76, 81, _sæpe_, 101."

"Cards, money lent, to play at, 4, 13, 29, 30."

The sums delivered are mostly from 20_s._ to 40_s._ One entry is for so
small a sum as 2_s._ 2_d._, and another for 12_s._ 6_d._

[130] The charge of gaming is frequently alleged against the more
wealthy members of the Roman Catholic clergy by writers who were in
favour of the Reformation. "Item les grosses sommes de deniers qu'ils
jouent ordinairement, soit à la Prime, à la Chance, à la Paulme, n'ont
pas esté mises en compte. Qui est le bon Papiste qui pourroit se
contenter de voir son Prelat jouër et perdre pour une après disnee,
quatre, cinq, et six mil escus: pour une reste de Prime, avoir couché
cinq cens escus; pour un Aflac en perdre mille; que la pluspart des
episcopaux, jusques aux moindres chanoines, tiennent berland ouvert
à jouër à tous jeux prohibez et defendus, non seulement par le droit
canon, mais par les ordonnances du roi? L'exces y est bien tel, qu'on
monstrera qu'au simple chanoine, en achapt de cartes et de dez,
a employé durant une année cent, et six vingts escus, compris la
chandelle et le vin de ceux qui la mouchoyent."--Le Cabinet du Roy
de France, dans lequel il y a trois Perles precieuses d'inestimable
valeur, p. 65. 12mo, 1581. This virulent attack on the French clergy is
ascribed by Mons. Le Duchat to Nicolas Froumenteau; and by L'Isle de
Sales to Nicolas Barnaud.

[131] Anderson's Annals of the English Bible, vol. ii, p. 500.

[132] The Earls of Westmoreland and Northumberland were the principal
leaders of the Rebellion, or "Rising in the North," in 1569.

[133] His host was George Pyle, of Millheugh, on Ousenam water, about
four miles south-eastward from Jedburgh. The Earl of Westmoreland was
then staying with Kerr of Fairniherst.

[134] Hector, or Eckie of Harlaw, as he is called in the Border
Minstrelsy, delivered up the Earl of Northumberland, who had sought
refuge with him, to the Regent Murray.

[135] The name of the person against whom the bill was filed was Henry
Robson, probably of Falstone. His non-appearance seems to have caused
the dispute between the wardens, Sir J. Foster and Sir J. Carmichael,
which ended in a general combat between their followers.

[136] The above passage is quoted by Mr. T. Crofton Croker in a note
on the following lines in "A Kerry Pastoral," a poem published in
Concanen's Miscellanies, 1724, and reprinted by the Percy Society:

    "Dingle and Derry sooner shall unite,
    Shannon and Cashan both be drain'd outright;
    And Kerry men forsake their cards and dice,
    Dogs be pursued by Hares, and Cats by Mice,
    Water begin to burn, and fire to wet,
    Before I shall my college friends forget."

The favorite game of the Kerry men is said to have been

[137] Pascasius Justus, in his work entitled Alea, first published in
1560, relates that though he frequently felt difficulty in obtaining
a supply of provisions when travelling in Spain, he never came to
a village, however poor, in which cards were not to be found. The
prevalence of card-playing in Spain about the middle of the sixteenth
century is further shown in a work entitled 'Satyra invectiva contra
los Tahures: en que se declaran los daños que al euerpo, y al alma y
la hazienda se siguen del juego de los naypes. Impressa en Sevilla,
en casa de Martin de Montesdoca, Año de M.D.LVII.' This work is
erroneously ascribed by Antonio, in his Bibliotheca Hispana Nova, to
Dominic Valtanas, or Baltanas, a Dominican friar, at whose instance the
edition referred to was printed. The author was Diego del Castillo,
who also wrote another work on the same subject, entitled 'Reprobacion
de los Juegos,' printed at Valladolid in 1528.--The author derives the
word _Tahur_, a gamester, from _Hurto_, theft, robbery, by transposing
the syllables, and changing _o_ into _a_:

    "Tahur y ladron,
    Una cosa son."

[138] "Il existe en Belgique plusieurs tableaux attribués à Jean Van
Eyck, qu'il est inutile de désigner, et qui par les costumes des
personnages dénotent une postériorité d'un grand nombre d'années.
Nantes en possède un, également attribué à ce maître, dont les
costumes sont ceux du règne de Charles VIII. Le sujet, sous le titre
de _Philippe-le-Bon consultant une tireuse de cartes_, en a été donné
dans le Magasin Pittoresque, année 1842, p. 324."--Quelques Mots sur la
Gravure au Millésime de 1418, p. 13. Philippe-le-Bon, Duke of Burgundy,
died in 1467; John Van Eyck in 1445.

[139] Though the ten is one of the cards employed in Marcolini's System
of Fortune-telling, it appears to have been generally omitted in the
packs of cards used by the Italian jugglers of the sixteenth century.
Leber, who says that he had examined "un grand nombre de tours de
cartes" described in the pamphlets of the most famous Italian jugglers
of the sixteenth century, yet refers only to two works on the subject
printed before 1600; one of them entitled 'Opera nuova non più vista,
nella quale potrai facilmente imparare molti giochi di mano. Composta
da Francesco di Milano, nominato in tutto il mondo il BAGATELLO.'
8vo, circa 1550. The other, 'Giochi di carte bellissimi e di memoria,
per Horatio Galasso.' Venetia, 1593. The author of the following
work, also referred to by Leber, appears to have been the original
"Pimperlimpimp," whose fame as a mountebank physician appears to have
been still fresh in the memory of the wits of the reign of Queen Anne:
'Li rari et mirabili Giuochi di Carte, da Alberto Francese, detto
PERLIMPIMPIM.' 8vo, Bologna, 1622.

[140] Life of Lord Bacon, p. 5. Lord Bacon relates the circumstances,
and a certain curious man's explanation of them, in his Sylva, Century
xth, p. 245. Edit. 1631.

[141] Cuffe assisted Colombani in the "editio princeps" of the Greek
text of the romance of Daphnis and Chloe, printed at Florence, 4to,

[142] "Observations on a picture by Zuccaro, from Lord Falkland's
collection, supposed to represent the game of Primero. By the Hon.
Daines Barrington." In the Archæologia, vol. viii. Mr. Barrington says,
"According to tradition in the family, it was painted by Zuccaro, and
represented Lord Burleigh playing at cards with three other persons,
who from their dress appear to be of distinction, each of them having
two rings on the same fingers of both their hands. The cards are marked
as at present, and differ from those of more modern times only by being
narrower and longer."

[143] Original Letters Illustrative of English History, with Notes by
Sir Henry Ellis. Second Series, vol. iii, p. 102.

[144] When the prohibition to play at cards or dice was first
introduced into apprentices' indentures I have not been able to learn.
It occurs, however, in the form of an indenture for an apprentice in 'A
Book of Presidents,' printed about 1565, and said to have been compiled
by Thos. Phaer, the translator of the seven first books of the Æneid.
In the title-page of his translation, 1558, Phaer describes himself as
"Solicitour to the King and Queenes Majesties."

[145] Those injunctions with respect to tavern-haunting and gaming are
embodied in the seventy-fifth canon of the Constitutions and Canons
Ecclesiastical, 1603.

[146] Extracts from the Accounts of the Revels at Court in the Reigns
of Elizabeth and James I. Edited by Peter Cunningham, p. 176. Published
by the Shakspere Society.

A comedy intended to display the evil consequences of dicing and
card-playing was performed before the Emperor Maximilian II at Vienna,
on New Year's Day, 1570.--See the Collectanea of Johannes a Munster,
appended to the Alea of Pascasius Justus, edit. 1617.

[147] A Briefe Apologie of Poetrie, 1591. Quoted by Mr. P. Cunningham,
in his notes to Extracts from Accounts of the Revels, p. 223. In
dramatic representations of the game of cards we seem to have preceded
the French. In 1676, a comedy by Thomas Corneille, called 'Le
Triomphe des Dames,' was acted at Paris, in the theatre of the Hôtel
de Guegenaud, and the ballet of the Game of Piquet was one of the
interludes. "The four Knaves first made their appearance with their
halberts, in order to clear the way. The Kings came in succession,
giving their hands to the Queens, whose trains were borne up by four
Slaves, the first of whom represented Tennis, the second Billiards, the
third Dice, and the fourth Backgammon."--Historical Essays upon Paris.
Translated from the French of Mons. de Saintfoix, vol. i, p. 229. Edit.

[148] In an engraving of St. Peter denying Christ, after a painting by
Teniers, two soldiers are seen playing at cards in the hall of the high
priest; and, from the chalks on the table, the game appears to be _Put_.

[149] See Mr. Battle's Opinions on Whist, in Essays by Elia (Charles

[150] "The Anatomie of Abuses, containing A Discoverie, or breife
summarie of such notable vices and corruptions as now raigne in many
Christian countreyes of the world; but especially in the countrey of
AILGNA: [Anglia, England.] Together with the most fearefull examples
of God's judgements executed upon the wicked for the same, as well in
AILGNA of late, as in other places elsewhere. Made Dialogue-wise by
Philip Stubs," p. 112. Edit. printed by Richard Jones, 1583.--The Jew's
supposition that a thunder-storm was evidence of the divine displeasure
at his being about to indulge in a rasher of bacon, is nothing compared
with Master Stubbes's announcement of the wrath of heaven against those
who indulge in starched collars, fine linen shirts, and velvet breeches.

[151] A Discourse of the most illustrious Prince, Henry, late Prince
of Wales. Written in 1626 by Sir Charles Cornwallis. Reprinted in the
Harleian Miscellany.

[152] 'TOM TELL-TROATH: or a free Discourse touching the manners of
the time.' Reprinted in the Harleian Miscellany. The king's "forraygn
children" mentioned in this pamphlet are his daughter Elizabeth and
her family. Elizabeth was married to Frederick, Elector Palatine of
the Rhine, the competitor of the Emperor Ferdinand II for the crown of

[153] "The King of Spain, or Gondemar, his ambassador."

[154] This engraving is preserved in a collection of Proclamations,
Ballads, &c., formed by the late Joseph Ames, and now in the library of
the Royal Society of Antiquaries. For the part played by Bethlem Gabor
in the affairs of Europe, between 1618 and 1628, the reader is referred
to Schiller's History of the Thirty-Years' War.

[155] "Five-Cards is an Irish game, and is as much played in that
kingdom, and that for considerable sums of money, as All-Fours is
played in Kent, but there is little analogy between them. There are
but two can play at it; and there are dealt five cards a piece.... The
five-fingers (_alias_ five of trumps) is the best card in the pack; the
ace of hearts is next to that, and the next is the ace of trumps."--The
Compleat Gamester, p. 90. Edit. 1709. First printed in 1674.

[156] Malone's Supplemental Observations on Shakspeare, cited by
Barrington. Dr. Moore, in his Views of Society and Manners in Italy,
mentions the card-playing at the opera at Florence. "I was never more
surprised," says he, "than when it was proposed to me to make one of a
whist party, in a box which seemed to have been made for the purpose,
with a little table in the middle. I hinted that it would be full as
convenient to have the party somewhere else; but I was told, good music
added greatly to the pleasure of a whist party; that it increased the
joy of good fortune, and soothed the affliction of bad."

[157] Numbers, xxvi, 55, 56; Proverbs, xvi, 33; Acts, i, 24-26.

[158] This appears to have been one of the chief grounds of objection
against cards and dice-play in Scotland, about a century later. Adam
Petrie, "the Scottish Chesterfield," adopts Balmford's conclusion:
"Lott is an ordinance whereby God often made known his mind, and
therefore ought not to be turned into a play; but Cards and Dice are
Lott; therefore they ought not to be turned into a play."--Rules of
Good Deportment, or of Good Breeding, printed at Edinburgh, 1710;
reprinted 1835.

[159] John Wesley, who sometimes "sought an answer" by lots of this
kind, was charged by the Rev. Augustus Toplady with "tossing up for his
creed, as porters or chairmen toss up for a halfpenny."--Letter to the
Rev. John Wesley, p. 7. Edit. 1770.

[160] Traité du Jeu, où l'on examine les principales questions de Droit
naturel et de Morale qui ont du rapport à cette matière. Par Jean
Barbeyrac, Professeur en Droit à Groningue. Seconde édition, revue et
augmentée. En trois tomes, 12mo. Amsterdam, 1737.

[161] Towards the close of Elizabeth's reign, Edward Darcy obtained a
patent for the manufacture of cards; and in the reign of James I the
importation of cards was prohibited, after 20th July, 1615, as the art
of making them was then brought to perfection in this country. As a
duty or tax of five shillings for every twelve dozen packs was levied
about that time by the authority of the Lord Treasurer, the statement
that such a tax was first levied in 1631, in the reign of Charles I,
is erroneous. This tax was one of the impositions complained of by the
Commons, in the reign of Charles I, "as arbitrary and illegal, being
levied without consent of Parliament." I am informed that the first act
of parliament imposing a tax on cards was passed in 1711, in the reign
of Queen Anne. The company of card-makers was first incorporated by
letters patent of Charles I in 1629.--See Singer's Researches, pp. 223,
224, 226, 365.

[162] Observations on the Antiquity of Card-playing, Archæologia, vol.

[163] Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer, p. 30. Mons. Leber had
in his collection some cards of Jean Volay's manufacture, which were
discovered in the boards of a book. Those cards are described in the
Catalogue of his books, tom. i, p. 241, Article xvii. There are also
cards manufactured by Jean Volay preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi,
at Paris.

[164] The Netherlands seem to have been famed at an early period
for the manufacture of cards. Albert Durer, in the journal which he
kept during his visit to those parts in 1521, notes that he bought
half a dozen packs for seven stivers: "Item hab umb ein halb dutzet
Niederländischer Karten geben 7 Stüber."--Albrecht Dürers Reisejournal,
in Von Murr's Journal zur Kunstgeschichte, 7ter Theil, s. 96. From a
passage in Ascham's Toxophilos, 1545, quoted by Singer, it would appear
that the price of cards was then about twopence a pack: "He sayd a
payre of cards cost not past ii.d."

[165] The Four Knaves: a series of Satirical Tracts by Samuel Rowlands.
Edited, with an Introduction and Notes, by E. F. Rimbault, Esq.
Reprinted for the Percy Society, 1843. For the loan of the cuts of the
Four Knaves the publisher is indebted to the Percy Society.

[166] On the word mandilions, Mr. Rimbault has the following note:
"Mandiglione, a jacket, a Mandilion?--Florio's _New World of Words_,
ed. 1611. Stubbes (_apud_ Strutt, _dress and habits_, vol. ii, p. 267)
says that it covered the whole body down to the thighs; and Randle
Holme describes it as 'a loose hanging garment, much like to our jacket
or jumps, but without sleeves, only having holes to put the arms
through; yet some were made with sleeves, but for no other use than to
hang on the back.'"

[167] In 1641, a pamphlet, in verse, against monopolizers and
patentees, appeared with the following title: 'A Pack of Patentees,
opened, shuffled, cut, dealt, and played.' The articles monopolized, or
for which patents had been obtained, were coals, soap, starch, leather,
salt, hops, gold wire, and horns.

    "We'll shuffle up the pack; those that before
    Did play at post and pair, must play no more."

[168] About the same period the game of cards seems to have furnished
titles to political pamphlets in other countries as well as in England.
The following is the title of a Dutch pamphlet, without date, but
apparently published about the time that the treaty of Westphalia
was concluded, 1648: 'Het herstelde Verkeer-bert verbetert in een
Lanterluy-spel.' From a passage in this pamphlet it appears that the
game of Lanterloo was the same as that called _Labate_--the French _La
Bête_, called "Beast," in Cotton's Compleat Gamester.

"_Vlaming._ Was spel is dat, Vader Jems? ick weet niet dat ick dat oyt
ghelesen heb, maer al die ghy genoemt hebt weet ick van.

"_Vader Jems._ O Bredder! het is dat spel dat veeltijts genoemt werdt
_Labate_, ofte om beter te seggen, _Lanterluy_."

[169] The two following are of later date but in the same strain. 'A
Murnival of Knaves: or Whiggism plainly display'd, and if not grown
shameless, burlesqu'd out of countenance, a Poem. 1683.' 'Win at first,
lose at last; or the Game of Cards which were shuffled by President
Bradshaw, cut by Col. Hewson the Cobler, and played by Oliver Cromwell
and Ireton till the Restoration of Charles II. 1707'--A Murnival, at
the game of Gleek, was all the four aces, kings, queens, or knaves.

[170] Poems on State Affairs, vol. iii, p. 25. Edit. 1704. "Tricon is,
at cards, that which we now call a gleek of Kings, Queens, Knaves,
&c., viz. three of them in one hand together."--Howell's Edition of
Cotgrave's French and English Dictionary, 1673. The term _Gleek_ is
probably derived from the German _Gleich_, signifying _like_; thus the
_Gleek_ was a certain number of cards of a _like_ kind. See further
illustrations of the word Gleek in Halliwell's Dictionary of Archaic

[171] William Maxwell, in a catalogue of his works prefixed to
his 'Admirable Prophecies concerning the Church of Rome,' 4to,
1615, inserts the following as one already published: "Jamesanna,
or a Pythagorical play at cards, representing the excellency and
utility of Union and Concord, with the incommodities of Division
and Discorde, dedicated to the most hopefull Prince Charles." He
also mentions another work of his, of the same kind, unpublished,
written in imitation of More's Utopia. The author informs us, that
his grandfather, William Maxwell, son of the Laird of Kirkconnel, was
man-at-arms to the Most Christian King, and had the honour to serve the
mother of Mary Queen of Scots, and also Mary herself. The Maxwells are
still "Lairds of Kirkconnel," in Dumfries-shire. "Fair Kirkconnel Lea,"
mentioned in the old ballad, "I wish I were where Helen lies," is one
of the most beautiful spots in Britain.

[172] _Saunt_ he properly explains by _centum_, a hundred. _Cientos_
was a Spanish game, resembling Piquet.

[173] Englands Balme: or, Proposals by way of Grievance and Remedy,
humbly presented to his Highness and the Parliament; towards the
Regulation of the Law and better Administration of Justice. Tending
to the great Ease and Benefit of the good People of the Nation. By
William Sheppard, Esq. 12mo, 1657. The disregard of such _good_ men as
Mr. Sergeant Sheppard for the feelings and opinions of those whom they
were pleased to consider _bad_, and who formed a great majority of the
nation, paved the way for the restoration of Charles II.

[174] Though this pamphlet does not treat of the game, but is wholly
political, it cannot be doubted that Ombre was well known in England at
the time of its publication.

[175] Titus Britannicus: An Essay of History Royal, in the Life and
Reign of his late Sacred Majesty, Charles II, of ever blessed and
immortal memory. By Aurelian Cook, Gent. p. 296. Edit. 1685. Aurelian
is loud in his praises of his Titus for his _piety_ and _religion_.
According to his account, it would seem that in these respects the
"Martyr Charles" was nothing to "Old Rowley."

[176] In Heath's Chronicles, a right loyal publication, it is said that
Dr. Dorislaus,--the Parliamentary envoy, who was assassinated at the
Hague in May, 1649,--was accustomed to play at cards on Sundays at Sir
Henry Mildmay's, in Essex.--The Democracy, or pretended free State,
being the 2d part of the Brief Chronicle of the late intestine War, p.
435. Edit. 1662.

[177] Basset would seem to have been a common game at the court of
France about the same period. "The King (Louis XIV) now seldom or never
plays, but contents himself sometimes with looking on; but formerly
he hath been engaged, and has lost great sums. Mons. S. rookt him
of near a million of livres at Basset by putting false cards upon
him, but was imprisoned and banished for it some years."--Dr. Martin
Lister, Journey to Paris in the year 1698. In 1691, Louis XIV issued an
ordonnance prohibiting Faro, Basset, and other similar games. Whoever
should be convicted of playing at any of those games was to be fined a
thousand livres; and the person who allowed them to be played in his
house incurred a penalty of six thousand livres. Basset and Flush--il
Frusso--appear to have been known in Italy in the fifteenth century.
They are mentioned by Lorenzo de Medici in his Canti Carnascialeschi,
quoted by Singer, Researches, p. 26.

[178] The following is the title of a pack of geographical cards,
now lying before me, which appear to have been engraved in the reign
of Charles II. "The 52 Counties of England and Wales, geographically
described in a pack of Cards, whereunto is added the length, breadth,
and circuit of each county, the latitude, situation, and distance from
London of the principal Cities, Towns, and Rivers, with other Remarks;
as plaine and ready for the playing of all our English Games as any of
the common Cards." The heads of the Kings are shown at the top of the
maps of Hereford, Monmouth, Middlesex, and Yorkshire; of the Queens at
the top of the maps of Durham, Huntingdon, Radnor, and Worcestershire;
and of the Knaves at the top of the maps of Anglesey, Gloucester,
Leicester, and Rutland. If the deviser had any particular meaning in
his assignment of the coat cards, it is not easy to be discovered;
though it may be "shrewdly guessed at" as respects Monmouth and York.

[179] Lord Chesterfield is reported to have said to Anstis on one
occasion, when the latter was talking to him about heraldry, "You silly
man, you do not understand your own foolish business."

[180] Menestrier, Bibliothèque curieuse et instructive, tom. ii, p. 180.

[181] By card-makers the coat cards--King, Queen, and Knave--are
technically termed _têtes_, and the others _pips_.

[182] "Jeu d'Armoires, où tous les termes du Blazon sont expliqués et
rangés par ordre. Dedié à Monseigneur le Duc de Bourgogne. Se vend à
Paris, chez Vallet, dessinateur et graveur du Roy." The privilege to
the author, Sieur Gauthier, is dated 15th December, 1686.

[183] "The PUFF COLLUSIVE is the newest of any; for it acts in the
disguise of determined hostility. It is much used by bold booksellers
and enterprising poets."--The Critic, act i. The "puff collusive" was
not an invention of Sheridan's time, but merely the revival of an old

[184] The advertisement of those cards is preserved amongst Bagford's
collections, Harleian MSS. No. 5947.

[185] "Principally games of geography, history, and metamorphoses,
engraved by Della Bella, from plans furnished by the poet Desmarets,
to facilitate the studies of Louis XIV when a child. The idea is said
to have been suggested by Cardinal Mazarine."--A pack of military
cards, with instructions for playing the game, devised by the Sieur Des
Martins, and dedicated to "Son Altesse le Duc de Maine, Colonel-général
des Suisses," appeared in 1676. His Highness the Colonel-general, who
was the son of Louis XIV and Madame Montespan, was then six years old.

By the favour of F. R. Atkinson, Esq., of Manchester, an assiduous and
intelligent collector of curious books, I have had an opportunity of
examining two sets of French Historic Cards, without date, but probably
published about 1690. One of them is entitled "Cartes des Rois de
France. A Paris, chez F. Le Comte, rue St. Jaques, au Chifre du Roi."
The title of the other is, "Jeu des Reynes Renommées. A Paris, chez
Henri le Gras, Librairie, au 3^e pilier de la grande Salle du Palais."
Both sets appeared to have been designed exclusively for the purpose of
instruction, and not for play.

[186] About the same period Moxon, "glancing from heaven to earth,
from earth to heaven," published a pack of Astronomical Cards. In the
life of Beau Hewitt, in Lucas's Memoirs of the Lives, Intrigues, and
Comical Adventures of the most Famous Gamesters and Celebrated Sharpers
in the reigns of Charles II, James II, William III, and Queen Anne,
1714, the Beau is represented as having "most assiduously studied the
use of the geometrical playing-cards, set forth by Monsieur Des Cartes,
the famous French philosopher and mathematician; but that finding the
demonstrations of that great man to be founded on no certainty, he
resolved to try his luck at dice." It is said that Pascal's attention
was first directed to the calculation of chances in consequence of some
questions proposed to him by the Chevalier de Meré, a great gamester.

[187] In the text, Beast is said to be called by the French "_La Bett_"
[_La Bête_].

[188] The following appear to have been the principal games at cards
played in England before the reign of Charles II: the game of Trumps,
in the time of Edward VI; Primero, Maw, Lodam, Noddy, La Volta,
and Bankerout, mentioned by Sir John Harrington; and Gleek, Crimp,
Mount-Saint, Knave out of Doors, Post and Pair, and Ruff, mentioned
in Dodsley's Collection of Old Plays.--See Barrington and Bowle on
Card-playing, in the Archæologia, vol. viii.

[189] "Upon his return to Edinburgh, though he found himself weaker,
yet his cheerfulness never abated; and he continued to divert himself,
as usual, with correcting his own works for a new edition, with
reading books of amusement, with the conversation of his friends;
and sometimes, in the evening, with a party at his favorite game of
whist."--Dr. Adam Smith, Letter to Wm. Strahan.

[190] Whist, a poem in twelve Cantos. By Alexander Thomson, Esq., p.
21. Second Edition, 1792.

[191] Mr. Barrington seems to have obtained his information respecting
the succession of Whist to Quadrille from an authority whom he did not
like to acknowledge, namely, Sir Calculation Puzzle, in the Humours of
Whist. "Egad, you remind me, Sir John, of an observation I have made
too; which is, that as long as Quadrille and Ombre were the games in
vogue, we certainly were under French influence. Whereas since Whist
has come in fashion, you see our politics are improved upon us."--The
Humours of Whist. A Dramatic Satire, as acted every day at WHITE's, and
other Coffee-houses and Assemblies. 8vo, 1743.

[192] From the following passage in the 'Beaux Stratagem,' act ii,
scene 1, Whisk is mentioned by Mrs. Sullen in a disparaging manner, as
if it were fit only for rustics:

"_Dorinda._ You share in all the pleasures that the country affords.

_Mrs. Sullen._ Country pleasures! racks and torments! Dost think,
child, that my limbs are made for leaping of ditches, and clambering
over styles? or that my parents, wisely foreseeing my future
happiness in country pleasures, had early instructed me in the rural
accomplishments of drinking fat ale, playing at whisk, and smoking
tobacco with my husband?"

[193] "'The clergymen used to play at _Whisk_ and _Swabbers_.'--Swift."

[194] "Whist is a game not much differing from this" [English Ruff
and Honours].--Compleat Gamester, p. 86. Edit. 1709. "Triomphe, the
card-game called Ruffe, or Trump."--Cotgrave's French and English
Dictionary. Edit. 1611.

[195] Taylor's Motto: Et habeo, et careo, et curo.

[196] The writer of an article on Whist, in the Foreign Quarterly
Review, No. 48, discussing the etymology of the name, says: "The
Irish injunction, Whisht--'be quiet,' may be thought to require
consideration. It is the exact form of the word, barring only the
pure s; but this is not the Sibboleth, or touchstone, here. At the
utmost, the difficulty is but a dialectical variety, _elegantiæ causa_,
for the sake of elegance; just as shoup, for soup."--Nares, in his
Glossary, under the word Whist, an exclamation enjoining silence, says
of the game, "That the name of Whist is derived from this, is known, I
presume, to all who play, or do not play."

[197] A Whisk, a small kind of besom: a swab or swabber, a kind of mop.

[198] "Whist; by an Amateur: its History and Practice," p. 28, 1843.--A
beautiful little book, with appropriate illustrations, designed by
Kenny Meadows, and engraved on wood by Orrin Smith and W. J. Linton.

[199] "Oldsworth upbraided the late Earl of Godolphin with having a
race-horse, and the Earl of Sunderland with having a library, very
honestly insinuating that the former made an ill use of the one, and
the latter no use at all of the other."--The Censor censured; or Cato
turned Cataline, a pamphlet, published in 1722.

[200] "Mr. Pope's beautiful description of the manner of playing this
game."--Seymour's Court Gamester, 1722.--"It is Belinda's game in
the Rape of the Lock, where every incident in the whole deal is so
described, that when Ombre is forgotten (and it is almost so already)
it may be revived with posterity from that admirable poem."--Barrington
on the Antiquity of Card-playing. Pope's Grotto, and Hampton Court,
excite in the mind of Miss Mitford "vivid images of the fair Belinda
and of the inimitable game at Ombre."--Our Village, fourth series.

[201] Serious Reflections on the dangerous tendency of the common
practice of Card-playing; especially the game of All-Fours, as it hath
been publickly played at Oxford in this present year of our Lord, 1754.

[202] The Princesses were the daughters of George Prince of Wales,
afterwards George II. One of them, Amelia, in her old maidenhood, was a
regular visitor at Bath, seeking health at the pump, and amusement at
the card-table.

[203] About 1721, a pack of cards was published, ridiculing the
principal bubble schemes of the day, but more especially the South Sea
project. About the same time, a set of caricature cards, ridiculing the
Mississippi scheme, was published in Holland.

[204] "The Saxons called it Akeman-ceaster, which has been interpreted
the City of Valetudinarians."--Bath Guide. It is worthy of remark that
most watering-places much visited by wealthy invalids, abroad as well
as at home, are also the haunts of gamesters. "Where the carrion is,
there are the vultures."

[205] "At this period it was the fashion for the ladies to adorn their
heads, before they entered the bath, with all the lures of dress. By
these means their charms were set off to such advantage, that the
husband of a lady, who, with Nash and other spectators, was admiring
the female dabblers, told his wife 'she looked like an angel, and he
wished to be with her.' Nash seized the favorable occasion to establish
his reputation as a man of gallantry and spirit, and therefore suddenly
taking the gentleman by the collar and the waistband of his breeches,
soused him over the parapet into the bath."--Life of Beau Nash.

[206] An analogous case, at cards, of _begging_ for a point in order to
inspire the adversary with an erroneous opinion of the _beggar_ being
weak, is thus related by Paschasius Justus of Pope Leo X. His holiness
once, when playing at a game similar to Primero, held such cards as
made it impossible for him to lose, except from the circumstance of
his being the last player; but as his adversary, whose turn it was to
declare first, proposed a heavy stake, he concluded that he held as
good cards as himself. Being reluctant to yield the game, "give me a
point," he cried, "and I will see you." The other, not suspecting that
the Pope held such capital cards, readily assented, and consequently
lost.--The narrator says that he could applaud the trick, if his
holiness had returned the loser his stake.--Pasc. Justi Aleæ, lib. i,
p. 50. Edit. Neapoli Nemetum [Neustadt, in the diocese of Spires], 1617.

[207] The Literary Register, or Weekly Miscellany, p. 296, Newcastle on
Tyne, 1771.

[208] "Uninflammable as the times were, they carried a great mixture
of superstition. Masquerades had been abolished, because there had
been an earthquake at Lisbon; and when the last jubilee-masquerade was
exhibited at Ranelagh, the alehouses and roads to Chelsea were crowded
with drunken people, who assembled to denounce the judgments of God
on persons of fashion, whose greatest sin was dressing themselves
ridiculously. A more inconvenient reformation, and not a more sensible
one, was set on foot by societies of tradesmen, who denounced to the
magistrate all bakers that baked or sold bread on Sundays. Alum, and
the variety of spurious ingredients with which bread, and, indeed,
all wares, were adulterated all the week round, gave not half so much
offence as the vent of the chief necessary of life on a Sunday."--Earl
of Orford's Memoirs, vol. ii, p. 283.

[209] The king not only allowed of gaming at the groom porter's at the
Christmas holidays, but used to pay a formal visit there himself at the
commencement of the "season."

[210] From an advertisement in the public papers, subsequently
referred to by the author, it would appear that this compliment to the
secretaries of state was ironical. It is there stated that a set of
gentlemen of character and fortune had determined to enforce the acts
of parliament respecting unlawful games of play, whether with cards
or otherwise; and that they were firmly resolved that neither the
sanctuary at WHITE's, nor the more sacred mansion of a secretary of
state, should prevent their putting their design in execution. It is
not surprising that cards should be a favorite game with diplomatists,
seeing that their regular vocation consists in cutting and shuffling,
and that their grand game is usually won by a trick. Talleyrand was a
capital player both at cards and protocols. Espartero, when Regent of
Spain, is said to have played at cards with the ministers as he lay in
bed. Cabral, the Portuguese minister, is also a great card-player.

[211] This collection of caricatures is contained in a small volume of
a square form, like that of a pocket dictionary. In the title, the work
is said to have been "digested and published by M. Darly, at the Acorn
in Ryder's Court, Cranbourn Alley, Leicester Fields." Subsequently,
Darly published another volume, of the same size, entitled 'A Political
and Satirical History, displaying the unhappy Influence of Scotch
Prevalency in the years 1761, 1762, and 1763; being a regular series
of ninety-six humourous, transparent, and entertaining prints. With
an explanatory Key to every print.' These two volumes contain the
most numerous and interesting series of political caricatures that
had hitherto appeared in England. The caricatures which appeared
in the Political Register from 1767 to 1772 may be considered as a
continuation of the series published by Darly.

[212] In the same volume there is another plate of the same kind,
showing the coat cards for 1756.

[213] A Critical Enquiry regarding the real Author of the Letters of
Junius, proving them to have been written by Lord Viscount Sackville.
By George Coventry, p. 34, 1825. Copies of _two_ of the caricatures on
Lord George Sackville are given in this work.

[214] At the foot of the title-page of the second volume, for the years
1761-2-3, there is a notice, that "sketches or hints, sent post-paid
[to the publisher], will have due honour shewn them."


    "Et decus ob patrium, et studiosæ pubis in usus,
    Construxere sacros chartis fidibusque penates."

  C. ANSTEY, ad C. W. BAMPFYLDE, Epistola, 1777.

[216] Ballads in the Cumberland Dialect, by R. Anderson. An explanation
of a few terms in the above verses will render them more intelligible
to the reader who has the misfortune to be unacquainted with the
Cumberland dialect. _Clipt and heeled_, prepared for the sport,
like cocks for fighting. _Lish_, sprightly, active. _Cuttered_,
cooed, like billing doves. _Stour_, dust. _Lanter_, three-card loo.
_Caird-lakers_, card-players. Lanter, or lant, so common in Cumberland
and Northumberland, appears to have been unknown to a deservedly high
authority on all sports and games: "The editor does not know the game
of _Lant_."--Bell's Life in London, 4th March, 1838.

[217] Some curious particulars--somewhat exaggerated--respecting
certain great card-players of this period will be found in 'The
Adventures of a Guinea.'

[218] An Address to Persons of Fashion relating to Balls: with a few
occasional Hints concerning Play-houses, Card-tables, &c. By the Author
of Pietas Oxoniensis. Sixth edition, 1771.

[219] "The causes of infidelity are various. Before the improved
sagacity of Dr. Rennell had discovered that it owed its origin to
Popery, his wisdom had detected its source, artfully lurking in the
'unmeaning combinations' of a pack of cards."--Reflections on the
Spirit of Religious Controversy, by the Rev. Joseph Fletcher, of
Hexham, England, p. 192. 12mo, New York, 1808.



Having in the preceding chapters endeavoured to trace the origin of
Playing Cards, and to show their progress from the time of their first
introduction into Europe, I shall now proceed to give collectively some
account of the different kinds of cards, of the various marks that have
been employed to distinguish the suits, and of the changes that they
have undergone at different periods.

Most authors who have expressly written on the subject, agree in
distinguishing two kinds of cards, namely, those which they call
Tarocchi, or Tarots; and those, consisting of four suits, which are in
common use throughout Europe. It is a subject of dispute, among the
learned in these matters, which of those two kinds are of the greatest
antiquity; Court de Gebelin considers that Tarocchi cards were known
to the ancient Egyptians;[220] and Mons. Duchesne is pleased to assume
that certain so-called Tarocchi Cards, preserved in the Bibliothèque
du Roi, belonged to one of the three packs painted for Charles VI, by
Jacquemin Gringonneur, in 1393. Mons. Duchesne is also of opinion that
these cards were the same as those which were formerly called Naibi
in Italy; and in support of it, he alleges several authorities, which
seem to him to be decisive of the fact, but which really prove nothing
more than that Chartæ and Naibi were synonymous.[221] He produces no
evidence to show that the series of painted and engraved figures, now
usually called Tarocchi, were originally known either by that name,
or by that of cards; while from a passage cited by Mons. Leber, from
Raphael Volaterranus, it would appear that Tarocchi Cards, properly
so called, were not invented till towards the close of the fifteenth
century; and from the same author we learn that a pack of such cards
consisted of the four suits of common cards, together with twenty-two
symbolical figures, similar to those which are assumed by Mons.
Duchesne to have been the original Tarocchi. Tarocchi cards--called
Tarots by the French--are still used in several parts of France,
Germany, and Italy; and an account of the manner of playing the game
is to be found in the edition of the 'Académie des Jeux,' published by
Corbet, Paris, 1814.

Mons. Duchesne calls this game Tarocchino, and distinguishes it from
that played with the old series of figures, which he supposes to have
been the original Tarocchi; but so far from there being any evidence to
show that these figures were at their first introduction known either
by the name of Tarocchi or of Cards, there seems greater reason to
conclude that they have only obtained this name in comparatively recent
times, in consequence of some of them being used in combination with
common cards, at a game called Tarocchi, which was also the name given
to the cards with which it was played. The earliest writers who mention
Tarocchi as a kind of cards, always speak of them as consisting of
four suits,--Swords, Cups, Batons, and Money,--together with a certain
number of other cards, representing various characters and emblematical

A pack of Tarots,[222] as at present used in France, corresponds
in every particular with those called Tarocchi by writers of the
sixteenth century. It consists of seventy-eight cards; that is, of
four suits of numeral cards, and twenty-two emblematic cards, called
Atous.[223] The marks of the suits are usually Swords, Cups, Batons,
and Money; and each suit consists of fourteen cards, ten of which are
"pips" or low cards, and the other four are coat cards,--namely, King,
Queen, Chevalier, and Valet. Of the Atous, twenty-one are numbered
consecutively from 1 to 21; that which is not numbered is called
the Fou,--the Clown or Buffoon,--and in playing the game is usually
designated "Mat." The Fou has of itself no positive value, but augments
that of any of the other Atous to which it may be joined. The other
Atous are numbered and named as follows:

1. The Bateleur, or Juggler; called also Pagad. 2. Juno. 3. The
Empress.[224] 4. The Emperor. 5. Jupiter. 6. L'Amoureux. 7. The
Chariot. 8. Justice. 9. The Capuchin, called also the Hermit. 10. The
Wheel of Fortune. 11. Fortitude. 12. Le Pendu--a man suspended, head
downwards, by one leg. 13. Death. 14. Temperance. 15. The Devil. 16.
The Maison-Dieu, or Hospital--a tower struck by lightning. 17. The
Stars. 18. The Moon. 19. The Sun. 20. The Last Judgment. 21. The End of
the World.--Of these the first five are called _petits atous_, and the
last five _grands atous_. Seven cards are also especially distinguished
as Tarots, or Atous-tarots; these are the End of the World, the
Buffoon, the Bateleur, and the four Kings.[225]

According to Cicognara,[226] the inventor of the game of
Tarocchino,--or Tarots, as above described,--was an Italian, who
resided at Bologna, prior to the year 1419; and the account which he
gives is to the following effect: "There is preserved in the Fibbia
family, one of the most ancient and illustrious of that city, a
portrait of Francis Fibbia, Prince of Pisa,--who sought refuge at
Bologna, about the commencement of the fifteenth century,--in which
he is represented holding in his right hand a parcel of cards, while
others appear lying on the ground; among the latter are seen the
Queen of Batons, and the Queen of Money, the one being ornamented
with the arms of the Bentivoglio family, and the other with the arms
of the Fibbia. An inscription at the bottom of the picture informs us
that Francis Fibbia, who died in 1419, had obtained, as the inventor
of Tarocchino, from the _Reformers_ of the city, the privilege of
placing his own shield of arms on the Queen of Batons, and that of
his wife, who was of the Bentivoglio family, on the Queen of Money;
"a distinction," observes Mons. Duchesne, "which nevertheless does
not exclude the supposition that Francis Fibbia, Commander-in-chief
of the Bolognese forces, had rendered more important services to his
countrymen than teaching them to play at Tarocchino."

Supposing Cicognara's account to be correct, it yet proves nothing
with respect to the comparative antiquity of the two kinds of cards
which compose the pack for the game of Tarocchino, or Tarots. Mons.
Duchesne, however, having assumed that the old series of emblematic
figures called Tarocchi cards were the oldest, sees no difficulty in
the matter, but unhesitatingly concurs with Cicognara in ascribing the
invention of Tarocchino to Francis Fibbia, without inquiring whether
Fibbia had merely combined into one pack two kinds of cards already
well known, or whether he was the first deviser of the four suits
which constitute the most important portion of the pack, and which
give to the game all its spirit. Seeing that Fibbia was honoured for
his invention by the _Reforming_ magistracy of Bologna,--where both
card-playing and the manufacture of cards appear to have been pretty
extensively carried on about 1423,--the most probable conclusion
would be, that he had deserved well in their opinion, not from having
converted by new combinations a previously innocent and amusing game
into a hazardous and exciting one, but in consequence of his having
shuffled a few moral Tarocchi into the old pack of numeral cards
of four suits, whether of Swords, Cups, Batons, and Money, or of
Bells, Hearts, Leaves, and Acorns. In support of this conclusion, it
may further be observed, that though the manufacture of cards was
extensively carried on both in Italy and Germany, before the year 1450,
no so-called Tarocchi cards of that period have been discovered which
can fairly be supposed to have been intended, either from their size
or execution, for the common purposes of play; while, on the contrary,
there are in existence several specimens of numeral cards of four
suits, either stencilled or engraved on wood, and evidently of a cheap
manufacture, for common use, of a date not later than 1450.

The kind of game for which the emblematic figures usually called
Tarocchi cards were used, remains to be discovered. Mons. Duchesne
has, indeed, hazarded a conjecture on the subject, which is equally
incapable of refutation or of proof. "The number of players," he
says, "necessary to form a party, would scarcely be limited to two,
and probably might vary from three to twelve, or rather from three
to eight; and the manner of playing might simply consist in the
appropriate laying down of such of the figures as, according to an
order agreed upon, might belong to the suit of the card first played.
The holder of certain privileged cards would have doubtless some
additional advantage; and we may further suppose that each player
being obliged, in turn, to lay down a card drawn at random, striking
contrasts resulting from unexpected combinations would afford a subject
of amusement. This supposition would seem to agree with the subject
of a book entitled 'Les Cartes Parlantes,'[227] printed at Venice,
in 1545; each card there has conferred on it an interpretation or
allusion, more or less ingenious, applicable to the figure which it
represents: thus the Pope represents fidelity in the game and sincerity
in the player; the Emperor, the laws of the game; the Valets, the
service attached to the game; the Swords, the death of despairing
gamesters; the Batons, the punishment of those who cheat; Money, the
sustenance of play; and the Cups, the drink over which the players
settle their disputes." Mons. Duchesne's conjecture can scarcely be
said to be supported by the conceits of Aretine; who, moreover, in the
whole course of his book, speaks of cards as a hazardous, exciting
game, at which both money and credit might be lost; while Mons.
Duchesne asserts that the game played with Tarocchi was merely one of
amusement, originally devised to instruct children under the semblance
of play.

The earliest known specimens of what are called Tarocchi cards are
those preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi, at Paris, and which are
supposed by Mons. Duchesne to have formed a portion of one of the three
packs painted for the amusement of Charles VI, in 1393.[228] They
formerly belonged to Mons. de Gaignières, who had been governor to the
grandchildren of Louis XIV, and who bequeathed them, together with his
entire collection of prints and drawings, to the king, in 1711. Those
cards appear to have been seen in the possession of Mons. de Gaignières
by the Abbé de Longuerue;[229] and also by Dr. Martin Lister, who
thus mentions them in his account of his journey 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 notice of,
which was a collection of playing cards for 300 years. The oldest were
three times bigger than what are now used, extremely well limned and
illuminated with gilt borders, and the pasteboard thick and firm; but
there was not a complete set of them."

The following particulars respecting those cards are chiefly derived
from Mons. Duchesne's description of them in his 'Observations sur les
Cartes à jouer,' published in the 'Annuaire Historique' for the year
1837. 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 ornamental 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 covered with silver,
which, like that on the borders, has for the most part become oxydized
through time. There is no inscription, letter, nor number, to indicate
the manner in which they were to be arranged. Mons. Leber agrees with
Mons. Duchesne in ascribing them to a French artist of the time of
Charles VI, and even seems inclined to conclude that they might have
been intended for the amusement of that lunatic king. Looking at those
cards, however, as they appear in the fac-similes published by the
Society of Bibliophiles Français, I should rather take them to be the
work of an Italian artist, and be inclined to conclude, as well from
the general style of the drawing as from the costume, that they were
not of an earlier date than 1425.

The following is Mons. Duchesne's enumeration of the seventeen cards
which he supposes to have been executed by Gringonneur: the names
in capitals are those which occur in a series of so-called Italian
Tarocchi cards, with which he considers them to correspond.

1. _Le Fou_--the Buffoon. This figure is found in the Tarots of the
present day, and is perhaps the same character as that which in the
series of old Italian engraving--called Tarocchi cards--is inscribed

2. _L'Ecuyer_--the Squire. CHEVALIER VI.

3. _L'Empereur_--the Emperor. IMPERATOR VIIII.

4. _Le Pape_--the Pope. PAPA X.

5. _Les Amoureux_--the Lovers. Young men and women courting, while
two winged Cupids are discharging arrows at them. Mons. Duchesne
gravely queries whether this subject does not represent Apollo and
Diana killing the children of Niobe, and whether it ought not to be
considered as corresponding with APOLLO XX. It has, however, as little
relation to the story of Niobe as it has to Apollo, as figured in the
engraving referred to.

6. _La Fortune_--Fortune. This figure, standing on a circle which
represents the world, holds a globe in one hand, and in the other a
sceptre. Mons. Duchesne considers that it corresponds with that named
ASTROLOGIA, in the series of Italian engravings, and there erroneously
numbered XXXVIIII, instead of XXVIIII.--Bartsch, it seems had not
observed this error.

7. _La Tempérance_--Temperance. TEMPERANCIA XXXIIII.

8. _La Force_--Fortitude. FORTEZZA XXXVI.

9. _La Justice_--Justice. JUSTICIA XXXVII.

10. _La Lune_--the Moon. LUNA XXXXI.

11. _Le Soleil_--the Sun. SOL XXXXIIII.

12. _Le Char_--the Chariot. The subject here is a figure in armour,
standing on a kind of triumphal car, and having in his right hand a
battle-axe. Mons. Duchesne says that this subject certainly corresponds

13. _L'Ermite_--the Hermit. This figure is supposed to correspond with

The four following subjects have no corresponding figures in the series
of old Italian engravings, supposed by Mons. Duchesne and others to be
Tarocchi cards: they are, however, to be found among the "Atous" of the
modern game of Tarots.

14. _Le Pendu_--A man hanging from one leg, head downwards. Court de
Gebelin, speaking of this figure as it is seen in a modern pack of
Tarots, conjectures, with his usual absurdity, that the card-maker had
erroneously represented it upside down. On turning it the contrary way,
he sees in it an emblem of Prudence,--to wit, a man standing upon one
foot, and sagely deliberating where he has to place the other.--The
figure of Le Pendu, even when thus viewed, is much more like a capering
opera-dancer, than a prudent philosopher cautiously picking his steps;
and bears not the slightest resemblance to the figure of Prudence, in
the series of old engravings, called Tarocchi cards.

15. _La Mort_--Death.

16. _La Maison-Dieu_--The Hospital. A tower struck by lightning.

17. _Le Jugement dernier_--The last Judgment.

[Illustration: Old Painted Cards ascribed to Gringonneur.--'La
Justice.' (p. 198)]

[Illustration: Old Painted Cards ascribed to Gringonneur.--'La Lune.'
(p. 198.)]

These seventeen subjects, engraved in lithography, and carefully
coloured by hand after the original drawings, are given in the 'Jeux
de Cartes Tarots et de Cartes Numérales,' published by the Society of
Bibliophiles Français, 1844. The two annexed cuts will afford some
idea of the style of the drawing, and of the manner in which the
ornaments are pricked into the gold ground. They are of the same size
as the originals; the one is that named Justice, No. 9, and the other
that named La Lune, No. 10, in the preceding enumeration. It may be
here observed that the latter is totally different from that named
LUNA XXXXI, in the series of old Italian engravings, with which it is
supposed by Mons. Duchesne to correspond: the only figure common to
both is that of a crescent moon. The drawing indeed seems to be an
emblem of Astrology, which, in the Italian engravings, is represented
by a winged female figure, having on her head a crown of stars, and
holding in her left hand a book, and in her right a divining rod.

The complete series of old Italian engravings, known to collectors
of prints by the name of Tarocchi cards, consists of fifty pieces,
divided into five classes distinguished by the first five letters of
the alphabet, A, B, C, D, E, but numbered consecutively from 1 to
50, commencing with the class marked E. At the foot of each subject
is engraved its name; together with the letter of its class, and
its number, which is given both in Roman and Arabic numerals,--the
Roman being placed immediately after the name, and the Arabic on the
extreme right. The distinctive letter of the class is on the left.
Zani[230] has conjectured that the letters might have been intended for
abbreviations of Atutto, Battoni, Coppe, Denari, and Espadone,--Atous,
Batons, Cups, Money, and Swords. _Spadone_, however, and not
_Espadone_, is the proper Italian name for swords; but as the names are
in the Venetian dialect, Mons. Duchesne appears inclined to allow that
the form _Espadone_ might have been admitted into it at that period.
That the letters, however, had no such meaning, and that they were
merely used to mark the order of each class, seems to be proved by the
fact that in another set of the same subjects, executed about the same
period, the numeral 5 is substituted for the letter E. Even if Zani's
supposition were correct, it would only strengthen the conclusion that
those so-called Tarocchi cards originated in an attempt to recombine,
under new emblems, the principles of an old game which had acquired a
disreputable character. Whatever the game might have been, it has long
become obsolete; and the only reason for supposing it to have been
cognate with that of cards, is grounded on the fact that a certain
number of the characters of those so-called Tarocchi cards occur as
Atous in the pack of Tarocchi or Tarots, previously described.

Of those old Italian engravings there are two series known to amateurs,
agreeing in the subjects, but differing in their style of execution;
though it is evident that the one has been copied from the other.[231]
In one of them, which is considered by Bartsch to be the earliest,
the date 1485 is inscribed on a tablet in the hands of the figure
named Arithmeticha XXV.[232] In the other series, which is by much the
best engraved, and is certainly the earliest, there is no date; and
the figure which there represents Arithmetic, appears to be counting
money. This series Mons. Duchesne thinks was executed about 1470;
and some writers have supposed that the subjects were engraved by
Tomaso Finiguerra. Zani, however, is inclined to believe that they
were engraved at Padua; while Otley ascribes them to a Florentine
artist. Seeing, however, that the names are in the Venetian dialect,
and that authorities on the subject of old Italian engraving disagree
with respect to them, I am inclined to suppose, without any regard to
their style of execution, that they were either engraved by a Venetian
artist, or for the Venetian market. It has also been supposed, but
erroneously, that they were designed by Andrea Mantegna, to whom a
number of other things of a similar kind have, with equal probability,
been ascribed; and amongst the dealers in old engravings, at Paris,
they are commonly known as Cartes de Baldini. Both the originals and
the copies are of great rarity; and though several single subjects
are to be found in the possession of amateurs, it is questionable if
there be more than four collections in Europe, whether private or
national, that have either the one series or the other complete. In
the British Museum there is a complete series of the originals, and
also forty-five of the copies; the five pieces wanting in the latter
PRIMA CAUSA XXXXX. There is also a complete series of the originals, in
the 'Bibliothèque du Roi;' and copies of them are given in the 'Jeux
de Cartes Tarots et de Cartes Numérales,' published by the Society
of Bibliophiles Français. Fac-similes of two,--PAPA X and RHETORICA
XXIII,--are also given by Singer in his 'Researches into the History of
Playing Cards.' From their size--about nine inches and three quarters
high, by about four inches wide,--as well as from other circumstances,
Mr. Singer considers that they were not intended for any game analogous
to that of cards, properly so called. Mons. Leber considers them to
have been merely "Cartes de Fantaisie," and observes that subjects so
delicately engraved on copper, when the invention of the art was still
recent, could scarcely have been intended to receive the colouring
required for the completion of a pack of cards.[233] It, however, may
be observed that colour is not essential to a pack of playing cards;
and that several packs of cards of four suits, evidently intended for
play, without being coloured, were delicately engraved on copper,
before the end of the fifteenth century.

Even Mons. Duchesne, while contending that those fifty old engravings
were really Tarocchi cards, admits that they bear no relation to any
games played with numeral cards, which, according to the number of
players, and the regulations of each game, always consist of a number
which is divisible by four; for instance, 20 for Bouillotte; 28 for
Brelan; 32 for Piquet, and several other games; 36 for Trappola; 40 for
Ombre; 48 for Reversis; 52 for Lansquenet, and several other games; 96
for Comet; 104 for Lottery; 312 for Trente-et-un; and 78 for Tarots.
"The ancient Tarocchi cards," he says, "have not then been intended
for games of calculation [jeux mathématiques], but solely for an
instructive game. In this game, consisting of five classes, we find the
seven planets, representing the celestial system; the seven virtues
which constitute the basis of all morality; the sciences, which man
alone is capable of acquiring, and the knowledge of which raises him
above all other animals; the Muses, whose cultivation yields so many
charms to life; finally, several of the conditions of life in which man
may be placed, from misery, the most painful of all, to that of the
most elevated, the Sovereign Pontificate."[234] A complete series of
those old engravings consists of fifty pieces, as has been previously
observed, named and numbered as follows:

[CLASS E.--_The Conditions of Life._]

  E   MISERO I                1
  E   FAMEIO II               2
  E   ARTIXAN III             3
  E   ZINTILOMO V             5
  E   CHAVALIER VI            6
  E   DOXE VII                7
  E   RE VIII                 8
  E   IMPERATOR VIIII         9
  E   PAPA X                  10

[CLASS D.--_The Muses._]

  D   CALIOPE XI              11
  D   URANIA XII              12
  D   TERPSICORE XIII         13
  D   ERATO XIIII             14
  D   POLIMNIA XV             15
  D   TALIA XVI               16
  D   MELPOMENE XVII          17
  D   EUTERPE XVIII           18
  D   CLIO XVIIII             19
  D   APOLLO XX               20

[CLASS C.--_The Sciences._]

  C   GRAMMATICA XXI          21
  C   LOICA XXII              22
  C   RHETORICA XXIII         23
  C   GEOMETRIA XXIIII        24
  C   ARITHMETICHA XXV        25
  C   MUSICHA XXVI            26
  C   POESIA XXVII            27
  C   THEOLOGIA XXX           30

[Class B.--_The Virtues._]

  B   ILIACO XXXI             31
  B   CHRONICO XXXII          32
  B   COSMICO XXXIII          33
  B   PRVDENCIA XXXV          35
  B   FORTEZA XXXVI           36
  B   JUSTICIA XXXVII         37
  B   CHARITA XXXVIII         38
  B   FEDE XXXX               40

[Class A.--_The Celestial System._]

  A   LUNA XXXXI              41
  A   MERCURIO XXXXII         42
  A   VENUS XXXXIII           43
  A   SOL XXXXIIII            44
  A   MARTE XXXXV             45
  A   JUPITER XXXXVI          46
  A   SATURNO XXXXVII         47
  A   PRIMA CAUSA XXXXX       50

Having now given such an account of the so-called Tarocchi cards, as
may enable the reader to determine for himself, both with respect to
their original use, and their relation to playing cards proper, I shall
now proceed to notice some of the principal varieties of numeral cards;
that is, of cards consisting of four suits, and each suit containing a
certain number of coat cards, together with eight or ten lower cards,
having their numeral value designated by the marks of the suit to which
they belong.

The oldest specimens of undoubted playing cards are either stencilled,
or engraved on wood; and of a date which, looking at the style of
their execution, the drawing, and the costume of the figures, cannot
fairly be supposed to be later than 1440. Amongst the earliest are the
stencilled cards preserved in the print-room of the British Museum, and
previously described at page 89. In these the coat cards appear to have
been a King, a Chevalier, and a Fante, Footman, or Knave; without any
Queen. The marks of three of the suits are Hearts, Bells, and Acorns;
the mark of the fourth suit does not occur,--as the specimens preserved
are far short of a complete pack,--but it is highly probable that it
was Leaves, called Grün by the Germans, as in the old pack formerly
belonging to Dr. Stukeley, and described by Mr. Gough, in the eighth
volume of the 'Archæologia.'

The cards formerly belonging to Dr. Stukeley were given to him by
Thomas Rawlinson, Esq.[236] They were found in the cover of an old
book,--supposed to be an edition of Claudian, printed before the year
1500,--and one or two leaves of an edition of the Adagia of Erasmus
were interspersed between the layers of the cards, thus forming a
kind of pasteboard. The marks of the suits are Hearts, Bells, Leaves,
and Acorns; and the coat cards are the King, Chevalier, and Knave.
The numeral value of the lower cards, from the Deuce to the Ten, is
indicated by a repetition of the marks of the suits, as in modern
cards. As there is no Ace, this pack, supposing it to be complete,
would consist of forty-eight cards. These cards are rudely coloured,
and of smaller size than those in the British Museum. On the Deuce
of every suit is a shield, displaying what is supposed to be the
card-maker's arms, namely, a kind of pick-axe, with one of the ends
blunt like a hammer, and a mallet, in saltire. Fac-similes of Dr.
Stukeley's cards are given in Singer's Researches.

As the distinctive marks of the suits on the oldest cards in existence
are Hearts, Bells, Leaves, and Acorns, it may reasonably be supposed
that these marks were used at as early a period as any of the others
which occur on cards of a later date, but yet executed before the
close of the fifteenth century. Next to these in point of antiquity,
and perhaps of as early a date, are Swords, Cups, Batons, and Money,
which would appear to have been the most common marks on early Italian
cards, and to have been almost exclusively adopted in Spain. For the
sake of distinction, in future, cards with these marks will be referred
to as Spanish cards, as in Spain the suits are still distinguished by
Swords, Cups, Batons, and Money; while cards having Hearts, Bells,
Leaves, and Acorns, will be referred to as German cards, as such appear
to have been the kind most generally used in Germany. Of the marks on
what were more particularly called "French cards," in the sixteenth
century,--Cœur, Trèfle, Pique, and Carreau, or as we call them,
Hearts, Clubs, Spades, and Diamonds,--two of them at least, the Cœur
and the Pique, are evidently derived from the Heart and the Leaf of the
earlier pack, while there is good reason to believe that the form of
the Trèfle was copied from that of the Acorn.[237]

The mark now called the _Trèfle_, in France, was formerly known as the
Fleur. Peignot, referring to a poem entitled "La Magdaleine au Désert
de la Sainte-Baume en Provence," printed at Lyons, in 1668, says: "We
learn from this poem that, in 1668, the word _Trèfle_ was not yet in
use, as the designation of one of the suits of cards; that suit was
then called _Fleurs_. The Valets were also then termed _Fous_."

The type of the Carreau, or Diamond, is not to be found in any of the
marks of the other two packs above noticed. In the time of Pietro
Aretine, the suits of French cards appear to have been known in Italy
by the names of Cori, Quadri, Fiori, and Cappari,[238] as we learn
from his 'Carte Parlanti,' first printed in 1545, in which a Paduan
card-maker holds a long dialogue, moral and entertaining, with his

"_Paduan._ As French cards are used in Italy, tell me, I pray, what,
amongst that people, may be the signification of Capers? [Cappari.]

_Cards._ Their piquancy whets the appetite of tavern-haunters.

_Paduan._ And the Diamonds? [Quadri.]

_Cards._ The firmness of the player.

_Paduan._ And the Hearts? [Cori.]

_Cards._ Inclination to cheat in play.

_Paduan._ And the Flowers? [Fiori.]

_Cards._ The pleasure of saying a good thing."[239]

The invention of cards with these marks, and having a Queen for the
second coat card, instead of a male figure, as in the Spanish and
German cards, has been claimed by the French; and this substitution
has been considered by some French writers as peculiarly characteristic
of the gallantry of their nation. The French also appear to have
been the first who gave to their coat cards the names of historical
personages. From those names, and the marks of the suits, Père Daniel
has been enabled to discover the origin and meaning of the game of
Piquet, which he supposes to have been devised about 1430, in the reign
of Charles VII; admitting, however, that Playing Cards of another kind
were of a much earlier date, but yet considering even these to have
been of French invention.

In the time of Père Daniel, the coat cards were named as follows:

   SUIT.        KINGS.          QUEENS.        VALETS.

  CŒUR.      _CHARLEMAGNE._    _JUDITH._    _LA HIRE._
  CARREAU.   _CÆSAR._          _RACHEL._    _HECTOR._
  TREFLE.    _ALEXANDER._      _ARGINE._    _LANCELOT._[240]
  PIQUE.     _DAVID._          _PALLAS._    _HOGIER._

These names, which appear to have been given to the French coat cards,
at an early period, were not uniformly retained; in the time of Henry
IV, the Kings were Solomon, Augustus, Clovis, and Constantine; and the
Queens, Elizabeth, Dido, Clotilde, and "Pantalisea;" while the Valets
had no proper names, but were merely designated from their office, and
all the characters appeared in the costume of the period. In the reign
of Louis XIV, however, the former names and an antique costume were

According to Père Daniel's reading of the cards, which is of the same
ingenious character as that of the soldier who is said to have used his
pack as a Manual of Devotions,[241] the Ace is the Latin As, a piece of
money, which also signifies wealth; and as money is the sinews of war,
the Ace has for this reason the precedence at Piquet. The Trèfle, or
clover plant, which abounds in the meadows of France, denotes that a
general ought always to encamp his army in a place where he may obtain
forage for his cavalry. Piques and Carreaux signify magazines of arms,
which ought always to be well stored. The Carreaux were a kind of heavy
arrows which were shot from a crossbow, and which were so called from
their heads being squared [carré]. Cœurs,--Hearts,--signified the
courage of the commanders and the soldiers.

David, Alexander, Cæsar, and Charlemagne are at the head of the four
suits at Piquet, because troops, however brave and numerous, yet
require prudent and experienced leaders. The Queens are, Argine, for
Trèfle; Rachel, for Carreau; Pallas, for Pique; and Judith, for Cœur.
In Argine, Père Daniel finds the anagram of Regina, and having made
this capital discovery, he is enabled to determine that this Queen was
Mary of Anjou, wife of Charles VII. Rachel represents the fair Agnes
Sorel, mistress of Charles VII; and the chaste and warlike Pallas is
but an emblem of Joan of Arc. Judith is not the Jewish heroine who cut
off the head of Holofernes, but the Empress Judith, wife of Louis le
Debonnaire; but even this Judith is merely a representative of Isabel
of Bavaria, wife of Charles VI. In David he sees a typification of
Charles VII, in consequence of a conformity in their destinies: David,
after having been long persecuted by Saul, his father-in-law, at length
obtained the crown; but, in the midst of his prosperity, was troubled
with the revolt of his son Absalom: and Charles VII, after having been
disinherited and proscribed by his father Charles VI,--or rather by
Isabel of Bavaria,--gloriously reconquered his kingdom; but the latter
years of his life were rendered unhappy by the restless spirit and
wicked character of his son, Louis XI.

In his account of the Valets, Père Daniel is not so imaginative as
in the explication of the double and triple characters which he sees
represented by the Kings and Queens. La Hire is the famous Stephen de
Vignoles, surnamed La Hire, a devoted adherent of Charles VII; while
Hector is supposed to be intended for Hector de Galard, another famous
captain of the same period. Hogier and Lancelot are allowed to pass
simply in their own proper characters, as heroes of romance.[242]

It would appear to be the opinion of Mons. Duchesne, that the oldest
French Piquet cards that have been discovered, are those formerly
belonging to a Mons. Henin, who found them in the cover of an old book.
Mons. Henin having disposed of them to Messrs. Colnaghi, the well-known
printsellers, of London, they were purchased of the latter for the
Bibliothèque du Roi. They are engraved on wood, and coloured; and in
the table of contents prefixed to the 'Jeux de Tarots et de Cartes
Numérales,' it is asserted they were executed about 1425.[243] But
whatever may be their date, they are not, in my opinion, of so early
a period as either the old uncoloured cards, preserved in the British
Museum, previously described at page 88; or as those formerly belonging
to Dr. Stukeley. I indeed question much if they be really older than
the coloured French cards, the four Valets, now in the British Museum,
and of which some account will be found in a subsequent page.

The old French cards in question have the outlines printed in pale ink,
and the colours appear to have been applied by means of a stencil.
There are ten of them, all impressed on one piece of paper; and they
are placed in two rows, of five each, in the following order:

  VALET, KING and QUEEN of _Trèfle_.      KING and QUEEN of _Carreau_.
  VALET, QUEEN and KING of _Pique_.       QUEEN and KING of _Cœur_.

On each of those cards, except the King of Cœur, there is an
inscription in Gothic letters. On the Valet of Trèfle is the name
ROLAN, while the King is named FAUT-SOU,--Penniless; and the Queen,
TROMPERIE,--Deceit. The King of Carreau bears the name COURSUBE, which
in old romances is the name given to a Saracen King; and on the Queen
of Carreau is the inscription _En toi te fie_,--Trust to thyself; "that
is," says Mons. Duchesne, "ne te fie qu'en toi,--trust to thyself only.
The Valet of Pique bears an inscription which Mons. Duchesne reads
_ctarde_, and of which he says he can make nothing. On the Queen of
Pique is an inscription which appears to Mons. Duchesne to be _te aut
dict_, but the meaning of which he cannot divine. Mons. Leber, however,
reads it _Léauté due_,--leal homage; and so gives it, in unmistakable
characters, in the copy of this card, in his 'Etudes Historiques.' The
King of Pique bears the name of APOLLIN, which is the name given to a
Saracen idol in old romances. The inscription on the Queen of Cœur is
_la foy et pdu_--la foi est perdue,--faith is lost.

It is supposed that there was also an inscription on the King of Cœur,
but that it has been cut off, as this card is deficient in its due
proportions.[244] The annexed four cards, executed in their proper
colours, are copied from those given by Mons. Leber in his 'Etudes
Historiques.' The whole ten are given in the 'Jeux de Tarots et de Jeux
Numérales,' published by the Society of Bibliophiles Français.

Mons. Leber considers that the names Coursube and Apollin, which occur
on these cards, corroborate his opinion that cards were of Eastern
origin, and introduced into Europe by the Saracens, or Arabs.[245]
Though agreeing with Mons. Leber, in the opinion that cards
are of Eastern origin, I cannot yet see how this opinion is confirmed
by two names, which, as designating a Moorish king, and a Mahometan
idol, appear to have been merely the invention of a French romance
writer, and to have been capriciously bestowed upon a King of Diamonds
and a King of Hearts by an old French card-maker. The supposition,
indeed, that figures with these names were to be found on old Arabic
cards is most preposterous; there is not a shadow of evidence to show
that any characters, whether real or imaginary, were ever popularly
known by these names, amongst people of Arabic origin; and even if
there were, the painting them upon cards would have been considered as
a violation of the law of Mahomet, by whom all such representations
were strictly prohibited. With equal probability, Mons. Leber might
assert that cards were a Jewish invention, because the names of
David, Rachel, and Judith are to be found on them; or that Piquet was
invented in the time of Charlemagne, in consequence of one of the Kings
bearing his name, and two of the Valets being named after two of his
Paladins,--Hogier and Roland. The long note in the 'Précis Historique
sur les Cartes à jouer,' pp. 13-17, on the subject of Coursube and
Apollin, and Mons. Leber's more lengthy comment on it, have much of
the character of that kind of discussion which was compared by Demonax
to one man milking a he-goat, and another holding a sieve to catch the





The originals of the annexed four cards, representing the Valets,
or Knaves, of the four suits known in England as Hearts, Diamonds,
Clubs, and Spades, are, in my opinion, of, at least, as early a date
as the cards containing the names Coursube and Apollin. Mons. Duchesne
and Mons. Leber, judging from the costume of the last-named cards,
agree in supposing, or, rather, confidently asserting, that they
were executed about 1425, in the reign of Charles VII. Conclusions,
however, drawn from the costume displayed on cards are not of much
weight in the determination of a date, seeing that persons supposed to
be well acquainted with the subject of costume have not been able to
determine, from that alone, the date of any old drawing, even within
fifty years. To whatever period the costume of the "Coursube" cards
may belong, that of the four Knaves may be fairly presumed to be of as
early a period; but yet, looking at the costume of the latter, and the
style of their execution, I should not take them to be of an earlier
date than 1480. Supposing them to be of that date, I think it will be
generally admitted, by all acquainted with the subject, that, in point
of drawing, as expressive of action and character, they may fairly rank
with the best specimens of wood-engraving executed previously to that

Those four Knaves, which are now in the print-room of the British
Museum, were discovered by the writer, in the covers of an old
book, which he bought of Mr. Robert Crozier, bookseller, 27, Bow
Street, about the latter end of December, 1841. The book, which is
a small quarto, had formerly belonged to the Cathedral Library of
Peterborough,[246] and its subject is the Sermons of St. Vincent de
Ferrer, a Spanish friar, of great repute in his day, who died in 1419:
it wanted both the title-page and the last leaf, and, consequently, had
no date; but, looking at the character of the type,--old Gothic--and
the rude execution of the initial letters, I should conclude that it
was printed in France, within the last ten years of the fifteenth
century. The other leaves forming, with the cards, the "boards"
of the cover, were portions of the gloss, or commentary, of Nicholas
de Lyra, on the Old Testament; which leaves, apparently, are of a
date somewhat older than the volume. Seeing that old cards have so
often been found in the covers of old books, it might be conjectured
that certain pious persons had made it a point of conscience to thus
employ them, for useful purposes; this supposition is, however,
rendered untenable by the fact of those cards being intermixed with
the pious lucubrations of Nicholas de Lyra. Besides the two squares of
paper containing the four Knaves, there were also two other squares,
consisting of "pips" of Diamonds and Hearts, which were so arranged
that each square of paper might be cut into four cards: the low cards
on one square were, the Nine, Four, Five, and Seven of Diamonds; and
those on the other, the Ten, Four, Five, and Eight of Hearts. The
"pips" on those low cards were evidently impressed by means of a




On one square of paper were the Valets of Clubs and Spades,--Lancelot
and Hogier; and on another, the Valets of Diamonds and Hearts,--that
of Diamonds being named Rolant, and that of Hearts containing the
inscription, "Valery: f." Though each piece of paper contained _four_
cards, it yet displayed only two different characters,--the Valet of
each suit occurring on it being repeated in the alternate compartments.
The outlines of the figures and the names have evidently been engraved
on wood, and are printed in a brownish colour,--something like Indian
ink mixed with bistre; and the colours have been laid on by means of
stencils. The names of these Valets,--Rolant, "Valery: f," Lancelot,
and Hogier,--compared with those occurring on other French cards of
an early date, seem to prove that, originally, the French coat cards
received their names merely at the caprice of the card-maker. Any
argument, therefore, respecting the origin of cards, or the invention
of Piquet, as founded on the names of the coat cards, must be utterly
without foundation.

With respect to the names of those Valets, it seems to be generally
agreed that Roland, spelled Rolant on the cards, was the nephew of
Charlemagne, so famed in romance, and that Hogier, or Ogier, was the
renowned Hogier of Denmark. According to a modern author, this hero was
a grandson of Pepin of Heristal, the great-grandfather of Charlemagne;
and the appellation, "of Denmark," was conferred on him, not from his
being of that kingdom, but from his being a native of Dane-marche, that
is, of the district now called Ardennes. The same author also informs
us, that Hogier was a descendant of St. Hubert of Ardennes; and, for
a confirmation of the fact, refers to the dog seen in an old Valet of
Spades, of which he gives a copy in his work: in the irregular line of
the more distant ground, in the same card, he sees an indication of
the uneven surface of the district of Ardennes.[247] An inspection of
the four Valets in question will enable any person to decide on the
value of his speculations: three of those Valets,--Rolant, Hogier, and
Lancelot,--are accompanied by dogs; and the line of the more distant
ground in two of the subjects is nearly level; while the slight
eminence in the third--Rolant--evidently indicates a rabbit-burrow. If
such stuff as Mons. Barrois drivels forth on the subject of cards pass
for antiquarian knowledge in France, it would seem that an ass-load of
useless book-learning constituted the grand qualification of a French

With respect to Lancelot, the reader is left to determine whether the
name were intended for one of the Paladins of the court of Charlemagne,
or Lancelot du Lac, one of the Knights of King Arthur's Round Table.
The appearance of this name on the Valet of Clubs proves that Daniel
was right in his conjecture, as has been previously observed; though
Mons. Leber seems to argue that he either was, or ought to have been,

The name VALERY, which occurs on the Knave of Hearts, has not been
found on any one of the other old cards hitherto discovered; and from
the circumstance of its having the letter _f_ after it, which might
be intended to signify "_fecit_" it might be supposed that it was
the card-maker's name. It is, however, to be observed that the word
"_fecit_" is of very rare occurrence, as signifying the work of the
artist whose name precedes it, on engravings, for whatever purpose
executed, of the fifteenth century. It may even be asserted, with small
hazard of contradiction, that _f_ as an abbreviation of "_fecit_," in
its artistic application, is not to be found on a single engraving,
whether on wood or copper, executed previous to the year 1500.

For whatever person the name of Valery may have been intended, it
seems certain that it is not to be found as that of a distinguished
character in any of the old French romances. Mons. Paulin Paris, having
been consulted on this subject, thus gives his opinion, in a letter
addressed to his friend, Thomas Wright, Esq., so well known for his
numerous publications on Middle-Age Literature: "The name of the Valet
of Hearts seems to me extremely curious, for it ought necessarily to
bring to mind the name of _Erart de Valeri_, the famous companion of
Charles of Anjou, King of Sicily, to whom his contemporaries chiefly
ascribed the gain of the battle of Tagliacozza, in which Manfred [the
opponent of Charles] was killed.[249] It might, therefore, be supposed
that the pack [to which the four Valets in question belonged] was
either of Sicilian or Italian fabrication; for the names Lancelot,
Roland, Ogier, and Valeri were equally familiar to the Sicilians of the
fourteenth century. I have said a few words about this Erard de Valery
in the article on Charles of Anjou, in my Romancero François."[250]

Though by no means agreeing with Mons. Paulin Paris, that these cards
were either of Italian devising, or manufacture, I am yet inclined to
think that his conjecture about the name of Valery is correct, and that
a corroboration of it is to be found in the inscription on the Valet
de Pique, in the "Coursube" cards, previously noticed at page 211. This
inscription is read _ctarde_, by Mons. Duchesne; but, to my eye, the
letters, as they appear in the fac-simile given in the specimens of
cards published by the Society of Bibliophiles François, appear much
more like the name _erarde_; and if, on a careful examination of the
original, it should be ascertained that this was the word intended, I
should then unhesitatingly conclude that the person represented by this
card was Erard de Valery. The objection that one of those cards is the
Valet of Hearts, and the other the Valet of Spades, is of no weight,
for the old French card-makers were by no means consistent in the
practice of always giving the same name to the same card. From the red
rose which appears on the shield held by Valery, an Englishman might be
justified in supposing that those cards, if not of English manufacture,
were more especially, if not exclusively, fabricated for the English
market, at a period shortly after the accession of Henry VII,[251] when
the Red Rose of Lancaster had obtained the ascendency. By assuming,
indeed, a small portion of French license on this subject, it might
even be asserted that those cards were of English manufacture; seeing
that they were discovered in the covers of a book which had formerly
belonged to an English monastery, and that the features, expression,
and bodily proportions of the Valets are rather characteristic of
Englishmen than Frenchmen. In support of this speculation, it may
further be observed that, in former times, monks were accustomed to act
as their own bookbinders, and that there is reason to believe that
playing cards were manufactured in England as early as 1463.[252]

In the latter quarter of the fifteenth century, several packs, or sets,
of cards were engraved on copper, having the suits distinguished by
figures evidently introduced according to the fancy of the artist, and
bearing no resemblance to those which occur on cards of an earlier
date. As the art of engraving on copper was then of recent invention,
and its productions comparatively scarce and high priced, it may be
concluded that those cards were chiefly intended for the amusement of
the wealthier classes. Though Mons. Leber is of opinion that such cards
were not intended for the purpose of play, it is yet certain that they
might be so employed; seeing that they consist of the same number of
suits as the common cards of the period, and have also in each suit,
like the latter, a certain number of coat cards, and a certain number
of others which have their value determined by the number of marks
impressed on them. One of Mons. Leber's reasons for concluding that
such cards were not intended for the purposes of play, is, that being
delicately engraved on copper, it cannot be supposed that they were
meant to receive the colouring which, in his opinion, was essential to
a pack of cards.[253] It may, however, be observed that people may play
very well with uncoloured cards, more especially when the suits are so
strikingly distinguished as in the cards alluded to.

Perhaps the earliest specimens of the cards in question are those which
have Hares, Parroquets, Pinks, and Columbines as the marks of the
suits, and of which a complete pack, or set, of fifty-two pieces, is
now in the Bibliothèque du Roi.[254] They are not cut up, but appear
just as they came from the hands of the printer, and each separate
piece of paper contains either four or six cards. The four Aces form
one plate; the numeral cards from Four to Nine are contained on four
plates; and the Twos and Threes appear promiscuously mixed with the
coat cards on five plates more.

[Illustration: 1
Circular Cards. XVth Century. (p. 222)]

[Illustration: 2
Circular Cards. XVth Century. (p. 222.)]

[Illustration: 3
Circular Cards. XVth Century. (p. 222.)]

[Illustration: 4
Circular Cards. XVth Century. (p. 222.)]

The form of these cards is circular, and in each suit there are four
coat cards, namely, a King, a Queen, a Squire, and a Knave.[255]
The distinction between the two latter is not indeed very clearly
expressed in the costume; though there cannot be a doubt that the
lowest character is that which in each suit is represented as running,
and thus plainly corresponding with the Italian Fante. The highest
of the numeral cards is the Nine, there being no Ten in this pack.
The respective number of each is marked at the top in Arabic cyphers,
and at the bottom in Roman numerals. At the bottom also, within the
outer circle of the border, are the letters T. W., probably intended
for the initials of the engraver.[256] Whoever he might be, his name
is unknown; and only one other subject of his engraving is noticed by
Bartsch. In the annexed specimens are shown the King, Queen, and Ace
of Hares; the Squire of Columbines; the Deuce and Squire of Pinks;
and the Knave and Nine of Parroquets. On each of the Aces there is an
inscription on a scroll, as on the Ace of Hares; on the latter, the
language is low German--"Platt Duitsch"--and the words form a rhyming


The precise meaning of this it is not easy to make out; but taking the
contracted word AV͞E to have been intended for _Auwe_, a meadow, the
couplet may be thus "done into English:"

    Me o'er fields men keen pursue,
    Therefore I'm the Hare you view.

But supposing the word AV͞E to have been meant for _Augen_, the eyes,
and giving a slight turn to one or two other words, the meaning would
be that the hare was called LEPUS--quasi _Lippus_--on account of its
blear eyes.

Mons. Duchesne says that, on the plate containing the Aces, there is a
date written in an old hand, but he omits to mention what it
is. In the 'Jeux de Cartes Tarots et de Cartes Numérales,' where all
the fifty-two pieces are given, they are said to have been engraved
about 1477. These cards, though of the same form, and having the same
marks of the suits as those described by Bartsch, and noticed by
Singer, are yet the work of a different engraver.

In the circular cards described by Bartsch and Singer, the inscription
on the Ace of Hares is in Latin, and the initials of the engraver, T.
W., are wanting. From a wrapper, of which a fac-simile is given by
Singer, it would appear that those cards were engraved at Cologne;
and it has been supposed that they are of as early a date as 1470.
They are unquestionably the work of either a German or a Flemish
artist; and some amateurs of engraving have erroneously ascribed them
to Martin Schön, or Schöngauer. Bartsch, in his description of them,
includes a fifth suit, namely, that of Roses; and says that each suit
consisted of thirteen cards, which would thus give sixty-five pieces
for the complete pack. Mr. Singer, also, in his account of such of
those cards as were formerly in the collection of Mr. Douce, gives it
as his opinion, that the complete pack ought to consist of five suits
of fourteen cards each,--in all, seventy pieces.[257] Mons. Duchesne,
however, thinks that those authors are wrong, and that the complete
pack consisted of only four suits of thirteen cards each, as displayed
by those preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi. But as he entirely
overlooks the difficulty of accounting for a suit of Roses, engraved
in the same style, he does not seem to be justified in pronouncing
so decisively that Bartsch and Singer are wrong in supposing that a
complete pack consisted of five suits; for it is by no means unlikely
that a fifth suit might have been introduced by the artist, with
a view of giving variety to the game, but which might have been
subsequently discarded, as inconsistent with the old established
principles of the game, and as only making it more interesting.

There is another pack, or set, of cards, also engraved on copper, and
of the same period as those last described, which seems to require some
notice here, not only on account of the marks employed to distinguish
the suits, but also on account of the means by which those marks were
repeated on the different cards. The complete pack appears to have
consisted of fifty-two pieces; each of the four suits containing four
coat and nine numeral cards--the place of the Ten, as in the other two
packs, being supplied by a fourth coat card. The marks of the suits
are: 1, Human figures; 2, Bears and Lions; 3, Deer; and 4, Birds. These
cards are of large size, being about five inches and seven eighths
high, by about three and a half wide. The name of the engraver is
unknown; but they are believed to be the work of the German artist
usually known to amateurs as "The Master of 1466." In the coat cards
the mark of the suit is impressed from a different plate; and as it
sometimes occurs surrounded by the work of the coat card, it has been
ascertained that in such instances a blank space had been left for its
subsequent impression. The marks on the numeral cards were also printed
in the same manner, by means of impressions from separate plates.

In the collection of Thomas Wilson, Esq., there were twenty-nine of
those cards, together with fourteen drawings of other cards of the
same pack, and eleven animals on separate plates, forming the marks
of the suits.[258] Those cards were purchased of Mr. Wilson by Mr.
Tiffin, printseller, West Strand, who again sold them to the
Bibliothèque du Roi, where others of the same pack are also preserved.
Fac-similes of thirty-seven are given in the 'Jeux de Cartes Tarots
et de Cartes Numérales,' published by the Society of Bibliophiles
François. In the Table des Matières prefixed to that work, it is
indeed said that there are forty; but, on looking at their plate, No.
91, it will be perceived that the three coat cards there given do not
properly belong to the pack in question; for the mark on two of them
is a kind of flower something like a sweet-pea, and on the other it is
a rose.[259] Mons. Duchesne, who appears to have supplied the Précis
Historique prefixed to the work above named, should have distinctly
mentioned that the three coat cards in question were not of the same
pack or set, which has Human figures, Bears and Lions, Deer, and Birds,
as the marks of the suits. If they really did belong to the same pack,
it must then have consisted of at least six suits.





The annexed four cards, engraved on copper, are copied from specimens
given by Breitkopf, in his 'Enquiry into the Origin of Playing Cards;'
who there describes them as "German Piquet cards of the fifteenth
century with Trappola characters."[260] The complete pack appears to
have consisted of fifty-two cards; each of the four suits containing
a King, Queen, and Valet, or Knave, as we term the character; together
with ten numeral cards. The marks of the suits were Swords; Clubs
(proper, not Trèfles); Cups; and Pomegranates. The latter mark is
substituted for that of Money; and was perhaps intended by the artist
to commemorate the marriage of Philip the Fair, son of the Emperor
Maximilian, with Joanna, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella, King and
Queen of Spain; who, on their subjugation of the kingdom of Grenada, in
1497, appear to have adopted the _Granada_, or Pomegranate, as one of
their badges.[261] The cards unquestionably belong to that period; and
in support of the speculation, it may be further observed that they are
generally ascribed to Israel van Mecken; who, as a native of Bocholt,
was a subject of Philip, who inherited the Netherlands, in right of his
mother, Mary of Burgundy.

Von Murr, in the second volume of his Journal, gives a description of a
nearly complete pack of those cards, which were then in the possession
of a gentleman named Silberrad, residing at Nuremberg, but which are
now in the British Museum.[262] He calls them old Trappola cards, and
says that they are certainly of an earlier date than the time of Israel
van Mecken the younger; or rather, that they were engraved by Israel
the elder. "The suits," he says, "are distinguished, after the Italian
manner, by SPADE; COPPE; DANARI (represented by Pomegranates); and
BASTONI."[263] The cards displayed in the preceding specimens
are: the Deuce of Swords; the Valet of Cups; the Ten of Pomegranates;
and the Ten of Clubs. In the latter, the Club seen on the banner is
rough and knotty, and not an artificially-formed Baton, as is sometimes
seen on old Italian cards: it has previously been observed that the
Bastoni were sometimes called Colonne, from their being something like
slender pillars.

[Illustration: Swords. (p. 227.)]

[Illustration: Cups. (p. 227.)]

[Illustration: Batons. (p. 227.)]

[Illustration: Money. (p. 227.)]

It would appear, from the testimony of contemporary authors, that
the cards most commonly used in Italy in the latter part of the
fifteenth century, were those which had SPADE, COPPE, BASTONI, and
DANARI--Swords, Cups, Batons, and Money,--as the marks of the suits.
These continued to be the common marks on Italian cards in the
sixteenth century, and even to a much later period; and such also would
appear to have been the marks of the cards used in Spain, from the
period of their first introduction into that country, to the present
day. The annexed woodcuts, copied from a plate in Breitkopf,[264] are
the Sevens of each of the four suits in a pack of Tarots. The marks are
precisely the same as in modern Tarots; and there is reason to believe
that they are nearly the same, with respect to form, as those of the
earliest Italian Tarocchi cards, properly so called.

The relation which the marks of the suits bear to each other in the
three varieties of cards most generally known in Europe, will perhaps
be best understood from the following summary, which shows, at one
view, the names given to the suits of each variety in the country where
such cards were chiefly used.


_German Names of the Suits._

  HERZEN, oder ROTH.    GRÜN.            EICHELN.      SCHELLEN.
  (HEARTS, or RED.    GREEN (LEAVES).    ACORNS.       BELLS.)


_Spanish Names._

  COPAS.                ESPADAS.         BASTOS.           OROS.

_Italian Names._

  COPPE.                SPADE.           BASTONI.          DANARI.
  (CUPS.                SWORDS.          CLUBS, or BATONS. MONEY.)


_French Names._

  CŒUR.                 PIQUE.           TRÈFLE.            CARREAU.
  (HEARTS.              SPADES.          CLUBS.            DIAMONDS.)

In the oldest cards of the German and Spanish type there appears to
have been no Queen. In the German pack, the second coat card was a kind
of superior officer, distinguished as OBER,--Upper, Superior; while the
third, corresponding with our Knave, was named UNTER,--Inferior.[265]
The Spaniards called the second coat card CABALLO,--the Horseman
or Knight;--and the Knave they called SOTA, a word which, in the
Dictionary of the Spanish Academy, is said to be derived from the
Italian _soto_, signifying 'under.'[266] The Italians called their
second coat card CAVALLO, and the third FANTE; in each of the four
suits the principal coat card was the King. It would, however, appear
that at an early period, the Italians occasionally substituted a Queen
for the Cavallo; and if the cards formerly belonging to the Marquis
Girolamo be really of so early a date as is assigned to them by
Millin,[267] it would seem that the French have no just title to the
"honour" of being the first to introduce a Queen as the second coat
card, and that in having made "Place aux Dames," in the pack, they had
only followed the example set them by the Italians.

Millin's notice of those cards is to the following effect: "In the
collection of the Marquis Girolamo, at Venice, there are some cards
of very early date,--about the beginning of the fifteenth century.
They are larger than the ordinary cards of the present day; they are
also very thick; and the material of which they are formed resembles
the cotton paper of ancient manuscripts. The figures, which are
impressed--'imprimées'--on a gold ground, consist of three Kings, two
Queens, and two Valets, one of the last being on horseback. Each figure
has a Baton, a Sword, or a piece of Money [as the mark of the suit].
The design is very like that of Jacobello del Fiore; but the work
has the appearance of impression, and the colours seem to have been
applied by means of a stencil. They are the most ancient specimens of
their kind."[268]

As the names, Clubs and Spades, given to two of the suits in this
country, by no means correspond with the marks by which they are
distinguished,--to wit, the French _Trèfle_ and _Pique_--I am inclined
to consider them as the old names for the suits of Bastoni and Spade;
Clubs being merely a translation of Bastoni, and Spades probably a
corruption of Spade, or Espadas,--Swords.[269] From these names,
indeed, it may be fairly supposed that the cards first known in
England were those having Swords, Clubs, Cups, and Money, as the marks
of the suits; and that two of those suits retained their names when
the old cards of Spanish or Italian type were superseded by those of
more recent French design. There are also other circumstances which
strengthen the conclusion, that cards, on their first introduction
into England, as a popular game, were brought either from Spain or
Italy; the character of the third coat card, the Knave, or Jack, is
more in accordance with the Spanish Sota, or the Italian Fante, than
with the French Valet, which, in the earliest French cards, always
bears the name of some person of note, either in romance or history.
The term Valet, at the time when it was first bestowed on the third
coat card by the French, did not signify a "Gentleman's Gentleman" or a
menial servant; but was more especially applied to young noblemen--the
"Dilecti Regis"--holding appointments at court. The term Knave was
never applied, like Valet, to signify a courtier, or person of
distinction; it was used to signify a serving-man of low condition.
It seems to be derived from the same root as the German _Knabe_, the
primary meaning of which is a Boy, but which was also used, in the same
way as the Latin _Puer_, to signify a servant. Subsequently the term
Knave became obsolete in the sense of servant, and was exclusively
applied to designate a dishonest person. The term Jack, another name
for the Knave of cards, was in former times very frequently applied to
a "serving-man of low degree," without any regard to the name which
might have been given to him by his godfathers and godmothers.

Though Dr. Johnson, and most other English lexicographers, derive the
term Jackanapes from Jack and Ape, and though this derivation seems to
be supported by the meaning attached to the term by one of the earliest
writers who makes use of it, yet "Jack-a-Naipes," that is, Jack of
Cards, is at least as probable an etymology; and much more so than
that of "Jack Cnapa," suggested by Sharon Turner, in his 'History of
England,' from which the following passage is extracted.

"In the British Museum, Vesp. B, 16, is a ballad written at this time
on the catastrophes of the Duke of Suffolk and his friends. (Temp.
Henr. VI, May, 1450.) It treats these horrors with an exulting levity,
which shows the barbarous unfeelingness of political rancour; but it
is curious for giving the names of those friends of the government who
were most hated by the people. They are the clerical statesmen who were
employed either in the offices of government or on its embassies, and
it shows how much the dominant church had, by these employments, become
identified with the crown. It designates the Duke of Suffolk by the
cant term of 'Jac Napes,' and is perhaps the earliest instance we have
of the abusive application of the word Jackanapes. Our lexicographers
derive this word from Jack and Ape; but the ballad shows, that Napes
was a term of derision signifying a Knave; and must therefore be the
Saxon Cnapa, which bore also this meaning. This will explain the reason
why our third figured card is called Jack, and also Knave. The word
Jackanapes therefore seems to be Jack Cnapa, and to mean Jack the
Knave. In this sense it is applied to Suffolk; and as the Knave is next
in power at cards to the King and Queen, the nickname may be used in
the ballad with an allusion to Suffolk's being the prime minister of
Henry and Margaret."[270]

The following are two of the stanzas of the ballad in which the term

    "In the moneth of May, when grass grows grene,
      Fragrant in her flowres with swete savour,
    Jac Napes wold on the see, a maryner to ben,
      With his clogi and his cheyn to seke more tresour.

    "Swych a payn prikked him, he asked a confessour;
      Nicholas said, I am redi the confessour to be;
    He was holden so, that he ne passed that hour:
      For Jac Napes saule, 'placebo et dirige.'"

Mr. Turner's remark, that "the ballad shows that Napes was a term of
derision, signifying a Knave, and must therefore be the Saxon Cnapa,"
does not appear to be well founded; for if it were derived from Cnapa,
and merely signified a Knave, or Cheat, it is difficult to conceive
why it should be written Napes, and not Knave, or Knape, as required,
according to Mr. Turner's etymology; besides, it is evident from the
context, that, in the mind of the writer, the idea of a Jac Napes was
associated with that of a monkey, or an ape, with his clog and his
chain. That this was not the primary signification of the term, may be
confidently asserted; and no writer who has derived it from Jack and
Ape, has produced any authority to show that it originally meant a man
who travelled about with apes or monkeys. In the following passage,
from a tract printed about 1540,[271] the term "_Yack an napes_"
evidently refers to a mummer or buffoon in a particoloured dress,
like that of a knave of cards. The writer, after having noticed the
assembling of the poor on holidays, at the "personis barne,"[272] and
there committing "ydolatre in mayntenynge his ambision, pride, and
bestly lyvinge," thus proceeds: "Nobyl statis were better to hunte
the bull, here, hert, or ony othere thynge lyke to suckure the powre
with the mette, then to here Sir Jhon Singyl Sowle stombel a payer
of mattens in laten, slynge holy water, curse holy brede, and to
play a caste lyke _yack an napes_ in a foles cotte." When John Bale,
in his work entitled, 'Yet a Course at the Romish Foxe,' speaks of
Jack-a-Naipes "swearing by his ten bones," it would seem that he in
some manner or other associated the term with the Jack-a-Naipes, or
Jack of Cards; for his ten bones can only be supposed to relate to the
numerical value of the Jack of Naipes, as a coat card. In Bale's time a
"card of ten" would appear to have been a general expression for a coat
card, as well as for a card distinguished by that number of pips.

    Fyrste pycke a quarell, and fall out with hym then,
    And soo outface hym with a carde of ten.

  _Skelton's Bowghe of Court._

From the following passage in Pulci's 'Morgante Maggiore,' it would
seem that, in Italy, in the fifteenth century, the King of cards was
occasionally referred to as the type of a presumptuous person:

    "E com' e' giunse, gridava il gigante;
    Tu se' quì, Re di Naibi, o di Scacchi,
    Col mio bataglio convien ch'io t'ammachi."

    "And when the two together came, the giant shouted out,
    And here you are, my King of Cards, or e'en of Chess, pardie!
    My club then with your shoulders must without delay make free."

In Scotland, about 1508, the Knave of cards was the representative of a
forward impertinent person,--a very Jack-a-Naipes,--as is evident from
the "Flyting of Dunbar and Kennedy," where the latter, among other bad
names, calls the former "Valet of cards":

    "Waik walidrag, and verlot of the cairtis."[273]

Even in modern times the Knave of Hearts has been referred to as the
ideal of a presumptuous, thickset little man, as appears from the
following passage which occurs in the second edition of Brockett's
Glossary, 1829, under the word Purdy.

"PURDY, a little thickset fellow.--I owe this word," says Mr. Brockett,
"to the communication of a clerical friend in the county of Durham,
who first heard it at Barnard Castle. On ascertaining the meaning, the
following dialogue took place.

_Q._ What does _Purdy_ mean?

_A._ A little _throstan-up_ thing like a _Jack at Warts_. [Jack o'
'Arts,--Jack of Hearts.]

_Q._ What's that?

_A._ Something like a _lime-burner_.

_Q._ What is a lime-burner?

_A._ Oh, nobbut a _Kendal stockener_.

_Q._ What is that?

_A._ A little thickset fellow."

If cards were actually known in Italy and Spain in the latter part of
the fourteenth century, it is not unlikely that the game, as a common
amusement, was introduced into this country by some of the English
soldiers who had served under the banners of Hawkwood, and other Free
Captains, in the wars of Italy and Spain, about the period in question.
But, however this may be, it seems at least certain that the earliest
cards commonly used in this country, were of the same kind, with
respect to the marks of the suits, as those used in Italy and Spain.

The German cards of the fifteenth century, and even of a much later
period, display more of fanciful embellishment than the cards of other
countries; more especially in the numeral, or low cards; which, in
addition to the "pips," or marks of the suits, frequently contain
figures of men and women, quadrupeds, birds, foliage, and such like,
introduced by way of ornament, at the caprice of the designer. These
ornamental appendages are frequently of a grotesque character, and
sometimes indecent. The two annexed figures are the second coat cards
of the suits of Grün and Eicheln,--Leaves, and Acorns,--in a pack of
German cards engraved on wood, of the date 1511. The figures are drawn
with great freedom, and are much in the style of Lucas Cranach. On the
Two of Acorns are the letters F.C.Z.; the F and the C being probably
the initials of the designer, and the Z signifying that he made the
drawings,--_zeichnet_. On the Two of Leaves are two shields suspended
from a tree; the one displays two strait swords, in saltire; and the
other the arms of the house of Saxony, the same as are frequently seen
in wood engravings designed by Lucas Cranach. In a third shield at the
bottom of the same card, are a pic-kaxe and mallet, in saltire, the
same as in Dr. Stukeley's cards, and probably the mark of the card
maker. Thirty-six cards of this pack, which appears to have originally
consisted of fifty-two, are preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi; and
fac-similes of them are given in the 'Jeux de Cartes Tarots et de
Cartes Numérales,' published by the Society of Bibliophiles Français,
planches 92-95.



Specimens of a pack of cards designed by Erhard Schön, and engraved on
wood, are given by Singer in his Researches. In this pack, the marks
of the suits are Flowers, Pomegranates, Leaves, and Roses.[274] These
cards are very inferior, both in design and execution, to those just
described, of the date 1511. Erhard Schön flourished about 1530. About
1550, Virgil Solis engraved a pack of cards on copper, with Lions,
Apes, Peacocks, and Parrots as the marks of the suits: they are noticed
by Bartsch, in his 'Peintre-Graveur'; and six of the pack were recently
in the possession of Messrs. Smith, of Lisle street.

The best of all the fanciful cards that appeared in Germany during
the sixteenth century, are those engraved on wood from the designs
of Jost Amman. They were published at Nuremberg in 1588, in a quarto
volume, with illustrative verses, in Latin and German, composed by
J. H. Schroter, the imperial poet-laureate.[275] From the following
verses,--'Liber de Seipso,'--it would seem that those cards were not
designed for the purposes of play:

    "CHARTA mihi titulum tribuit LUSORIA; lusus
      Et chartæ in pretio munera vulgus habet.
    Sed nec ego laudes moror aut convicia vulgi;
      Sit mihi sat claris posse placere viris.
    "Hos rogo, ut a rerum quondam graviore vacantes
      Cura, si chartis ludere forte velint,
    Colludent nostris: sine rixis, vulnere, morte,
      Ludenti quoniam lucra benigna dabunt."

In this set of cards, the marks of the suits are Books; Printers'
inking balls; Wine-cups, of metal "formed by the skill of the
goldsmith;" and Goblets, with bosses of glass or earthenware. Correct
and beautifully executed specimens of those cards are given in Singer's
'Researches,' pp. 180-96.

[Illustration: Bells. (p. 239.)]

[Illustration: Hearts. (p. 239.)]

[Illustration: Leaves. (p. 239.)]

[Illustration: Acorns. (p. 239.)]

The four annexed German cards, are the Sevens of the four suits:
_Schellen_; _Herzen, oder Roth_; _Grün_; _Eicheln_,--Bells; Hearts, or
Red; Green, or Leaves; and Acorns. They are copied from Breitkopf, and
are of the seventeenth century. The four small ones given below are
of the same period, and were probably intended for the amusement of
children,--like the "pretty little cards for pretty little fingers,"
manufactured at the present day. The subjects are, the second Coat card
and the Three of Leaves; the Four of Acorns; and the Six of Hearts.


As small bells were worn as ornaments by the emperors of Germany
and the higher classes in the 12th and 13th centuries, Breitkopf is
inclined to think that bells might have been introduced on cards as
a distinctive mark of the class of kings and nobles; and that cards
might even have been known in Germany at the period referred to.
In corroboration of his opinion, he gives a plate, entitled "_Alte
Deutsche Furst Schellen-tracht_,"--that is to say, Ancient German
Princely Bell-costume,--containing four figures, all adorned with small
bells. The first figure is that of the Princess Wulphilde, who was
living in 1138; the second and third represent the Emperor Henry VI,
who died in 1197; and the fourth is that of the Emperor Otho IV, who
died in 1218.[276]--Breitkopf's conjecture is undeserving of remark:
had he asserted that his old German emperors and princes were adorned
with bells to indicate their rank and precedence, in the manner of
leading packhorses, he would perhaps have been as near the truth.

The tinkle of the bell rouses the questing spirit of Mons. Leber, who
pursues the inquiry with singular ardour and perseverance, though not
with success. His researches, however, on the subject of bells, though
throwing not a glimmer of light on the history of cards, are yet so
amusing, that they are here given entire, notes and all. They also
furnish an additional proof of the wide field afforded for speculation
by the history of cards.

"After the _Fou_ of European Tarots, the Bells on Indian cards are
another proof of the Oriental origin of the game. The use of bells in
India, whether as a mark of distinction and greatness, or as a means
of diversion, is of remote antiquity; while everything shows that they
were not known to the ancient nations of Europe. The Baladins and
female dancers of India have their legs decked with small bells, which
they shake when dancing; and certain idols are decorated with the same
ornament; girdles formed of bells are also worn by infants, without any
other clothing; and sometimes a single bell supplies the place of the
girdle. Herbert relates that 'as this bell contains a viper's tongue,
it might be supposed to be annoying and disgraceful. It is, however,
neither the one nor the other, for it is made an ornament, and it is
esteemed one of their most superb, when given by the king to a person
whom he wishes to honour.'[277]--We have already said that the use of
bells for various purposes is of great antiquity; and a proof of this
is furnished by the Pentateuch.[278] Bells appear to have passed from
the Hebrews to the Arabs, and to have been with these two nations the
same as we see them to have been in India, a sign of distinction and
power, when not prostituted to the use of the Baladins. An English
author, who has not been unmindful of the remarks of Calmet,[279]
mentions, in the following terms, a kind of devotion paid to the bell
among the Arabians: 'The Arabian courtesans, like the Indian women,
have little _golden bells_ fastened round their legs, neck, and
elbows, to the sound of which they dance before the king.--The Arabian
princesses wear golden rings on their fingers, to which _little bells_
are suspended, as in the flowing tresses of their hair, that their
superior rank may be known, and they themselves receive in passing the
homage due to them.'[280]--Such are bells in the East: let us now see
what they have been in Europe at different periods.

"The Emperor Henry IV, who died in 1197, and Wulphilde, the wife of
Count Rodolph, living in 1138, are represented in ancient monuments
in habits ornamented with bells similar to those which are seen on
Tarots. It would seem that this singular ornament, which subsequently
became the attribute of the buffoon, or professional jester, was then a
mark of dignity in the West as well as in the East, and that it held a
conspicuous place amongst the distinctive ornaments of the princes and
nobles of Germany, from the eleventh to the thirteenth century.[281]
Some English critics, however, have supposed that the bell indicated
falconry,[282] a sport which the high nobility only had the privilege
of indulging in; and it is certain that small bells were attached to
the feet of trained falcons.[283] But the question is, did the bells
stand for the falcon, and was the falcon, indeed, a mark of high

"What renders this conjecture probable is, that we find the use of the
small bell [grelot] established in the West before the introduction
of heraldic signs, and that we have no evidence of its having been
known to the ancient Greeks and Romans.[284] As the bell was used in
falconry by princes and nobles of the first class, it might thus become
the emblem of the falcon, and, subsequently, that of the nobility to
whom it was confined. The falcon, and things pertaining to falconry,
were certainly among the marks of grandeur with which the sovereigns
and barons of the middle ages loved to surround themselves in their
formal displays, and which alone were sufficient, in the same manner
as armorial bearings, to indicate the rank of the persons to whom
they belonged. In the tapestry ascribed to Queen Matilda, Harold is
seen travelling with his falcon on his fist; and the Count Guy de
Ponthieu, who conducts him prisoner to Beaurain, carries also his
bird in the same manner, although he, doubtless, had no thought of
the chase.[285] Besides, sceptres are surmounted with three-branched
_fleurons_, like those which form the ornament on the top of a falcon's
hood.[286] We also see hawks and falcons on ancient tombs; and it
is not unlikely that they were there placed as indications of rank
before the introduction of armorial bearings. The same conventional
distinctions were still in existence in much more recent times; for
Anne de Montmorency made his entry into London as ambassador of Francis
I, preceded by twenty-six gentlemen of the best houses of France, each
bearing a falcon on his fist;[287] and even our kings themselves, on
occasions of grand display, were preceded by their falconers fully
equipped. Falconry was not known to the ancients; but it is certain
that it was in use among the nations of the North before the conquest
of the Gauls by the Franks. Sidonius Apollinaris commemorates the
skill of a person named Vectius in the art of training dogs, horses,
and birds of prey: "In equis, canibus, _accipitribus_ instituendis,
spectandis, circumferendis, nulli secundus."[288]

"The question, however, would still be, 'if bells were used in
falconry at so early a period?' and it may be presumed that they were
not so used until long afterwards. German princes, as referred to by
Breitkopf, are decorated with them as marks of high birth, on monuments
from the eleventh to the thirteenth century. Now, it was just towards
the close of the eleventh century, that the intercourse between
Europeans and Orientals became more extended by means of the crusades;
and the invention of heraldry is of the same period. Armorial bearings,
which originated in over-sea expeditions and in tournaments, are not
of higher antiquity than the eleventh century; their use became more
frequent in the twelfth; and, in the thirteenth, we find them generally
established.[289] From the concurrence of these circumstances, it may
be concluded that bells of this kind were brought into Europe from the
East, towards the end of the eleventh century; and, that on their first
introduction, the German nobility adopted them as marks of distinction,
either from the idea of grandeur attached to them by the people from
whom they had them, or on account of the noble bird to whose use they
had dedicated them; and that this mark of nobility fell into disuse
when heraldry could supply its place by signs better adapted to
gratify the pride of the great, on account of their indicating, at the
same time, both rank and personal distinction. The Bayeux tapestry,
already referred to as the work of Queen Matilda, seems to confirm
this opinion. The conquest of England by William Duke of Normandy was
achieved in 1066; and the tapestry representing it is supposed to
be of the same century: and of this there could be no doubt, if it
were true that the work was executed by the wife of William, and her
attendants.[290] It may thus have been worked about twenty or thirty
years before the first crusade, which was determined on at the council
of Clermont, held by Urban II, in 1095. Now, the birds of chase which
some of the persons in this tapestry carry on their fist, have no bells
at their feet. We perceive there only the _jesses_, or leathern strings
with tassels at the ends, which serve to retain the bird.[291] These
jesses, without any appearance of bells, are easily to be distinguished
in the compartment which contains the inscription, DUX WILLELM: CUM
HARALDO: VENIT: AD PALATIN. If this be not evidence that bells of this
kind were not then common in Europe, it is at least a proof that they
were not then used in falconry, although this sport had been practised
for several centuries."[292]

Mons. Leber calls both Spanish and German cards Tarots, even though
they may contain no Atous; which yet appear to have been the very
pieces which were more especially distinguished as Tarocchi or
Tarots; and from the use of which, in combination with other cards,
a particular kind of game was called Tarocchino, or Tarocchio.
Thus, in consequence of his not sufficiently distinguishing between
Spanish and German cards, he speaks of the marks which occur on them
indiscriminately; and explains SWORDS and MONEY as if they belonged to
the same pack which has one of its suits distinguished by Bells. His
account of the marks on the French cards is to the following effect.
"The _Cœur_ explains itself; it is a symbol of the most noble and
generous sentiments, and more especially indicates courage, valour, and
intrepidity, qualities the most brilliant in princes. The _Trèfle_ has
its name from its resemblance to the plant so-called; though properly
it is a Flower, or rather a _Fleuron_ with three branches, symbolical
of the mysterious number Three, which, in ancient times, was regarded
with religious veneration. This number being the first which contained
in itself the principal characteristics of numbers,--namely, Unity
and Plurality, Odd and Even,--became the symbol of a union of the
most excellent virtues, such as Power, Wisdom, Love; and, by analogy,
Sovereignty, Wisdom, Justice. It is this three-branched Fleuron which
appears on the monuments of the French kings of the first and second
race; but, in consequence of its being badly designed and worse
understood, it became confounded with the heraldic Fleur-de-Lis, and is
in fact now displaced by it. The _Carreau_ seems to have been better
understood by the French than their neighbours, with whom this figure
is a jewel, a precious stone, an ornamental article. The English take
it for a diamond, and the Spaniards, for a jewel worn by ladies, or for
the decoration of the toilet. Their error has doubtless arisen from
the comparison which they made between the _Carreaux_ of cards and the
figures of precious stones which they had before their eyes.[293] The
diamonds and precious stones forming the ornaments of royal vestments,
and of dresses of court ladies, have usually the form of carreaux,
and are painted in vermilion, or in carmine in the manuscripts of the
middle age; and this conventional form, having been adopted by heralds,
was introduced into armorial bearings as the _macle_ and _lozenge_.
The Carreaux of cards, however, have no connexion with diamonds and
precious stones, any more than they have with the _quarrells_ or
square-headed arrows of a crossbow. The Carreau, as well as each
of the other marks of the suits, is a symbol, and not a rebus. All
iconographers represent Fortune as standing, upon one foot, on a
wheel or a ball, to signify her instability. The contrary idea was
necessarily attached to the figure of a square or a cube, considered as
a firm and immoveable base. It was for this reason that the ancients
placed the figure of Wisdom and Firmness on a cube; and Aristotle
speaks in the same sense when he informs us that a true philosopher
ought to be square,--carré--that is to say, immoveable in courage and
virtue. Heraldry has also admitted the square, placed lozenge-wise,
as an emblem of Constancy and Firmness; and the Squares of cards,
called Carreaux, can only be supposed to have the same signification.
As to the _Pique_, there can be no doubt with respect to its meaning.
It represents the head of a lance, and is thus an emblem of military
force. The Germans, however, seem to have misconceived the character
of this figure, which they converted into a Leaf,--_Grün_;[294]--but
this mistake, or rather this difference, may be ascribed to the
imperfection of the painting in ancient cards; and more especially to
the coarseness of the first essays of wood-engraving, in which it was
almost impossible to distinguish the figure of a leaf from that of a
pike-head. On comparing the earliest German cards with shields of arms,
of the same period, and with old wood-engravings which contain trees,
it will be immediately seen how easy it was to confound the two forms.
There is no difference between the Piques of cards and the leaves of
the tree on the right of the woodcut of St. Christopher of the date
1423; and the _Crequier_[295] of heraldry is precisely the same as
the seven of Pique[296] in German cards of the fifteenth century. But
whatever may have been the cause of this anomaly, it is generally
admitted that the Pique in French cards is the figure of a weapon; and
it can scarcely be doubted that it was the equivalent of the Sword in
the Tarots. In this respect the Spanish and Italian nomenclature is in
perfect accordance with our own. In the southern parts of Europe the
French _Pique_ is _La Picca_ or _La Spada_."

Thus, according to Mons. Leber, the four suits of French cards have
the following signification: CŒUR, valour, greatness of soul; TRÈFLE,
wisdom and justice united with power; CARREAU, firmness, stability,
constancy; PIQUE, physical force, or the power of the military. The
suits, again, may be considered as representing four monarchies,
or political societies; namely, CŒURS, governed by a generous and
courageous prince; TRÈFLES, by a sovereign just, wise, and powerful;
CARREAUX, by a king consistent in principle, and decided in action; and
PIQUES, by a warlike prince, who owes his power to his arms.

Though Mons. Leber has freely censured Daniel for writing on the
subject of cards chiefly from books, without referring to cards
themselves, he is yet exceedingly prone to follow Daniel's example;
and though his explanation of the symbolical meaning of cards be less
extravagant than the latter's account of the origin and signification
of the game of Piquet, it can scarcely be called more reasonable; since
both writers interpret the marks on the cards according to their own
conceit. The one informs us that the Trèfle signifies that a general
ought only to encamp in a place which affords plenty of fodder for his
cavalry; and the other says that the Carreau, which, as it stands, in
the cards, seems the very emblem of instability, signifies firmness,
stability, constancy; an interpretation which seems to rest chiefly on
the ingenious hypothesis of the Carreau being an emblem of the cube.

The variations which occur on cards from the commencement of the
sixteenth century, either as regards the marks of the suits or the
names of the coat cards, throw no light on their origin; as such
variations have evidently been introduced merely at the caprice of the
card-maker in accordance with the prevalent taste of the period. In a
pack of French cards, engraved by Vincent Goyraud, in the time of Henry
IV, all the coat cards appear in the costume of the period; though the
Kings and Valets still display in their dress that variety of colour
which is to be seen on cards of an earlier period, but which, at that
time, appears to have been out of fashion. Such cards would appear
to have been in common use in England in the early part of the reign
of James I. In Rowland's 'Knave of Hearts,' first printed in 1612,
the Knave, in his supplication to the card-makers, complains of the
pie-bald suits which he and his fellows are compelled to wear.[297] In
the pack referred to the names and designations of the Coat cards are
as follows:

  Suits.      CŒUR.             CARREAU.            TRÈFLE.
  Kings.    _Salomon._          _Auguste._          _Clovis._
  Queens.   _Elizabeth._        _Dido._             _Clotilde._
  Valets.   _Valet de Court._   _Valet de Chasse._  _Valet d'Eté._

  Suits.     PIQUE.
  Kings.    _Constantine._
  Queens.   _Pantalisee._
  Valets.   _Valet de Noblesse._

The Valet de Court has his hat under his arm; the Valet de Chasse holds
a dog in a leash; the Valet d'Eté carries a large flower; and the
Valet de Noblesse bears a hawk on his fist. The mark of the card-maker
appears on two of the Valets, namely, on the Valet of Cœur, and on the
Valet of Pique. A pack of those cards is preserved in the Bibliothèque
du Roi; and fac-similes of the Kings, Queens, and Valets, in their
proper colours, are given in the 'Jeux de Cartes Tarots et de Cartes
Numérales,' published by the Society of Bibliophiles Français. From
those fac-similes the outlines of the four Valets here given have been

[Illustration: Valet de Cour. (p. 250.)]

[Illustration: Valet de Chasse. (p. 250.)]

[Illustration: Valet de Été. (p. 250.)]

[Illustration: Valet de Noblesse. (p. 250.)]

In the same work are given fac-similes of coat cards executed in
the reign of Louis XIII, and displaying the costume of that period.
The names given to the Kings, Queens and Valets on those cards are:
_Cœur_, Alexandre, Pentasilee [Penthesilea], Roland. _Carreau_, Cirus
Major, Roxane, Renault. _Trèfle_, Ninus, Semiramis; the name of the
Valet wanting.[298] _Pique_, Jule Cæsar, Pompeia, Roger. Each of the
Aces is surrounded with an ornamental bordering; and at the foot is an
inscription, which, when read consecutively, through all the four, is
as follows: "_Vive le Roy_ | _Vive la Reyne_ | _J'ayme l'Amour_ | _Et
la Court_."

Some of the specimens of Portuguese cards given in the 'Jeux de
Cartes Tarots et de Cartes Numérales' have very much the appearance of
having been originally suggested by, if not copied from, an Oriental
type; more especially in the suits of Danari and Bastoni,--Money
and Clubs. In those cards the circular figure, generally understood
as representing Danari, or Money, is certainly much more like the
_Chakra_, or quoit of Vichnou, as seen in Hindostanee drawings, than a
piece of coin; while on the top of the Club there is a diamond proper,
which is another of the attributes of the same deity. The dragon seen
on each of the Aces is perfectly Oriental in character; and the shields
which appear on the Kings and Queens are very much like those which are
to be seen in Hindostanee drawings. The coat cards in this pack are
King, Queen, and Horseman; and the suits are Coppe, Danari, Bastoni,
and Spade--Cups, Money, Clubs proper, and Swords. The Queen, which here
appears as the second coat card, is of unusual occurrence in cards of
this kind, and more especially in such as are of Spanish or Portuguese
manufacture.[299] In two of the suits,--Clubs and Swords,--the Queen
appears in the act of encountering a dragon. The coat cards and aces
have letters both at top and bottom, indicating the suit, and the rank
or name of the card. Specimens of those cards, which appear to have
been executed in 1693, are preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi. The
four annexed cuts show the outlines of the four Valets. The letters CC,
CD, CB, CS, signify respectively the Caballo, or Chevalier of Coppe,
Danari, Bastoni, and Spade.


The most remarkable changes that cards have undergone, with respect
to the characters displayed on them, are to be found in certain packs
manufactured at Paris in the time of the Revolution. Specimens of the
coat cards of two of those packs engraved by Chossonnerie and Gayant,
in 1793-4, are given in the 'Jeux de Cartes Tarots et de Cartes
Numérales.' In one of them the places of the Kings are occupied by
four Philosophers, namely, Molière, La Fontaine, Voltaire, and J. J.
Rousseau; the Queens are substituted by the four Virtues, Prudence,
Justice, Temperance, and Fortitude; while the Valets are superseded by
four Republicans, one of whom is a grim-looking ruffian, with a red cap
on, and his shirt-sleeves turned up, brandishing a pike; the second
is a soldier armed with a musket; the third an artilleryman; and the
fourth a young man, in fancy costume, armed with a musket. In the other
pack, four Sages, Solon, M. P. Cato, J. J. Rousseau, and J. J. Brutus,
serve instead of Kings; four Virtues, as in the other pack, represent
the Queens; though with this difference, that Temperance is displaced
by Union; while four "Braves,"--Annibal, Horatius, P. Decius Mus, and
M. Scævola, supply the place of Valets.

Another pack of Republican cards of the same period is thus described
by Peignot, in his 'Analyse de Recherches sur les Cartes à jouer.'

"For Kings we have _Genii_; for Queens, _Liberties_; and for Valets,
_Equalities_. In place of the King of Hearts there is the Genius of
War,--'GÉNIE DE LA GUERRE.' This Genius, which is winged, is seated on
the breech of a cannon; he holds in the right hand a sword and a wreath
of laurel, and in the left, a shield, round which is the inscription,
'_Pour la République Française_.' On the right, read vertically from
the top, is the word '_Force_.' At the feet of the Genius are a bomb,
a lighted match, and a heap of bullets. At the bottom of the card is
the inscription, '_Par brevet d'invention. Naume et Dugouec, au Génie
de la Rép. franç._'

"For the Queen of Hearts: 'LIBERTÉ DES CULTES,'--Religious Liberty.
This is a female seated, very badly draped, and with her legs bare.
She holds a pike surmounted with a red cap; and on a bannerol attached
to the pike are the words '_Dieu seul_.' Towards her feet are seen
three volumes, inscribed '_Thalmud_,' '_Coran_,' and '_Evangile_.' The
vertical inscription is, '_Fraternité_.'

"Knave of Hearts: 'ÉGALITÉ DES DEVOIRS,'--Equality of Duties. This is
a soldier seated on a drum, with his musket between his knees. In his
left hand he holds a paper containing the words, '_Pour la patrie_.'
The vertical inscription is '_Sécurité_.'

"King of Spades: 'GÉNIE DES ARTS,'--the Genius of Arts. The figure of
Apollo with a red cap on his head; in one hand he holds the Belvedere
statue of himself, and in the other a lyre. The vertical inscription:
'_Goût_.' At the bottom, emblems of painting, sculpture, and such like.

"Queen of Spades: 'LIBERTÉ DE LA PRESSE,'--Liberty of the Press. A
female figure with a pen in one hand, and with the other sustaining a
desk, on which lies a roll of paper partly unfolded, and displaying the
words '_Morale_, _Religion_, _Philosophie_, _Physique_, _Politique_,
_Histoire_.' At the bottom, masks, rolls of manuscript, and such like.

"Knave of Spades: 'EGALITÉ DE RANGS,'--Equality of Ranks. The figure
of a man whose costume accords rather with that of a '_Septembriseur_'
than with that of a mere '_Sans-culotte_' of the period. He wears
sabots, and has a red cap on his head. He has no coat on, and his
shirt-sleeves are tucked up to the elbows. His small-clothes are loose
at the knees, and his legs are bare. He is seated on a large stone, on
which is inscribed: '_Démolition de la Bastille_. _10 Août, 1792_.'
Under his feet is a scroll inscribed '_Noblesse_,' and displaying
shields of arms. The vertical inscription is '_Puissance_.'

"King of Clubs: 'GÉNIE DE LA PAIX,'--Genius of Peace. In his right
hand he holds the '_Fasces_' and an olive branch, and in the left
a scroll containing the word '_Lois_.' The vertical inscription is

"Queen of Clubs: 'LIBERTÉ DU MARIAGE,'--Liberty of Marriage. The figure
of a female holding a pike surmounted with the red cap; and on a scroll
attached to the pike is the word '_Divorce_.' The vertical inscription
is '_Pudeur_.' On a pedestal is a statue of the crouching Venus
entirely naked,--without doubt intended for the emblem of Modesty.

"Knave of Clubs: 'EGALITÉ DE DROITS,'--Equality of Rights. A judge in
tricolor costume, holding in one hand a pair of scales, and in the
other a scroll containing the inscription '_La loi pour tous_.' He is
trampling on a serpent or dragon, the tortuous folds of which represent
legal chicanery. The vertical inscription is '_Justice_.'

"King of Diamonds: 'GÉNIE DU COMMERCE,'--the Genius of Commerce. He is
seated on a large bale, which contains the inscription '_P. B. d'inv.
J. D. à Paris_.' In one hand he holds a purse, and in the other a
caduceus and an olive-branch. The vertical inscription is '_Richesse_.'
At the bottom are an anchor, the prow of a ship, a portfolio, and such

"Queen of Diamonds: 'LIBERTÉ DES PROFESSIONS,'--Liberty of Professions
and Trades. A female figure who, in the same manner as the other
three Liberties, holds a pike surmounted with the red cap. With the
other hand she holds a cornucopiæ and a scroll containing the word
'_Patentes_.' The vertical inscription is '_Industrie_.'

"Knave of Diamonds: 'EGALITÉ DE COULEURS,'--Equality of Colours. The
figure of a Negro, seated, and leaning upon a musket. Below is the
word '_Café_.' Near to him are a sugar-loaf, a broken yoke, fetters,
iron collars for the neck, and such like. The vertical inscription is

"Such are the coat cards of this Republican pack. The numeral cards are
the same as the old ones, with the exception of the Aces, which are
surrounded by four fasces placed lozenge-wise, with these words: '_La
Loi. Rép. Franç._;' the whole coloured blue. It is scarcely necessary
to say that those ridiculous cards had not even a momentary vogue."[300]

The coat cards of a Republican pack, of recent American manufacture,
have been forwarded to me by a friend, resident at New York. From the
name of the maker,--R. SAUZADE,--which occurs on the Ace of Spades,
I am inclined to think that their invention is to be ascribed rather
to a Frenchman than to an American. For the Kings we have: _Hearts_,
WASHINGTON; _Diamonds_, JOHN ADAMS, the second President of the United
States; _Clubs_, FRANKLIN; _Spades_, LA FAYETTE. For the Queens:
_Hearts_, VENUS,--modestly concealing her charms with a mantle, in
accordance with American notions of delicacy. _Diamonds_, FORTUNE;
_Clubs_, CERES; _Spades_, MINERVA. The Knaves are represented by Four
Indian chiefs. The figures appear to be engraved on copper, and are
coloured. The marks of the suits are the same as those on the cards
in common use in England. Those cards, I am informed, are held in no
estimation by the card-players of America, who continue to prefer those
of the old pattern.--The chief town in America for the manufacture
of cards is Boston; whose discreet, meeting-going people seem to
have no objection to make a profit by supplying the profane with the
instruments of perdition.

No cards of an "instructive" character have ever obtained popularity
amongst regular card-players; for when people sit down to play at
cards they do not like to have their attention withdrawn from the game
by the historical or biographical reminiscences suggested by Coat
cards, either containing portraits of distinguished characters, or
commemorating remarkable events; and least of all can they bear that
the heads of a sermon or moral lecture should be presented to them in
the shape of the four cardinal virtues; which are just as appropriate
in a pack of cards as they would be on the proscenium of her Majesty's

The best of the costume cards that I have seen are those designed by
Armand Houbigant, a French artist, who named them "Cartes Royales," and
obtained from Louis XVIII, a license to manufacture them for general
use, in 1818. They did not, however, acquire any vogue, and are now
seldom to be met with, except in the collections of amateurs of prints.
The coat cards, which are etched, and delicately coloured by hand,
display the costume of the French Court at four different periods. The
characters represented are as follows.

_Spades._ King, CHARLEMAGNE, "Carolus Magnus;" crowned, and seated on
a throne, with a globe in the right hand, and a long sceptre in the
left.--Queen, HILDEGARDE, second wife of Charlemagne; erect, crowned,
and holding a book in her hands.--Knave, ROLAND, described in romances
as the nephew of Charlemagne; and said to have been killed at the
battle of Roncevalles in 778; holding a spear and shield, and clothed
in armour, which appears rather to belong to the sixteenth century than
to the time of Charlemagne.

_Diamonds._ King, Louis IX, "Sainct Loys;" crowned, seated on a throne,
wearing a blue robe powdered with fleurs-de-lis, and having a sceptre
in his left hand.--Queen, BLANCHE DE CASTILLE, wife of Louis VIII, and
mother of St. Louis; erect, crowned, and holding a rosary in her right
hand.--Knave, SIRE DE JOINVILLE, the biographer of Louis IX, and one of
the nobles of his court; clothed in chain-mail, over which is a surcoat
of arms.

_Clubs._ King, FRANCIS I; seated, wearing the broad bonnet in which he
is usually represented, and holding a sceptre.--Queen, MARGUERITE DE
VALOIS, Queen of Navarre, sister of Francis I; erect, holding a rose in
her right hand.--Knave, BAYARD; in plate-armour, leaning on a kind of
pedestal on which is inscribed "_Sans peur, sans reproche_."

_Hearts._ King, HENRY IV; seated, holding a sceptre, and wearing the
characteristic hat and feather which, in modern times, are designated
by his name.--Queen, JEANNE D'ALBRET, mother of Henry IV; erect,
holding a fan in her right hand.--Knave, SULLY; bald and bearded, as he
is usually represented in engravings, holding in his right hand a paper
inscribed "_Economie Roy_.[301] ..."

A set of Picture Cards, published by Cotta, the bookseller of Tubingen,
in one of his Card Almanacs--'Karten Almanach'--is noticed by Mons.
Peignot. The designer has chosen for the coat cards the principal
characters in Schiller's Joan of Arc, and has clothed them, as well as
he could, in the costume of the period. The King of Hearts is CHARLES
VII; the Queen, ISABELLA OF BAVARIA; the Knave, LA HIRE.--The King of
Clubs is the English commander, TALBOT, dying; the Queen, JOAN OF ARC;
the Knave, LIONEL, taking away the sword of JOAN OF ARC.--The King
of Diamonds is PHILIP, DUKE OF BURGUNDY; the Queen, AGNES SOREL; the
Knave, RAIMOND, a villager.--The King of Clubs is RÉNÉ OF ANJOU, with
the crown of Sicily at his feet; the Queen, LOUISE, sister of Joan of
Arc; and the Knave, MONTGOMERY, on his knees, and weeping. The low
cards from 1 to 10 also contain fanciful designs; but with the subjects
so arranged that the numbers and marks of the suits can be readily
distinguished. The subject of the Four of Clubs is an illustration of
Burger's ballad of Leonore--Death armed, and mounted on horseback,
appears to be threatening with his dart a young woman who rides behind
him; the scene is laid in a churchyard, and a skeleton appears crawling
towards an open grave. The mark of the suit is seen on four crosses
in the churchyard. Cotta's Card Almanack first appeared in 1806, and
was continued for several years. It was published as a small pocket
volume of a square form; and the illustrations consisted entirely of
fanciful cards,--the mark of the suit being always introduced into each
subject, either by hook or by crook. The designs for the cards in
the first four volumes, from 1806 to 1809 inclusive, are said to have
been made by a lady.--Numerous packs of fancy cards have appeared in
Germany since the commencement of the present century; some displaying
costume, ancient and modern; some representing eminent characters, and
others devoted to the illustration of trades and professions. In one of
them, published at Frankfort-on-the-Maine, in 1815, in memory of the
principal military events of 1813-14, the Duke of Wellington figures as
the Knave of Diamonds, and Marshal Blucher as the Knave of Clubs.

In 1811 two different packs of caricature cards, imitated, or rather
adapted, from the picture-cards in Cotta's Almanack, appeared in
England. The one was published by S. and J. Fuller, Rathbone place,
London; and the other, by Jones, at the Repository of Arts, Market
hill, Cambridge. Neither of those packs was intended for the purposes
of play. They have very much the appearance of having been designed by
the same artist. On the wrapper of both packs the inscription is the
same: "METASTASIS. Transformation of Playing-cards."--A set of costume
cards was published by Ackermann, in the 'Repository of Arts,' in 1806:
a particular description of them would be just as interesting as a
description of the plates in 'La Belle Assemblée' of the same period.

A pack of cards published by Baker and Co., in 1813, requires more
particular notice. On the wrapper they are entitled "Eclectic Cards;"
and in a pamphlet giving an account of them, they are announced as
"Complete, Grand, Historical, Eclectic Cards, for England, Ireland,
Scotland, and Wales; being a Selection or an Eclectic Company of Twelve
of the most eminent Personages, that ever distinguished themselves in
those respective Countries, for Heroic deeds, Wisdom, &c. And the
other Forty Cards descriptive of the Local and National Emblems of the
Four Nations.

    "Historian, Poet, Painter, all combine,
    To charm the eye, the taste and mind refine;
    Fancy and sentiment their aid impart,
    To raise the genius, and to mend the heart."


These cards, which are considerably larger than those in common
use, display considerable skill and fancy in the designs, and are
beautifully coloured. Hearts and Diamonds are retained as marks of two
of the suits; but Acorns are substituted for Clubs; and instead of
Spades there is a "true representation of the real Spata, which is not
a coal-heaver's spade, but a two-edged heavy sword, without a point, as
used by the ancient Britons to fight with; cut, hew, and slash down,
either enemy or tree. So says our ancient history." A fac-simile of
this formidable weapon is here subjoined, in order that the reader
may judge for himself of its peculiar fitness for cutting, hewing, or
slashing down. It has very much the appearance of a heavy cast-metal
article, new from the Carron foundry, and of modern Gothic design. In
the descriptive pamphlet, the coat cards are thus explained:


_King of Clubs._--Arthur, the Great and Victorious Hero, King of

_Queen of Clubs._--Elizabeth, the Wise and Virtuous Queen of England.

_Knight of Clubs._--Sir John Falstaff, the Facetious Knight, and
companion of Henry V, Knight of England.


_King of Hearts._--Gathelus, the Grecian Prince, King of Ireland.

_Queen of Hearts._--Scotia, his Wife, the Egyptian Princess, Queen of

_Knight of Hearts._--Ossian, the Warrior and Poet, Son of Fingal,
Knight of Ireland.


_King of Diamonds._--Achaius, the fortunate Contemporary, and in
alliance with Charlemagne, King of Scots.

_Queen of Diamonds._--Mary Stuart, the unfortunate Dowager Queen of
France, and Queen of Scots.

_Knight of Diamonds._--Merlin, the Magic Prophet, Cabinet Counsellor
to Vortigern, Aurelius Ambrosius, Uter Pendragon, the Father of King
Arthur, and to King Arthur, who was his Pupil, Knight of Scotland.


_King of Spata._--Camber, the third Son of Brute, King of Cambria.

_Queen of Spata._--Elfrida, the beautiful Queen of Mona, and of the

_Knight of Spata._--Thaliessin, the Welch Bard and Poet, dressed like a
Herald or King at Arms of the Divine and Ancient Druids, as he sang to
King Henry II of the great deeds of Arthur, the justly termed hero of
the British Isle, Knight of Cambria."

"In the selection which we have made," say the proprietors, "to form
our set of court cards, we have chosen them from among those characters
who have rendered themselves most conspicuous in the history of the
United Kingdom. In this particular, we have had recourse not only to
historical truth, which we have rigidly observed, but we have taken
care to fix upon personages, who lived at different periods, and
which are calculated in colour, variety of dress, and characteristic
features, to form an agreeable and elegant contrast, and to avoid
that unpleasant monotony which must have taken place if they had all
been selected from the same period of time; and it will be a peculiar
gratification to us, in our attempts to form a set of cards, should we
contribute in the smallest degree, to augment the elegant and rational
amusements of taste and fashion.

"Nor have we been inattentive to minor objects in our anxiety to
complete the plan. We believe it has never been attempted to be
explained why the coarse and vulgar appellation of knave, was
originally given to the card next in degree to the queen. Perhaps the
following demonstration is the most plausible way in which it can be
accounted for. It was usual with kings in ancient times to choose
some ludicrous person, with whose ridiculous and comical tricks they
might be diverted in their hours of relaxation, from the cares and
formalities of royalty. This person was generally chosen from among
men of low condition, but not wholly destitute of talent, particularly
in that species of low cunning and humour calculated to excite mirth
and laughter, and the tricks of knavery (in which he was allowed free
indulgence in the presence of the king), gave him the appellation of
the king's fool, or knave.

"Whether this explanation be really the origin from whence the knave in
the old cards is derived, may still remain undetermined, but it appears
to us the most rational way of accounting for it. Nor is it indeed
essential to our present purpose; the name of knave in our opinion is
vulgar, unmeaning, and inconsistent, and being moreover absolutely
incompatible with the dignity of our characters, and the uniformity of
our plan, we have entirely rejected it, and substituted a knight in its
stead. This being a title of honour, not only in immediate succession
to that of king and queen, but is ever considered as an honorable
appendage to royalty itself."

About 1819, a set of cleverly drawn satirical cards, with the marks of
the suits introduced in the same manner as in Cotta's cards, appeared
at Paris. Their satire is directed against the political party then in
the ascendant; and in the Nine of Hearts, portraits of Chateaubriand
and other persons, both lay and clerical, are introduced as advocates
of the old order of things; in the background are the ruins of the
Bastille, and at the foot is the inscription, "_Les Immobiles_." The
coat cards of the suit of HEARTS consist of figures representing
three popular journals: King, "CONSTITUTIONNEL,"--a figure in Roman
costume, with sword and shield, defending a column inscribed: "_Charte
constitutionnel. Liberté de la Presse. Liberté Individuelle. Loi des
Elections. Tolérance._" Queen, "MINERVE,"--Minerva putting to flight
certain evil spirits of the "Partie Prêtre."--Knave, "FIGARO,"--the
character in proper costume. The coat cards of SPADES are: King,
"CONSERVATEUR,"--a Jesuit with a sword in one hand, and a torch in the
other. Queen, "QUOTIDIENNE,"--an old woman holding in her left hand a
book inscribed, "_Pensée Chrétienne quotidienne_;" and in her right an
extinguisher, which she is about to clap upon a figure of Truth seen
emerging from a well. Knave, "BAZILE,"--figure of Chateaubriand, in
clerical costume, but concealing a Jesuit's cap under his robe; beside
him is a braying ass, on its knees. CLUBS: King, "DÉBATS,"--the Editor
endeavouring to carry two large bags, the one inscribed, "_Débats_" and
the other "_Empire_:" in the distance, two asses mutually caressing
each other. Queen, "GAZETTE,"--a hard-featured old lady, with a pen
in her hand, at a writing table: near to her a magpie in a cage.
Knave, "CLOPINEAU,"--the figure of Talleyrand; towards the top are the
signs of the political zodiac which he had already passed through.
In the only pack which I have had an opportunity of examining, the
Queen of DIAMONDS is wanting. The representative of the King is the
"MONITEUR,"--a brazen head on a kind of pedestal, round which are stuck
flags of various colours, indicative of the different parties whose
cause the paper had advocated. Knave, "DON QUICHOTTE,"--the Don, with
shield and lance, attacking a windmill: the person intended by this
figure I have not been able to discover.[302]

With respect to the common names of the first three numeral
cards,--Ace, Deuce, and Tray,--it may be observed that the term Ace or
As is common in almost every country in Europe as the designation of
the One at cards;[303] and that the terms Deuce and Tray, signifying
Two and Three, may have been derived either from the Spanish _Dos_ and
_Tres_, or from the French _Deux_ and _Trois_. The Deuce of cards, it
may be observed, has no connexion with the term Deuce as used in the
familiar expression "to play the Deuce;" in which it is synonymous with
the Devil, or an evil spirit, and is of Northern origin. In some parts
of the country, the Deuce, though lower in value, is considered to be a
more fortunate card than the Tray; and "There's luck in the Deuce, but
none in the Tray," is a frequent expression amongst old card-players,
who like to enliven the game with an occasional remark as they lay down
a card. In Northumberland, the Four of Hearts at Whist is sometimes
called "Hob Collingwood,"[304] and is considered by old ladies an
unlucky card. As far as memory can trace, according to Captain Chamier,
in his novel entitled the 'Arethusa,' the Four of Clubs has been called
by sailors the "devil's bedpost." In Northamptonshire, according to a
writer in the 'Gentleman's Magazine,' 1791 (p. 141), the Queen of Clubs
is called "Queen Bess," and the Four of Spades, "Ned Stokes."[305]

In various parts of Ireland, but more particularly in the county of
Kilkenny, the Six of Hearts is known by the name of "Grace's card;" and
it is said to have acquired that name from the following circumstance.
A gentleman of the name of Grace, being solicited, with promises of
royal favour, to espouse the cause of William III, gave the following
answer, written on the back of the Six of Hearts, to an emissary of
Marshal Schomberg's, who had been commissioned to make the proposal
to him:--"Tell your master I despise his offer; and that honour and
conscience are dearer to a gentleman than all the wealth and titles a
prince can bestow."

The Nine of Diamonds is frequently called the "Curse of Scotland;"
and the common tradition is that it obtained this name in consequence
of the Duke of Cumberland having written his sanguinary orders for
military execution, after the battle of Culloden, on the back of a
Nine of Diamonds. This card, however, appears to have been known in
the North as the "Curse of Scotland" many years before the battle
of Culloden; for Dr. Houstoun, speaking of the state of parties in
Scotland shortly after the rebellion of 1715, says that the Lord
Justice-Clerk Ormistone, who had been very zealous in suppressing the
rebellion, and oppressing the rebels, "became universally hated in
Scotland, where they called him the Curse of Scotland; and when the
ladies were at cards playing the Nine of Diamonds, (commonly called the
Curse of Scotland) they called it the Justice Clerk."[306]

In the 'Gentleman's Magazine' for 1786, a correspondent offers the
following heraldic conjecture on the subject. "There is a common
expression made use of at cards, which I have never heard any
explanation of. I mean the Nine of Diamonds being called the Curse
of Scotland. Looking lately over a book of heraldry, I found nine
diamonds, or lozenges, conjoined,--or, in the heraldic language, Gules,
a cross of lozenges,--to be the arms of Packer. Colonel Packer appears
to have been one of the persons who was on the scaffold when Charles
the First was beheaded, and afterwards commanded in Scotland, and is
recorded to have acted in his command with considerable severity. It
is possible that his arms might, by a very easy metonymy, be called
the Curse of Scotland; and the Nine of Diamonds, at cards, being
very similar, in figure, to them, might have ever since retained the
appellation." Another correspondent says that he has always understood
that the application of the expression, "the Curse of Scotland," to
the nine of diamonds was not earlier than the year 1707; and that he
thinks it more probable that the nine lozenges in the arms of the Earl
of Stair, who made the Union, should have given rise to the phrase,
than the arms of Packer. In the same Magazine, for 1788, we have "One
more conjecture concerning the Nine of Diamonds." It is syllogistic
in form, and appears to have been intended as a clinch to the
controversy.[307] "The Curse of Scotland must be something which that
nation hate and detest; but the Scots hold in the utmost detestation
the Pope; at the game of Pope Joan, the Nine of Diamonds is Pope;
therefore the Nine of Diamonds is the Curse of Scotland. Q. E. D."

In the 'Oracle, or Resolver of Questions,' a duodecimo volume, printed
about 1770, the following solution is given, which is perhaps as near
the truth as any of the preceding conjectures. "_Q._ Pray why is the
Nine of Diamonds called the Curse of Scotland? _A._ Because the crown
of Scotland had but nine diamonds in it, and they were never able to
get a tenth."

The word Trump, signifying a card of the suit which has the superiority
at certain games, such superiority being determined by hazard, is
derived either from the French _Triomphe_, or the Spanish _Triunfo_:
at cards, these words have precisely the same meaning as the English
Trump.[308] With the French, _Triomphe_ is also the name of a game at
cards; and in England the old game of Ruff seems also to have been
called Trump or Triumph.[309] At Gleek, the Ace was called _Tib_; the
Knave, _Tom_; and the Four, _Tiddy_. The Five and Six appear to have
been respectively called _Towser_ and _Tumbler_, and to have counted
double when turned up. At All-Fours, the Knave appears in his proper
character of JACK,--a serving-man, not a cheat, or rogue.

At certain games the Knave of Clubs is called PAM. A few years ago
the name was applied to the celebrated public character whom Byron is
supposed to have designated as "a moral chimney-sweep," in one of the
cantos of Don Juan.[310] Most of the terms in the game of Ombre are

Formerly a pack of cards was usually called a "Pair of cards;" and it
appears deserving of remark, that the Italians use the word _Pajo_,
which properly signifies a pair, in precisely the same sense when
applied to a pack of cards,--_Pajo di carte_. In the time of Queen
Elizabeth a pack of cards appears to have been sometimes called a
bunch. In the time of Charles II the term "Pair of Cards" fell into
disuse; and perhaps one of the latest instances of its employment, is
to be found in Poor Robin's Almanac for 1684, under the month December,
where the writer, in his introductory verses, laments the decline of
good housekeeping in the houses of the rich:

    "The kitchen that a-cold may be,
    For little fire you in it may see.
    Perhaps a pair of cards is going,
    And that's the chiefest matter doing."

The French call a pack of cards "_Un Jeu de cartes_,"--a game, or
play of cards; and the German name, "_Ein Spiel Karten_" has the same
literal meaning as the French.

As the object of this work is not to teach people how to play at cards,
those who wish for information, with respect to the different games,
are referred to Cotton's 'Complete Gamester,' Seymour, Hoyle, and the
Académie des Jeux,--taking with them this piece of advice:

    "He who hopes at Cards to win,
    Must never think that cheating's sin;
    To make a trick whene'er he can,
    No matter _how_, should be his plan.
    No case of conscience must he make,
    Except how he may save his stake;
    The only object of his prayers,--
    Not to be caught, and kicked down stairs."[311]

With respect to the manufacture of cards, it would appear to have been
a regular business, both in Germany and Italy, about 1420; but, though
it has generally been asserted that the earliest cards for common use
were engraved on wood, there is yet reason to believe that they were at
first executed by means of a stencil; and that the method of engraving
the outlines on wood was of subsequent introduction. However this
may be, it is certain that the art of wood-engraving was at an early
period applied to the manufacture of cards, and that in Germany, in
the latter quarter of the fifteenth century, the term _Briefdrucker_,
or _Briefmaler_,--card-printer, or card-painter--was commonly used to
signify a wood-engraver. From the importation of playing cards into
England being prohibited by an act of parliament in 1463, as injurious
to the interests of native tradesmen and manufacturers, it might be
concluded that at that time the manufacture of cards was established
in this country. No cards, however, of undoubted English manufacture
of so early a date have yet been discovered. In the sixteenth century,
there is reason to believe that most of the cards used in England
were imported either from France, or the Netherlands. In the reign
of Elizabeth the importation of cards was a monopoly;[312] but from
the time of her successor James I, it would appear that most of the
cards used in this country were of home manufacture. From the reign
of Charles II to the present time, cards have, either directly or
indirectly, been subject to a duty.

In France, by an ordonnance dated 21st February, 1581, a tax of "_un
ecu sou_" was ordered to be paid upon each bale of cards of two hundred
pounds weight intended for exportation; and, by an ordonnance of the
22d May, 1583, a tax of "_un sou parisis_" was laid upon each pack of
cards intended for home use. By an ordonnance of the 14th January,
1605, the exportation of cards was prohibited; but, as a compensation
to the manufacturers, the duty on cards for home consumption was
reduced. As the collection of the duties was rendered difficult in
consequence of the manufacturers residing in so many different places,
it was, at the same time, determined that the only places where the
manufacture of cards might be carried on, should be Paris, Rouen,
Lyons, Toulouse, Troyes, Limoges, and Thiers in Auvergne. Shortly
afterwards, the same privilege was accorded to Orleans, Angers, Romans,
and Marseilles; and, by way of recompense to other places, it was
determined that the tax should be expended in the encouragement of
manufactures. Louis XV, having established the Ecole Militaire, in
1751, ordered that the money raised by the tax on cards, should be
applied to its support. The company, or guild, of card-makers of Paris
was suppressed in 1776, but re-established a few months afterwards. The
period of their first establishment appears to be unknown. In their
statutes of the year 1594, they call themselves _Tarotiers_.[313]
In Russia, at the present day, the manufacture of cards is a royal
monopoly. A few months ago a paragraph appeared in the Literary
Gazette, stating that though 14,400 packs were manufactured daily, yet
the supply was unequal to the demand, and that a petition had been
presented to the emperor praying for a more liberal issue. In Mexico
a considerable revenue was derived from a tax on cards; and it would
appear to be still productive, notwithstanding the unsettled state of
the country, as it is one of those which have been appropriated, _ad
interim_, by the American commander-in-chief.

Most of the cards engraved on copper are merely "cartes de fantaisie,"
designed rather for the entertainment of the more wealthy classes, than
for the ordinary purposes of play. Until a comparatively recent period
the coat cards, after having been printed in outline from wood blocks,
were coloured by means of stencils; but at present, in this country,
the colours are all applied by means of the press. The following
account of the manner of making cards at the manufactory of Messrs. De
La Rue and Company, of London, is extracted from Bradshaw's Journal,
No. 24, 16th April, 1842.

"The first object that engages our attention, is the preparation of
the paper intended to be formed into cards. It is found that ordinary
paper, when submitted to pressure, acquires a certain degree of
polish, but not sufficient for playing-cards of the finest quality.
In order therefore that it may admit of the high finish which is
afterwards imparted, the paper is prepared by a white enamel colour,
consisting of animal size and other compounds. This substance, which
renders the paper impermeable to the atmosphere, is laid on by a large
brush, and left to dry by exposure to the atmosphere.

"The paper being ready for use, we proceed to explain the printing of
the fronts of the cards, which are technically distinguished as _pips_
and _têtes_.

"To commence with the simpler, the _pips_ (i.e. the hearts, diamonds,
spades, and clubs:)--sets of blocks are produced, each containing forty
engravings of one card; and as the ordinary method of letterpress
printing is employed, forty impressions of one card are obtained at the
same moment. As the pips bear but one colour, black or red, they are
worked together at the hand-press, or at one of Cowper's steam printing

"For the têtes, however (i.e. the court cards), which, with the
outline, contain five colours--dark blue, light blue, black, red, and
yellow,--a somewhat different contrivance is employed. The colours are
printed separately, and are made to fit into each other with great
nicety, in the same manner as in printing silks or paper-hangings. For
this purpose a series of blocks are provided, which, if united, would
form the figure intended to be produced. By printing successively from
these blocks, the different colours fall into their proper places,
until the whole process is completed. Great care is of course necessary
in causing each coloured impression to fit in its proper place, so that
it may neither overlap another, nor leave any part imprinted upon; but
as the hand-press is employed, the workman is enabled to keep each
colour in _register_ by means of points in the tympan of the press or
on the engraving.

"The whole operation of printing at the press being completed,
the sheets are next carried to drying-rooms, heated to about 80°
Fahrenheit, and are allowed to remain there three or four days, in
order to fix the colours.

"The successful printing of playing-cards greatly depends upon the
quality of the inks which are employed. The common printing ink,
even after the lapse of years, is liable to slur or smutch. In the
manufacture of playing-cards, such inks only must be used as will
bear the friction to which the cards are subjected in the process of
polishing, as well as in passing between the fingers of the players.
The colours employed by the Messrs. De La Rue are prepared from the
best French lamp-black, or Chinese vermilion, ground in oil;--this is
effected by a machine, consisting of cylinders revolving at regulated
speeds, by which any defects from the inattention of the workman,
in grinding by hand, are avoided. These colours are now brought to
such perfection, that the card itself is not more durable than the
impression on its surface.

"The paper intended for the _backs_, being previously prepared with
the colour desired, in the same manner as the _fronts_, is printed in
various devices at the hand-press or steam-machine. The _plaid_ or
_tartan_ backs are produced from a block engraved with straight lines,
and printed in one colour, which is afterwards crossed with the same or
any other colour, by again laying the sheet on the block, so that the
first lines cross the second printing at any required angle. A variety
of other devices are obtained from appropriate blocks; and some, like
the court cards, and by the same process, are printed in a number of

"In printing _gold backs_, size is substituted for ink; the face of
the card is then powdered over with bronze dust, and rubbed over with
a soft cotton or woollen dabber, by which the bronze is made to adhere
to those parts only which have received the size. The printing of
gold backs is usually executed after the card is pasted, but we have
described the process here for the sake of convenience.

"As connected with the printing of backs, we may mention that the
Messrs. De La Rue have lately taken out a patent for printing from
woven wire, from which some highly beautiful patterns are obtained,
bearing, of course, a perfect resemblance to the woven fabric. The
wire when prepared for printing, is merely fastened at the ends by two
pieces of wood, and stretched over a cast-iron block, on which it is
fixed by means of screws passing through the wood into the iron. The
variety of these patterns is very great; the printing is effected in
the ordinary manner.

"Hitherto we have been referring to printed _sheets of paper_, which
are either the size of double or single foolscap; the next object,
therefore, is the conversion of these sheets into card-boards of the
usual thickness. In France the card generally consists of two sheets
of paper; but in England a more substantial article is demanded; it is
generally four sheets thick, that is, the foreside and the back, and
two inside leaves of an inferior description.

"In order to make a firm and smooth card, it is first necessary to
obtain a paste of an equable well-mixed substance. A paste of this
quality is produced from flour and water, mixed together, and heated to
the boiling point, in a forty-gallon copper, by steam; which is made to
pass into the interstices between the copper and an external casing of
cast-iron, of the same shape as the boiler. By employing steam, instead
of fire, the paste is not liable to burn, or adhere to the sides of the
copper, and thus become deteriorated in its colour and quality.

"Previous to the commencement of pasting, it is necessary that the
sheets be arranged in the order in which they are to be pasted. This
operation is termed _mingling_. The _insides_, which are merely two
sheets of paper pasted together, are placed between the foresides and
backs, so that the paste may take them up without the possibility of
error. A heap of paper so pasted will therefore uniformly consist of
the foreside and back, between which, the inside, pasted on each side,
is placed.

"The paste is laid on by means of a large brush, resembling the head
of a hair-broom, with which the workman, by a series of systematic
circular movements, distributes a thin coat. And by way of illustration
of the long practice and manual dexterity which are necessary for
perfection in even the simplest departments of art or labour, it may be
worthy of notice that card-pasting is in itself a branch of labour, and
that three or four years' practice is necessary to render the operator
complete master of his business.

"These newly-pasted cards are then, in quantities of four or five
reams at a time, subjected to the gradual but powerful pressure of a
hydraulic press of one hundred tons, worked by a steam-engine. By this
means the water in the paste exudes, and the air between the leaves is
expelled, which would otherwise remain, and give the card a blistered

"After remaining a short time in the press, they are hung up on lines
to dry; and to prevent, as much as possible, their warping while in
this limpid state, small pins or wires are passed through the corners,
and are then dexterously bent over the lines in the drying-room.

"The card-boards, after thus drying, are subjected to the pressure
and friction of a brush-cylinder,--the face of which is covered with
short thickset bristles, which not merely polish the surface, but even
penetrate into the interstices. At this stage of the manufacture, cards
of a superior description are waterproofed on the back with a varnish
prepared for the purpose, so that they may not be marked by the
fingers in dealing. When so prepared, they will keep perfectly clean,
and may even be washed, without injuring the impression or softening
the card.

"In continuation of the process of polishing, the card-boards are
passed between revolving rollers of moderate warmth, one being of
iron, the other of paper cut edge-ways; they are next subjected to
two bright iron-faced rollers; and finally, to the number of ten or
fifteen at a time, they are interleaved with thin sheets of copper,
and effectually milled by being passed about a dozen times between two
large and powerful cylinders. After being thus thoroughly polished, for
the purpose of being flattened they are subjected to the pressure of a
hydrostatic press of eight hundred tons, worked by steam.

"It may appear surprising that so much labour and machinery, and such
circuitous means--requiring the operation of four distinct cylindrical
machines, as well as a hydraulic press, all worked by steam,--should
be required for effecting an object apparently so simple as that of
polishing and flattening a card-board. It is, however, found that this
end cannot be attained in a more expeditious manner, but that the
means adopted must be gradual, though increasingly powerful in their
different stages.

"The boards being printed and pasted, polished and flattened, are next
cut up into single cards. The apparatus by which this is effected, and
by which perfect exactness in the size of the cards is preserved, may
be briefly described as a pair of scissors from two to three feet long,
one blade of which is permanently fixed on the table. The card-board,
being placed upon the bench, is slipped between the blades of the
scissors, and pushed up to a screw-gauge adjusted to the requisite
width; the moveable blade, by being then closed, cuts the card-board
into eight narrow slips, called _traverses_, each containing five
cards. These _traverses_ then undergo a similar operation at a smaller
pair of gauge-scissors, where they are cut up into single cards, to the
amount of thirty thousand daily.

"All that now remains is the making-up into packs. After assorting
the cards, the workman begins by laying out on a long table a given
number (say two hundred) at one time; he then covers these with another
suit, and so on consecutively until he has laid out all the cards that
constitute a pack; so that by this operation two hundred packs are
completed almost simultaneously. The best cards are called Moguls, the
others Harrys, and Highlanders,--the inferior cards consist of those
which have any imperfection in the impression, or any marks or specks
on the surface.

"It may be necessary to remark that the Aces of Spades are printed at
the Stamp Office, whether the cards be for exportation or for the home
market,--the paper for printing being sent to the Stamp Office by the
maker; and an account of the number of aces furnished by the Stamp
Office is kept by the authorities. Before cards are delivered by the
manufacturer an officer is sent to seal them, and a duty of a shilling
per pack is paid monthly for those that are sold for home consumption.
But as they are not liable to duty when intended for exportation, the
card-maker enters into a bond that they shall be duly shipped, and an
officer is sent to see them put into the case, and to seal it up."


[220] He says that the name is pure Egyptian, and that it is composed
of the word TAR, signifying road, way; and the word RO, ROS, ROG, which
means royal: thus we have Tarog--Tarocchi--the Royal Road. By such a
road as this Mons. Court de Gebelin seems to have arrived at much of
his "recondite knowledge of things unknown."--See his Monde Primitif,
huitième livraison, Dissertations mêlées: "Du jeu de tarots, où l'on
traite de son origine, où l'on explique ses allégories, et où l'on fait
voir qu'il est la source de nos cartes modernes à jouer."--Tome i, pp.
365-94. 4to, Paris, 1781.

[221] "Une dernière citation achevra de démontrer que les cartes et
les naibi sont bien la même chose; le Traité de Théologie de Saint
Antoine, évêque de Florence en 1457, porte: _Et idem videtur de
chartis vel naibis_; et encore dans un autre endroit du même ouvrage:
_De factoribus et venditoribus alearum et taxillarum et chartarum et
naiborum_."--Précis Historique et Explicatif sur les Cartes à jouer,
prefixed to the specimens of cards published under the title of 'Jeux
de Cartes Tarots et de Cartes Numérales, du XIV^{me} au XVIII^{me}
Siècle,' by the Society of Bibliophiles Français. Imperial 4to, Paris,

[222] The word Tarot has been supposed to be a corruption of Tarocchi.
Cards marked on the back with lines crossing lozenge-wise, and with
little spots, are called Cartes Tarotées; and in France card-makers
appear to have been formerly called Tarcotiers. Menestrier conceives
that it was from these "lignes frettées en forme de rezeuil" cards were
named _Tarcuits_, and _Cartes Tarautées_. He says that Tare,--_defaut_,
_déchet_, _tache_,--signifies properly a hole, _un trou_; and he
derives it from the Greek τερειν, to bore. From _Tare_ he
also derives _Tariff_, a _ruled_ book for entering the duties on
goods. Mons. Duchesne says that Tarot "vient en effet de l'Italien
_tarrochio_, dont à la vérité nous ignorons encore la signification."

[223] Mons. Duchesne thus accounts for those cards being called Atous:
"Ces cartes sont dites _a tutti_, à tous, c'est-à-dire supérieures à
toute autre, et n'appartenant à aucune couleur." In other games at
cards, the French _Atout_ has the same meaning as the English _Trump_.

[224] The Empress is supposed to have been substituted for the Pope,
who occurs in the old series of figures assumed by M. Duchesne to have
been the original Tarocchi. In a similar manner, L'Amoureux is supposed
to have been substituted for Apollo; the Chariot for Mars; the Capuchin
or Hermit for Saturn; the Wheel of Fortune for Astrology; and Le Pendu
for Prudence.

[225] The figures of two or three of the Atous are sometimes
differently represented. In a pack now before me, inscribed "Cartes
des Suisses," manufactured at Brussels, in No. 2, instead of Juno,
there is a figure inscribed "Le 'Spagnol, Capitano Eracasse;" in No. 5,
Bacchus supplies the place of Jupiter; and No. 16, which is inscribed
"La Foudre," shows a tree struck by lightning, instead of a tower. In
this set, the Fou is numbered 22. Tarots are generally about a fourth
longer, and a little wider than English cards, and are usually coarsely

[226] Memorie spettanti alla storià della Calcografia, dal conte
Leopold Cicognara. 8vo, Prata, 1831.--Cited in Duchesne's Précis
Historique sur les Cartes à jouer, prefixed to the specimens of playing
cards published by the Société des Bibliophiles Français.

[227] This book was written by the notorious Pietro Aretine. A second
edition was published in 1589, and a third in 1651. The title of the
last is 'Le Carte Parlanti; Dialogo di PARTENIO ETIRO; [the anagram of
PIETRO ARETINE] nel quale si tratta del Giuoco con moralità piacevole.'

[228] Though Mons. Duchesne generally speaks of those cards as if it
had been positively ascertained that they were painted by Jacquemin
Gringonneur, we yet find the following salvo, in the Précis Historique:
"Mais le fait de leur haute destination à l'usage d'un roi, ne repose
que sur des conjectures incertaines; espérons qu'un jour quelque
antiquaire favorisé par un heureux hasard aura peut-être le bonheur de
changer nos doutes en certitude."

[229] The Abbé's notice of those cards is by no means precise; and
when he speaks of the four monarchies contending with each other,
it is evident that he had either an imperfect recollection of them,
or that he supposed some old numeral cards, of four suits, to have
belonged to the same series.--"J'ai vu chez M. de Ganières un jeu de
cartes (je ne sais s'il étoit complet) telles qu'elles étoient dans
leur origine. Il y avoit un pape, des empereurs, les quatre monarchies,
qui combattoient les uns contre les autres: ce qui a donné naissance
à nos quatre couleurs. Elles étoient longues de 7 à 8 pouces. C'est
en Italie que cette belle invention a pris naissance dans le XIV^e
siècle."--Longueruana, tom, i, page 107.

[230] Materiali per servire alla storià dell' origine e de' progressi
dell' incisione in rame e in legno, col. da Pietro Zani. 8vo, Parma,
1802. The author's observations relating to cards are to be found at
pp. 78-84, and pp. 149-93.

[231] There was also a series of the same subjects engraved in the
sixteenth century.

[232] Bartsch, Peintre-Graveur, 8vo, Vienna, 1812.--His notices of old
cards are to be found in vol. x, pp. 70-120; and vol. xiii, pp. 120-38.

[233] "Singer fait remarquer, avec raison, qu'on n'a pas d'exemple de
cartes à jouer d'aussi grandes dimensions, qu'il n'y a ici des figures
sans pièces numérales, et que, d'ailleurs, les sujets ne sont pas ceux
des tarots ordinaires. Il aurait pu ajouter que des gravures exécutées
avec tant de soins, que les chefs-d'œuvre d'un art nouveau dont le
premier mérite s'appréciait par la beauté de l'empreinte, n'ont pu
être destinés à recevoir l'enluminure qui entre essentiellement dans
la confection du jeu de cartes."--Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à
jouer, p. 18.

[234] Observations sur les Cartes à jouer.

[235] This subject is erroneously numbered, both in the Roman
characters and in the cyphers, as has been previously observed.

[236] These cards were exhibited to the Antiquarian Society by Dr.
Stukeley, in 1763. They were purchased in 1776, by Mr. Tutet, and on
his decease, they were bought by Mr. Gough. In 1816 they were in the
possession of Mr. Triphook, the bookseller.

[237] Mons. Duchesne expresses himself on this subject, as follows:
"Les enseignes employées pour les couleurs out éprouvé beaucoup de
variations: cœur, carreau, trèfle et pique sont les plus répandues;
mais, en Italie et en Espagne, elles sont encore désignées par
_coupes_, _deniers_, _bâtons_, _épées_. En Allemagne on dit _rouge_,
_grelots_, _glands_ et _cert._ Quelquefois, en conservant
les cœurs, les deniers ont été remplacés par des grelots; puis des
glands tiennent lieu des trèfles, et des feuilles de lierre remplacent
les piques, dont elles ont la forme."--Observations sur les Cartes à

[238] Mons. Duchesne says that the mark which the French call Pique
was called _Capprel_ in Italy, from its resemblance to the fruit of
the Caper.--Précis Historique, prefixed to Jeux de Cartes Tarots et
Numérales, p. 11.

[239] Carte Parlanti, p. 57, edit. 1651.

[240] The name of Lancelot did not really appear on the Valet of
Trèfle, in the time of Père Daniel; but from a passage in Daneau's
'Liber de Alea, ou Breve remontrance sur les jeux de Cartes et de Dez,'
printed in 1579, he concluded,--and, in this instance, correctly,--that
Lancelot was the old name. By a royal ordinance of 1619, the
card-makers of France were required to put their names and devices upon
the Valet of Trèfle; and, from this circumstance, he considers that the
name of Lancelot was omitted.

[241] 'The Perpetual Almanac, or a Gentleman Soldier's Prayer-book,
shewing how one Richard Middleton was taken before the Mayor of the
city he was in for using cards in church, during Divine Service.'

[242] Daniel, 'Mémoire sur l'Origine du jeu de Piquet, trouvé dans
l'histoire de France, sous le règne de Charles VII,' printed in the
Journal de Trévoux, for May, 1720. A summary of this memoir is given
by Peignot, who questions the correctness of Daniel's explanations,
but yet does not venture to say what they really are--mere gratuitous
conceits. It would seem that the French consider the invention of
Piquet as a point of national honour, and that the native author who
should call it in question, would render himself liable to a "suspicion
of incivism."

[243] "Ces cartes rarissimes faisaient partie d'un jeu de cartes
numérales gravées sur bois sous notre roi Charles VII, vers 1425."

[244] Duchesne, 'Observations sur les Cartes à jouer,' in the Annuaire
Historique, pp. 204-7, 1837; and Leber, 'Etudes Historiques sur les
Cartes à jouer,' pp. 6-8, and p. 72, 1842.

[245] Mons. Leber insists that these names confirm the testimony of
Covelluzzo--previously quoted at page 23--that the game of cards was
brought into Viterbo, in 1379, and that it came from the country of
the Saracens. Mons. Leber even calls the figures "Gallo-Sarrazines,"
evidently wishing it to be supposed that they had been copied from a
Saracen or Arabic type.--The following is a summary of his notions of
the changes made in the characters, when cards were first introduced
amongst Christian nations: "Le _roi de Carreau_ de notre jeu de Charles
VII porte le nom de COURSUBE, prétendu héros sarrazin dont parlent
les vieux romanciers; et le nom d'Apollin, inscrit à côté du _roi
de Pique_, est celui d'une idole imaginaire également attribuée aux

"... On a dû d'abord, à quelques exceptions près, remplacer les
idoles par des figures compatibles avec les dogmes et la morale du
christianisme. Le _pape_, chef de l'Eglise chrétienne, a pu être
substitué à Vichnou; _l'ermite_ à un dervis; la _maison Dieu_ à une
pagode; et, quant aux symboles généraux, tels que le _soleil_, la
_mort_, le _jugement_, auxquels sont associés le _bâteleur_ et le
_bouffon_ ou _fou_, il a suffi d'y attacher un nouveau sens mystique
sans rien changer aux images. Les mêmes substitutions s'opèrent dans
les portraits des princes et des héros, figures d'un autre ordre qui
sont passées exclusivement, avec leur suite, dans l'économie du jeu
Français."--Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer, p. 72.--Mons.
Leber appears here to narrate a dream which he had after rocking
himself asleep on his Arabian hobby-horse.

[246] This book was sold, together with others from the Cathedral
Library of Peterborough, by Mr. Hodgson, 192 Fleet street, Dec. 13-18,
1841. In his catalogue, No. 1492, it is thus described: "Sermones M.
Vincentii (wants end)."

[247] "L'image du valet de pique porte avec elle une preuve de la
nationalité ardennoise; Ogier, comme tous les descendants de Saint
Hubert d'Ardennes, avait le privilège de guérir l'hydrophobie et
d'en préserver.... L'action est réciproque: le chien ne suit pas, il
s'élance pour implorer protection et assistance, et le neveu de Saint
Hubert accorde son intervention.... Il est à remarquer que le corps du
chien est en partie caché par l'escarpement du terrain, caractéristique
du pays des Ardennes."--Eléméns Carlovingiens linguistiques et
littéraires (par J. Barrois), p. 265, 4to, Paris, 1846.

[248] "Le P. Daniel pose en fait que 'le nom du quatrième valet (le
valet de trèfle) est inconnu, parce qu'il n'y a pas longtemps que
les faiseurs de jeux de cartes _l'ont aboli_, en mettant leur nom
à la place de celui de ce valet.' Il croit pourtant l'avoir trouvé
dans le traité de Daneau, d'où il résultérait, selon lui, que c'était
LANCELOT. Si Daniel avait pu consulter les pièces du XVI^e siècle, il
n'aurait pas hasardé ce jugement conjectural; il aurait craint que
sa conjecture ne fût pas exacte, parce que les noms des cartes ayant
beaucoup varié, LANCELOT pouvait n'être point celui du valet de trèfle
du temps de l'auteur dont il s'appuie. Il n'aurait pas dit que les
faiseurs de cartes ont _aboli ce valet_ pour mettre leur nom à la place
du sien, parce qu'il aurait appris que cette substitution de nom leur
fût imposée par une ordonnance de Louis XIII, à laquelle ils ont dû se
soumettre."--Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer, p. 32.

[249] Charles of Anjou, brother of St. Louis, received the investiture
of the kingdom of Naples and Sicily, in 1265.

[250] "Le nom du valet de cœur me paroit extrèmement curieux;
car il doit nécessairement rappeler le nom d'Erart de Valeri, le
fameux compagnon de Charles d'Anjou, roi de Sicile, celui auquel les
contemporains attribuoient en grande partie le gain de la bataille de
Tagliacozza, dans laquelle périt Manfred. Nous pouvons donc croire
que le jeu aura été fait en Sicile ou en Italie; car les quatre noms
Lancelot, Roland, Ogier, et Valeri étoient également familiers aux
souvenirs des Siciliens du XIV^e siècle. J'ai dit un mot de cet Erard
de Valery à l'article de Charles d'Anjou, dans mon Romancero François."

[251] Henry VII ascended the throne in 1485.--Mons. Duchesne observes
that, of all the old cards preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi, only
one displays a rose,--namely, a king. There is an old coat card,
engraved on copper, in the print-room of the British Museum, which,
like that alluded to by Mons. Duchesne, has a rose as the mark of the

[252] See the prohibition against the importation of playing cards,
in 1463; enacted by Parliament, in consequence of the complaints of
the manufacturers and tradesmen of London and other parts of England,
against the importation of foreign manufactured wares, which greatly
obstructed their own employment, previously referred to at page 96.

[253] Mons. Leber, after having noticed Singer's objection to the
so-called Tarocchi cards, from their size and want of numeral cards,
thus proceeds: "Il aurait pu ajouter que des gravures exécutées
avec tant de soins, que les chefs-d'œuvre d'un art nouveau, dont
le premier mérite s'appréciait par la beauté de l'empreinte, n'ont
pu être destinés à recevoir l'enluminure qui entre essentiellement
dans la confection du jeu de cartes; et cette observation s'applique
à plusieurs suites d'estampes du même genre et du même siècle, dont
quelques-unes sont conservées au cabinet royal. Là, comme dans les
collections de Londres et d'Allemagne, elles sont toutes en feuilles
et en noir. Non-seulement l'étrangeté des signes distinctifs des
couleurs, mais la forme même de ces gravures, repousserait l'idée d'une
destination semblable à celle du jeu de cartes européen. Les unes
arrondies en médaillons, rappellent le champ circulaire des cartes
indiennes: d'autres couvrent un carré d'in-4^o; les plus communes sont
des carrés longs; mais au lieu des couleurs propres aux cartes à jouer,
on n'y voit que des images d'oiseaux, de quadrupèdes, de fleurs, de
fruits; ce sont des perroquets et des paons, des lièvres et des ours,
des singes et des lions, des grenades, des roses, et tous autres objets
dont le choix devait être purement arbitraire, quand il n'était pas
l'expression d'un jeu nouveau."--Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à
jouer, p. 18.

[254] Those cards formerly belonged to a Mons. Volpato, and were
purchased of him, for the Bibliothèque du Roi, in 1833. He received
in exchange some cards of the same pack; and the set, completed with
fac-simile drawings of such as were wanting, were recently in the
possession of Messrs. Smith, of Lisle-street, Leicester-square, to whom
they were sent by Mons. Volpato for sale.

[255] The third character in those coat cards cannot properly be called
a Cavalier, and has indeed very little pretensions to the designation
of Squire. The Knaves are evidently common foot-soldiers, such as were
known in Italy by the name of Fanti.

[256] From the difficulty of giving in a wood-engraving those small
letters with sufficient clearness, they are omitted in the annexed
specimens. The numerals are also omitted, except in the Two of Pinks.

[257] Bartsch, Peintre-graveur, tom. x, pp. 70-6.--Singer, Researches
into the History of Playing Cards, p. 45-6, also pp. 205-8.

[258] In the 'Catalogue Raisonné of the select Collection of Engravings
of an Amateur' [Mr. Wilson] a full description is given of those cards,
pp. 87-91. 4to, 1828.

[259] One of these cards, a Queen, is evidently copied from the Queen
of Deer, but having a kind of flower as the mark of the suit, instead
of a Deer. Those two Queens, so precisely the same in form, attitude,
and costume, most certainly did not belong to the same pack.

[260] 'Deutsche Piquet-Karten aus den XV Iahrhunderte mit Trappola
Blattern.' The use of the word Trappola by writers on the history of
playing cards, without clearly explaining the sense in which they
employ it, leads to much confusion. It properly signifies a game;
which may be played with any kind of numeral cards consisting of four
suits, whatever the marks may be. Breitkopf seems here to apply the
term "Trappola Blattern" to cards which have Swords, Batons, Cups, and
Money as the marks of the suits; in the same manner as the cards now in
common use in this country are called by writers on the subject, French
Piquet cards. It is never, however, supposed that the game depends in
the least on the marks of the suits.

[261] From the time of the marriage of Joanna's sister, Catherine of
Arragon, with Arthur, Prince of Wales, till about the time of her
separation from his brother, Henry VIII, the pomegranate was frequently
introduced as an ornament in the royal decorations and furniture of the
English court.

[262] Those cards were purchased of Messrs. Smith, of Lisle street, who
also supplied the Museum with the two sets of old Italian engravings,
usually called Tarocchi cards.

[263] "Die Karte ist nach Wälscher Art in SPADE, COPPE, DANARI,
(die aber hier als Granatäpfel vorgestellt sind,) und BASTONI
getheilet."--Von Murr, Journal zur Kunstgeschicht, ii^{er.} Theil, s.

[264] Breitkopf improperly calls those cards
"_Trappolier-Karte_,"--Trappola cards. Aretine, in his 'Carte
Parlanti,' makes a distinction between the game of Trappola, and that
played with Tarocchi cards.

[265] "Il y a dans chaque couleur un roi, un officier supérieur ou
capitaine nommé _Ober_, et un bas-officier, appelé _Unter_. On appelle
encore de nos jours dans l'empire, où les mots français ne sont pas si
en vogue, les officiers supérieurs _oberleute_, et les bas-officiers
_unterleute_. Les Français ont substitué à la place de l'officier
une _dame_, et à la place des bas-officiers des _valets_, ou des
braves, comme Bullet les nomme. Le bas-officier des glands est nommé
en Allemagne, _der grosze mentzel_, et celui de vert, _der kleine
mentzel_; enfin, l'as porte le nom de _daus_."--Heineken, Idée générale
d'une Collection complète d'Estampes, p. 239.

[266] "SOTA. La tercera figura, que tiènen los naipes, la qual
representa el infante, ò soldado. Dixose de la voz Italiana _soto_, que
vale debaxo, porque vá despues de las figuras de Rey, y Caballo, que le
son superiores."--In a superficial paper on old playing-cards, by the
baron de Reiffenberg, printed in the 'Bulletins de l'Académie Royale
des Sciences, des Lettres, et des Beaux-Arts de Belgique,' No. 10,
1847, the Sota is transformed into a female: "Dans les jeux de cartes
espagnols, la dame et le valet étaient remplacés par le _cavallo_ et la
_sota_, le cavalier et _la fille_."

[267] Mons. Duchesne, is of opinion that the Marquis Girolamo's cards
belonged to the same pack or set as the so-called Gringonneur cards
preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi. If Millin's description, however,
be correct, Mons. Duchesne is unquestionably wrong.

[268] Millin, Dictionnaire des Beaux Arts, tom. i, p. 201. Paris, 1806.
Quoted by Peignot.--Jacobello del Fiore flourished about 1420.--A
set of cards, "containing figures of the gods, with their emblematic
animals, and figures of birds also," were painted for Philip Visconti,
Duke of Milan, who died in 1447. Decembrio, in his life of this prince,
in the 20th volume of the 'Rerum Italicarum Scriptores,' says that they
cost fifteen hundred pieces of gold, and were chiefly executed by the
prince's secretary, Martianus Terdonensis. From the context, it appears
that they were not mere pictures, but were intended for some kind of
game.--Aretine, in his 'Carte Parlanti,' speaks with admiration of a
pack of cards painted by Jacopo del Giallo, a Florentine artist who
flourished about 1540.

[269] It is but fair to observe here that the Dutch name for the suit
which we call Spades, is _Scop_, a Shovel, or Spade; and that as
this name has been evidently given to the suit from the mark bearing
some resemblance to a spade, the same suit might have been called
Spades by the English for the same reason. This objection, however,
does not affect the conjecture with respect to Clubs. In the Nugæ
Venales, printed in Holland, 1648, we meet with the following: "Query.
Why are the Four Kings of cards, Diamonds, Trefoil, Hearts, and
Spades--Rhombuli, Trifolii, Cordis, et Ligonis--always poor?--Answer.
Because they are always at play; and play, according to the proverb, is
man's perdition. Their state is also in other respects most miserable;
for when through them much money is lost, they are condemned to the
flames, and burnt like wizards." The modern Dutch names for the
suits of French cards are _Hart_,--Heart; _Ruyt_, a lozenge-shaped
figure, a diamond-shaped pane of glass,--Diamonds; _Klaver_, Clover,
Trefoil,--Clubs; _Scop_, a Spade, Shovel, or Scoop,--Spades.

[270] Sharon Turner's History of England, vol. iii, p. 80.

[271] "Here begynneth a traetys callyde the Lordis flayle handlyde by
the Bushoppes powre theresshere Thomas Solme."--Without date. At the
end: "Prynted at Basyl by me Theophyll Emlos, undere the sygne of Sente
Peters Kay."--16mo. In one passage Henry VIII is appealed to as then

[272] To the barn or grange of monasteries a chapel was frequently
attached, which used to be attended on holidays by country people who
lived at a distance from the parish church.

[273] 'The Poems of William Dunbar, now first collected, with notes and
a memoir of his life, by David Laing,' vol. ii, p. 67, 1834.--In the
notes to this edition, there are several references to the card-playing
of James IV of Scotland. His majesty, it would seem, was accustomed to
play with the "French Leich," John Damian, whom he afterwards promoted
to the abbacy of Tungland. Damian, who broke his thigh in an attempt to
fly from the top of Stirling castle, is the person ridiculed by Dunbar
as the "Fenyet Friar of Tungland."

[274] A few single cards, apparently belonging to this pack, preserved
in the British Museum, are ascribed to Hans Sebald Behaim.

[275] Those cards are the rarest of all Jost Amman's numerous works.
The first title of the volume is "Jodoci Ammanni, civis Noribergensis
Charta Lusoria, Tetrastichis illustrata per Janum Heinrichum Scroterum
de Gustrou." Then follows a long explanatory title in German, and the
imprint, "Gedruct zu Nüurnberg, durch Leonhardt Heussler, Anno, 1588."
There is a copy of the work in the British Museum.

[276] Breitkopf, Ursprung der Spielkarten, s. 33.

[277] "Voy. les Voyages de Samuel Purchas; ceux de Thomas Herbert en
Perse et dans plusieurs parties de l'Orient; le Suppl. t. ii, des
Cérémonies relig., avec les figures de B. Picart, et la Pl. de la fête
de Huly, t. i, 2^e part. des mêmes Cérémonies, p. 138."

[278] "Notamment EXODE, c. xxxix, v. 25."

[279] "Voy. D. Calmet, Dictionn. de la Bible, au mot CLOCHETTE."

[280] "Lalla Rookh, an oriental romance, by T. Moore."

[281] "Voy. Breitkopf, Ursprung der Spielkarten, p. 33, et la Pl. de
Henri VI et de Wulphilde (d'après l'Archéologie, sauf erreur). Les
mêmes figures, copiées par Jansen, se retrouvent t. i, de son Essai sur
l'Origine de la Gravure en Bois et en Taille-douce. Paris, 1808, 2 vol.
in-8. Le costume en a été évidemment rajeuni, mais il est hors de toute
vraisemblance qu'on y ait supposé une parure de grelots étrangère au
monument original."--Mons. Leber, in citing Breitkopf, spells his name
with uniform inaccuracy.

[282] "Gough, d'après Stukeley, Archæologia, t. viii, p. 152; et
Singer, p. 73."

[283] "La Fauconnerie de Guillaume Tardif, ch. x, p. 61; et les Oiseaux
de Proie, par G. B., p. 122 du recueil de J. du Fouilloux, édit. de
Paris, 1614, in-4, fig."

[284] "Quoiqu'on ait souvent traduit les mots _crotalum_ et
_crusma_,--κροταλον, κρωσμα,--par _grelot_, et réciproquement, on croit
que les instruments ainsi nommés par les Grecs et les Romains n'étaient
pas ce que nous appelons des grelots; et, en effet, la figure du grelot
ne se retrouve dans aucun monument d'une antiquité bien établie. Voy.
F. A. Lampe, De Cymbalis veterum, lib. i, cap. 4, 7, 8, et fig., pp. 26
et 44, Holl., pet. in-12."

[285] "Voy. les comp. 2 et 8 de la pl. 56 des Monuments de la Monarchie
française, par Montfaucon."

[286] "Ibid. pl. 55, d'après une miniature d'un manusc. angl. du X^e

[287] "Hist. de la Maison de Montmorency.--Le Grand, Vie privée des
Franç. tom. ii."

[288] "Sidonius Apollinaris, Epist. 9, p. 245 de l'édit. in-4 de
Savaron. Ce commentateur allègue un passage de Prosper, lib. iii,
cap. 17, de Vita contemplativa, où il est aussi question d'oiseaux et
de chiens de chasse: 'Utuntur accipitribus ac saginatis canibus ad

[289] "Suivant l'opinion la plus généralement adoptée, et que
partagèrent Velser, Duchesne, Fauchet, Du Tillet, Blondel, les frères
de Sainte-Marthe, Spelman, le P. Menestrier et autres. Voy. le Traité
de _l'Origine des Armoiries_, de ce dernier. Paris, 1679, in-12, pp. 53
et suiv."

[290] "Sentiment adopté par le président Hénault: 'Mathilde ...
broda en laine un monument qu'on voit dans l'église de Bayeux, de
l'expédition de son mari en Angleterre; la mort ne lui permit pas de
l'achever.' (Hist. de Fr. sous les ann. 1067-74.)"

[291] "Voy. Fauconnerie de G. Tardif."

[292] Leber, Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer, pp. 80-4.

[293] There is every reason to believe that the suit of cards which
we call Diamonds was not so named in consequence of the mark being
mistaken for the symbol of a precious stone, but merely on account
of its form. The Dutch call the same suit _Ruyt_, in consequence of
its form being like a lozenge-shaped pane of glass. The Diamonds on
cards are, in Northumberland, more especially amongst the colliers,
frequently termed _Picks_, in consequence of the acute angular points
being something like the Picks used in hewing coals. The Spanish name
_Oros_ appears to have been originally applied to the suit called by
the Italians _Denari_ or _Danari_, without the least reference to
the French _Carreaux_.--The mistakes on this subject appear to be
exclusively Mons. Leber's own.

[294] The probability is on the other side, namely, that the German
_Grün_, or Leaf, was the original of the French _Pique_. No French
cards hitherto discovered are of so early a date as those which have
Bells, Hearts, Leaves, and Acorns as the marks of the suits.

[295] The Crequier is a kind of wild plum-tree, and its leaves are
borne as the family arms of the house of Crequi. Armorial bearings of
this kind are called "_armoiries parlantes_" by French heralds.

[296] Mons. Leber should have said "Sept de Grün;" but then this would
have destroyed the anomaly which he was desirous of illustrating; for
there is nothing anomalous in the Leaves on German cards having a
resemblance to the leaves of a particular tree.

[297] See the passage at length, p. 135.

[298] On this card the name of the manufacturer appears--P. De
Lestre--together with his mark.

[299] In a pack of modern Portuguese cards now before me there is no
Queen; and the suits are Hearts, Bells, Leaves, and Acorns. The figures
of the coat cards are half-lengths and double--"de duas Cabeças;" so
that a head is always uppermost whichever way the card may be held.
In a pack of modern Spanish cards,--"Naypes Refinos"--also without a
Queen, the figures are also double; but the suits are Copas, Oros,
Spadas, and Bastos,--Cups, Money, Swords, and Clubs proper.--On modern
German cards the figures are frequently represented double in the same

[300] Peignot, Analyse de Recherches sur les Cartes à jouer, pp.
288-90. Paris, 1826. The following passage relative to the change of
manners which succeeded the Revolution is quoted by Mons. Peignot from
a periodical entitled 'Le Corsaire:'--"Les cartes en vogue jusqu'à
la révolution furent totalement abandonnées pendant les terribles
années de notre bouleversement politique. Le boston, le grave wisth,
le sémillant reversis, n'étoient plus conservés que chez quelques
bons bourgeois, dont ils n'avoient jamais sans doute enflammé les
passions, ou dans quelques vieilles maisons du Marais et du faubourg
Saint-Germain. La bouillotte n'étoit guère connue que de quelques
marchands; et même l'opinion publique flétrissait ceux dont une ignoble
avidité compromettoit la fortune. La mode avoit mis en faveur la
conversation, les soirées musicales, les soirées dansantes. L'écarté a
paru, et ce jeu niais et insipide a fait revivre parmi nous toutes les
fureurs du gothique lansquenet. Plus de conversation, plus de danses;
la sonate ou la romance du jour sont interrompues par le cri des
joueurs; le bal est désert, ou n'est plus peuplé que de vieux amateurs;
tandis que la jeunesse s'empresse autour des tables d'écarté."

[301] A description of the same cards by Mons. Amanton, member of the
Academy of Dijon, is given in Peignot's Analyse, p. 291: "Dans ce jeu,"
says Mons. Amanton, "les portraits des rois sont très ressemblans,
les costumes du temps bien observés; et même les noms des personnages
sont écrits en caractères de l'écriture en usage dans le siècle où ils
ont vécu. Malgré la perfection du travail, ces jolis dessins n'ont pu
l'emporter sur les anciennes images informes, qui rappellent l'enfance
de l'art; tant la force de l'habitude est tyrannique."

[302] Mons. Peignot, in his 'Analyse de Recherches sur les Cartes
à Jouer,' 1826, after noticing Cotta's cards, thus speaks of the
satirical cards above described: "C'est sans doute ce recueil qui a
donné lieu à un jeu de cartes très-malin, publié à Paris il y a sept à
huit ans, sous le titre de Cartes à rire; ce doit être, autant que je
puis me le rappeler, sous le ministère de M.D.C.... On attribue ce jeu
à M.A. ... C.A.D.C.D.D.O. Toutes les cartes, soit à personnages, soit
numériques, présentent des dessins charmans, des figures ingénieusement
groupées, des attitudes très-plaisantes. Mais l'esprit satyrique y est
poussé à l'excès; et ce n'est point avec de pareilles caricatures qu'on
parviendra à rétablir l'union parmi les Français." p.297.

[303] According to Père Daniel, the Ace or As is the Latin As,--a
piece of money, coin, riches; while Bullet derives it from the Celtic,
and says that it means origin, source, beginning, the first. A French
writer of the sixteenth century, supposed to be Charles Stephens, in
a work entitled 'Paradoxes,' printed at Paris in 1553, says that the
Ace, or "_Az_ ought to be called _Nars_, a word which, in German,
signifies a fool." The German word which he alludes to is _Narr_, which
is just as likely to have been the origin of Deuce as of Ace. It has
also been supposed that the term Ace has been derived from the Greek
word ὁνος, which, according to Julius Pollux, signified _One_ in the
Ionic dialect; but as the word ὁνος also signified an Ass, it has been
conjectured that the Ace of cards and dice was so called, not as a
designation of unity, but as signifying an Ass or a Fool. Those who
entertained the latter opinion are said by Hyde to be Asses themselves:
"Qui unitatem asinum dicunt errant, et ipsi sunt asini." (_De Ludis
Orient._ lib. ii.)--Leber, Etudes Historiques, pp. 39, 86.

[304] Brockett's Glossary of North Country Words.

[305] Singer's Researches, p. 271.

[306] Dr. Houstoun's Memoirs of his own Lifetime, p. 92. Edit. 1747.

[307] A writer of the age of Queen Elizabeth would appear to have
foreseen the great "Card Controversy," which within the last 150
years has occupied so many "learned pens:" "It shall be lawful for
coney-catchers to fall together by the ears, about the four Knaves
of Cards, which of them may claim superiority; and whether false
dice or true be of the most antiquity."--The Pennyless Parliament of
Thread-bare Poets.

[308] The French also call the Trump _Atou_,--"Coupez: Cœur est Atou."
Cut: Hearts are Trumps.

[309] "Triomphe: the card-game called Ruff, or Trump; also, the Ruff,
or Trump at it."--Cotgrave's French and English Dictionary.

[310] In 'The Toast,' a satirical poem written about 1730, by Dr.
William King, Principal of St. Mary's Hall, Oxford, Dr. Hort,
Archbishop of Tuam, is called Lord Pam. He is also called Pam by Swift.


    "Discincta tunica fugiendum est;
    Ne nummi pereant.
    Deprendi miserum est."--HORAT.

[312] Pascasius Justus mentions in his Alca, first published in 1560,
that a certain merchant, having obtained from Charles V a monopoly
for ten years of the sale of cards in Spain, became extremely rich in
consequence of the great demand for them.

[313] Encyclopédie Méthodique, mot, Cartier. An account of the
subsequent legislation in France, with respect to cards, is to be found
in the 'Manuel du Cartonnier, et du Fabricant de Cartonnages,' pp.
224-37. Paris, 1830.



All writers who have investigated the principles of morality agree in
the condemnation of Gaming,--that is, playing at any game of hazard for
the sake of gain. With respect to the lawfulness, however, of playing
at such games at leisure hours, for the sake of recreation, and without
any sordid desire of gain, there is, amongst such authorities, a
difference of opinion: some holding that, in the moral code, such games
are, at all times, and under all circumstances, unlawful; while others
affirm that, under the conditions mentioned, they are innocent. The
former opinion has been espoused by many theologians, who, not content
with condemning games of hazard as immoral, have also, with more zeal
than knowledge, denounced them as sinful, and forbidden by the word of
God. The arguments, however, of such teachers have been ably refuted
by the learned Thomas Gataker, in his work 'On the Nature and Use of
Lots,' the first edition of which appeared in 1619. He has clearly
shown that the texts alleged by the opposite party do not bear the
construction which had been put upon them; and that, consequently, the
so-called word of God was nothing more than the dogma of fallible men.

The controversy respecting the sinfulness of games of hazard, on
scriptural grounds, seems to have commenced in England about the
latter end of the sixteenth century, with a small tract written by a
Puritanical clergyman of the name of Balmford, who appears, at the time
of its first publication, to have exercised his ministerial functions
at Newcastle-on-Tyne.[314] The title of Balmford's tract is 'A Short
and Plain Dialogue concerning the Unlawfulness of playing at Cards or
Tables, or any other Game consisting in chance.' The only copy that I
have seen occurs in a collection of tracts by the same author, with the
general title, 'Carpenters Chippes: or Simple Tokens of unfeined good
will, to the Christian friends of James Balmford, the unworthy Servant
of Jesus Christ, a poor Carpenters sonne.' 16mo. Printed at London, for
Richard Boyle, 1607. The following dedication of the tract on gaming
is dated 1st of January, 1593: "To the right worshipfull Master Lionel
Maddison, Maior, the Aldermen his brethern, and the godly Burgesses of
Newcastle-upon-Tine, James Balmford wisheth the kingdom of God and his
righteousnesse, that other things may be ministered unto them.--That
which heretofore I have propounded to you (right worshipfull and
beloved) in teaching, I doe now publish to all men by printing, to wit
mine opinion of the unlawfulness of games consisting in chance."

Balmford's tract is a very short one, consisting of only eight
leaves, inclusive of the dedication and title. The speakers in the
dialogue are Professor and Preacher. The Professor had read, in the
Common-places of Peter Martyr, the declaration that dice-play is
unlawful, because depending on chance; but not being satisfied with
what is there said about table-playing, he craves the Preacher's
opinion concerning playing at tables and cards. The Preacher, after
propounding several objections to the games on moral grounds, thus
syllogistically determines that games of chance are unlawful: "Lots
are not to be used in sport; but games consisting in chance, as Dice,
Cards, Tables, are Lots: therefore not to be used in sport." In support
of this conclusion, he refers to Joshua, xviii, 10; I. Samuel, xiv,
41; Jonah, i, 7; Malachi, i, 6-7; and Hebrews, vi, 16. Lots, he says,
were sanctified to a peculiar use, namely, to end controversies. On
those grounds he absolutely condemns all games depending on chance.
The plea in favour of play merely for amusement he rejects; being of
opinion that, if such games were even lawful, the desire of gain would
soon creep in; for, according to the common saying, "Sine lucro friget
ludus,--No gaining, cold gaming."

Several continental divines, of the reformed party, had previously
expressed similar opinions,[315] but without exciting much remark;
and the question seems to have been regarded as one of mere
scholastic theology, until the differences between the Puritans and
the High-church party, in the reign of James I, caused it to be
treated as a question of practical religion. The question appears to
have occasioned great heats in the University of Cambridge; for Mr.
William Ames, being then Fellow of Christ's College, having preached
at St. Mary's, in 1610, against playing at cards and dice, as being
forbidden by Scripture, his discourse gave so much offence to persons
in authority that he withdrew from the University in order to avoid
expulsion. Ames subsequently was appointed Professor of Theology at
the University of Franeker, in Friesland; and was one of the principal
opponents of Gataker in the controversy on Lots.

The question respecting the lawfulness of games of chance has been
thoroughly investigated, both morally and theologically, by Barbeyrac,
in his 'Traité du Jeu;'[316] and his determination is, that such games
are not in themselves immoral, whether the stakes be small or great;
and that they are not forbidden, either directly or indirectly, by the
Scriptures. In the Preface he thus speaks of the probable effect of the
absolute condemnation of all games of hazard, on the assumed ground of
their being both immoral in themselves, and forbidden by the Scriptures.

"I am not surprised that Gataker should have found so much opposition
on the points which he maintained, considering the times in which he
wrote. It, however, appears strange to me that, in an age when so
many prejudices, both philosophical and theological, have been shook
off, there should still be found people, who, looking only at the
abuses which may arise in the use of things indifferent in themselves,
condemn such things as absolutely evil, on grounds either frivolous or
extremely doubtful. Such condemnation, so far from correcting those who
are addicted to such abuses, is more likely to confirm them in their
course. Nothing but the evidence of truth can enlighten the mind, and
thus make an impression on the heart. False lights and subtleties,
however specious, will never dissipate the illusions produced by
favorite passions. Such passions, indeed, acquire new force as soon as
a plausible pretext for their indulgence is discovered in the weakness
of the arguments with which they are assailed; while, by attacking them
in a proper manner, he who has been deluded by them may be induced to
open his eyes to the truth, and to perceive his errors. If, by such
means, a reformation is not effected, it is in consequence of the same
obstacles which render unavailing whatever may be alleged against
things which are, from their very nature, unquestionably evil. I doubt
much if a gamester were ever deterred from play by the reasons brought
forward to persuade him that the practice was a profanation of Divine
Providence. If the sermons and writings asserting such principles have
produced any good effect, it is in consequence of their containing also
solid reasons derived from the abuse of the thing confounded with its
mere usage. The former have produced little or no impression; and it is
to the latter alone that the victory is to be ascribed."

As Barbeyrac's work is not common, and has never been translated into
English, it is presumed that the following extracts from it will not
be uninteresting to the reader. "It is certain that Man was not sent
into the world to pass his time in eating, drinking, and merry-making.
On the contrary, everything shows that he is destined by his Creator
to be employed in matters of utility and serious consideration. The
natural use of all our faculties has this manifest tendency. We have
Mind only that we may think: we have Hands and Feet only that we may
move and act. Who could suppose that this industry, this address,
this penetration,--all these wonderful talents, capable of producing
the Sciences and Arts,--were given to us only to be concealed, or to
be shamefully wasted, either in sluggish idleness, or in a perpetual
round of dissipation and amusement? The necessity of providing for our
wants,--an obligation common to all in a state of nature,--requires
that most men should apply themselves to work of some kind or other;
and even those who have the means of living without labour are yet
not exempt from the duty of applying themselves to some creditable
employment, which may not only secure them against the temptations of
idleness, but may also render them useful members of society.

"But though the All-wise Creator has made Man for labour, he has
not made him for incessant labour, without relaxation. The same
constitution of our nature which displays the necessity of action,
also shows that we ought occasionally to rest. Our bodies are not of
iron, nor our spirits of unwearied activity; and the human machine
soon gets out of order when unremittingly worked.... We are not long
in perceiving that too intent an application to any work weakens the
strength of the body, and lessens the activity of the mind. The way
to become disgusted with anything, is to be unremittingly employed
about it. Thus, the very obligation to work requires that our labour
should be sometimes intermitted, in order that we may not sink under
it, but be enabled to resume it with vigour. 'To take recreation, in
order to make progress with our work,' was the judicious maxim of an
ancient sage.[317] Rest is the seasoning of labour;[318] and we ought
to combine them so that a just medium may be preserved. Consult nature,
and she will tell you that she has made the day and the night to mark
the hours of labour and of repose,[319] and to teach us that each is
equally indispensable to life. A life undiversified with a festival is
like a long journey without an inn.[320] Such is the language of pagan
philosophers, and such are the ideas which pure reason suggests.

"Revelation teaches us the same. The Night was made for the repose
of all living things; and the Sabbath was partly instituted for the
recreation of slaves and servants, who otherwise might have had
masters so harsh as to pay no regard to the weakness of human nature.
This festival [Fête], as well as all the others appointed by the law,
were times both of rest and enjoyment for the whole of the people of
God. Thus, so far from morality or religion forbidding every kind
of recreation, it may be asserted that they require us to take such
as may be becoming and convenient, whenever it may be requisite to
thus re-invigorate our powers when exhausted by labour. It would at
least be ungrateful to haughtily reject the innocent pleasures which
the kindness of the Deity allows to man; and it would be unjust to
arbitrarily condemn those who discreetly avail themselves of such

"There are, however, people who unreasonably suppose that abuse and use
cannot be separated, and who, forming to themselves I know not what
mystical notions of virtue and piety, would persuade us that every kind
of diversion is unworthy of a reasonable being,--'a low amusement,'
'a deceitful pleasure,' 'a consequence of man's fallen nature.' Such
persons may be allowed to aspire to a state of perfection which perhaps
may be beyond the reach of human nature, and which is certainly
unattainable by the great mass of mankind; they ought, however, to
allow those who are doubtful of their own powers of arriving at such
perfection, to humbly follow the path which Nature and Providence have
pointed out, and to possess their souls in peace, and their conscience
without scruple.

       *       *       *       *       *

"We maintain, then, as an irrefragable principle, that, for the sake
of relaxation, we may indulge in such amusements as are in themselves
free from vice. This being admitted, if a person finds pleasure in
playing at Billiards, at Tennis, at Chess, at Cards, at Backgammon, and
even at Dice, why may he not amuse himself with them, as well as in
Promenading, with Music, in the Chase, in Fishing, in Drawing, and in a
thousand other things of a similar kind? The question then is, whether
the game be for nothing or for a stake of some value. In the first
case, it is a mere recreation, and bears not the slightest semblance
of criminality; and with regard to the second, I do not see why there
should be any evil in it, looking at the matter simply, without regard
to circumstances.

"For if I am at liberty to promise and give my property, absolutely
and unconditionally, to whomever I please, why may I not promise and
give a certain sum, in the event of a person proving more fortunate, or
more skillful than I with respect to the result of certain movements
and combinations, upon which we had previously agreed? And why may not
this person fairly avail himself of the result either of his skill or
of a favorable concurrence of fortuitous circumstances, on the issue
of which I had voluntarily contracted an obligation? Even though but
one of the parties obtains an advantage, yet there would be nothing
contrary to equity in the transaction, providing that the terms had
been previously agreed on by both. Every person is at liberty to
determine the conditions on which he will cede a right to another,
and may even make it dependent on the most fortuitous circumstances.
_A fortiori_, a person may fairly avail himself of his winning, when
he has risked on the event as much as he was likely to gain. In fact,
play [le jeu] is a kind of contract; and in every contract the mutual
consent of the parties is the supreme law: this is an incontestable
maxim of natural equity.[321]

"In the Scriptures we do not find games of hazard forbid. The ancient
Jews appear to have been entirely ignorant of this kind of recreation,
and even the name for it is not to be found in the Old Testament. On
the dispersion of the Jews, however, after the Babylonian captivity,
they learnt to play from the Greeks and Romans, as may be inferred
from the cases of conscience on this subject discussed by the Rabbis.
Notwithstanding this, games of hazard are nowhere forbidden in the
New Testament, though no tolerance is there shown to any kind of
vice. There is, indeed, only one passage that contains the least
allusion to play; and even in this, the term--which is metaphorically
derived from a game of hazard,--when taken in the worst sense, would
only amount to a condemnation of the abuse of play.[322] If in some
versions a word,--ραιζειν--used by St. Paul, in his First Epistle to
the Corinthians, chap. x, v. 7, has been translated '_jouer_,' it is
merely in consequence of the equivocal signification of this word,
or perhaps from the original term not being fully understood, which
in this place signifies 'to dance,' as is apparent from the passage
in the Old Testament to which it alludes, _Exodus_, xxii, 6. From
the profound silence of the sacred writers, and from other reasons
already advanced, it may, in my judgment, be safely concluded that play
considered in itself, and apart from its abuse, is a matter of perfect

"Few persons are so rigid as to condemn absolutely games of every kind;
an exception being usually made in favour of those which are determined
by skill alone. Most theologians and casuists, however, have pronounced
strongly against all games into which hazard enters, as if such were
at all times unlawful. The Rabbis, who are of the same opinion, and
who even consider them as means of fraud between Jew and Jew, assert
that 'a man, during the whole course of his life, should do nothing but
devote himself to the study of the law and of wisdom, to the practice
of charity, or to some employment or business which may be serviceable
to the community.'[324] If this decision be taken literally, it is
manifestly absurd, and requires no further notice. Even in putting a
reasonable interpretation upon these words, and considering them as
condemnatory of such persons as employ themselves in play alone, they
still do not apply to play, considered in itself, but merely restrain
it to its legitimate use. The Jewish doctors themselves acknowledge
that the prohibitions of play in force amongst them, are founded on
the regulations of their ancestors; that is, that they are not derived
either from the law of Nature, or the positive ordinances of God; but
that they depend entirely on the civil law established by those who had
the power of making new regulations whenever such might appear to be
necessary for the welfare of the state. This is so true, that they in a
manner permitted Jews to play at games of hazard with Gentiles: at any
rate, their prohibition was extremely feeble, since they declared that,
in such a case, a Jew was only culpable of having spent his time about
a frivolous thing.

"Among the works of St. Cyprian we find a treatise, or kind of homily,
on gaming,--De Aleatoribus,--which though of high antiquity, and
evidently written by a Bishop, is probably not the composition of the
saint to whom it has usually been ascribed. The author, whoever he may
have been, calls games of hazard the nets of the devil; and affirms
that they were invented by a certain learned man at the prompting
of the evil spirit, and that he placed his portrait and name on the
instruments of the game in order that he might be worshipped by those
who used them.[325] He, consequently, maintains that whoever plays at
such games offers sacrifice to their author, and thus commits an act
of idolatry. Such chimerical arguments, when divested of all figure,
only show that games of hazard are frequently the cause of disorder. A
Flemish clergyman, in a historical treatise on this subject, published
about the middle of the seventeenth century, gravely maintains that all
games of hazard are contrary to every one of the ten commandments.[326]
It may be easily imagined that he is obliged to employ many devices
in order to give a colour of plausibility to this paradox; and that
whenever he advances anything really pertinent, it applies only to
the abuses, which, more or less, may insinuate themselves into every
kind of game. A prelate of distinguished merit, Sidonius Apollinaris,
Bishop of Clermont, in Auvergne, who flourished in the fifth century,
was of a different way of thinking; for he was accustomed to amuse
himself at Trictrac, as he relates in his letters without testifying
any compunction, and without even saying that he had abandoned the
amusement on his being advanced to the office of Bishop, though he
mentions that he had then given up poetry.

"Others have imagined that they have discovered in the very nature
of games of hazard something which renders them essentially sinful;
supporting their views by an argument which, though extremely specious,
is yet easily refuted. For instance, they say that God presides over
what we call chance, and directs it in a special manner; and that,
as chance enters into all games of hazard, such games are manifestly
sinful as requiring the intervention of Divine Providence in affairs
which are not only trivial, but also subject to many incommodities.

"This conclusion would be demonstrative if the principle from which it
is drawn were true; but how is it known that the results of chance are
always determined by the special will of the Deity? Is his intervention
directly perceptible, or can it be known by any apparent indication?
From the knowledge that we have of his goodness and wisdom, can it
reasonably be supposed that he does so intervene? On the contrary,
is it not derogatory to the Supreme Being to suppose that he should
immediately interfere in affairs of such small consequence as most of
those are which are determined amongst men by means of lots or chance?
The very supposition contains within itself the best reasons for
concluding it to be untenable.

"If the Deity indeed were to act by a special will in all matters
which are determined by lot or chance, and more especially in games
of hazard, it would hence follow: 1. That men have the power to
compel, and in a manner, force the Deity to exercise an especial
Providence whenever they may think good; for it is certain that they
can determine some matters by lot whenever they please. 2. It will
also follow that the Deity 'performs miracles every day in favour of
persons who are most assuredly undeserving of them, and in places
where no one could suspect that his presence would be displayed in
a manner so extraordinary.'[327] Besides, what likelihood is there
that, when a couple of lacqueys or porters sit down to play at dice or
lansquenet, Providence should more especially interfere in their game
than in events which affect the destiny of nations, such as battles,
revolutions, and other important actions of a similar kind? There is
even something ridiculous in supposing that when two men are playing
at draughts, or billiards, their game is only the object of common and
ordinary Providence, but that when they sit down to play at dice or
cards, a special Providence then intervenes, and determines the chances
of the game[328]....

"I am, however, willing to allow that even at play there may sometimes
be an extraordinary manifestation of Providence, either directly,
or by means of some invisible intelligence determining the lot or
chance. I can conceive that the Deity should dispose of events in such
a manner that a worthy man, for instance, who might be in danger of
giving himself entirely up to play, should be cured of his passion by
a great and sudden loss. But, even admitting this, there is no reason
to conclude that the Deity interferes on all occasions, and in favour
of all sorts of people; and, after all, without a direct revelation,
it never can be positively known that he really does interfere in such
matters. I could just as readily believe what the eloquent Jesuit
Maffei relates of Ignatius Loyola, in his life of that saint; namely,
that, playing one day at billiards with a gentleman, who had urged him
to try the game, he, by a miracle, proved the winner, as he was utterly
unacquainted with the game."[329]

In concluding the first book, Barbeyrac observes: "To refute in detail
all the objections of rigid moralists would require an entire volume.
What I have already said, however, appears to me sufficient to remove
any vain scruples which may have been excited on the subject. I am,
indeed, rather apprehensive that those who are too fond of play will
think that I might have spared myself the trouble of proving that which
they had no doubts about; and that it was quite unnecessary to explain
to them at so great length that play, considered in itself, contains
nothing contrary to the law of Nature or the precepts of the Gospel.
The plan of the work, however, required that I should commence with
this; and the opportunity being thus afforded of showing the fallacy
of the austere portrait which some writers have drawn of Christian
morality, I have availed myself of it. On this subject I also feel
myself justified in referring to the schools of Pagan philosophy,
where we are taught that 'we should do nothing without being able to
give a reason for it; in small matters as well as in great.'[330] Now,
assuming that out of a hundred persons who are accustomed to play
daily, there is scarcely one who has ever asked himself how, or in what
manner, it may be lawful, it is not surprising that so many people
should convert a thing in itself perfectly harmless into a subject of
disorder, employing it as a means of gratifying their inordinate love
of pleasure, their idleness, or their avarice."

In the second book, wherein he discusses the essentials of play--le
Jeu--he distinguishes three kinds of games: 1, Games of pure skill;
2, Games of pure chance; and, 3, Games which depend partly on skill
and partly on chance. Games of skill are those which depend on manual
dexterity, bodily agility, or mental acuteness: Billiards, Racket,
Quoits, Cricket, Draughts, and Chess are of this kind. Games of
pure chance are those in which the event, though brought about by
the instrumentality of the players, is yet absolutely beyond their
direction or control: of this kind are Dice, and certain games at
cards, such as Basset, Brelan, Lansquenet, Rouge-et-Noir, and Faro.
In the third kind, such as Backgammon and most of the usual games at
cards,[331] the effects of chance may in some degree be counteracted
by a skilful application of principles derived from a knowledge of the
various combinations which result from the conventional rules of the
game. In all games for any considerable stake, that is, with regard to
the means of the parties, it is necessary that the players should be as
nearly as possible equal in point of skill; for, in this case, the game
becomes a kind of traffic, and is subject to all the conditions of an
equitable contract.

Most persons who play for high stakes, either at games of pure chance
or of chance and skill combined, make more or less a traffic of their
amusement; and risk their own money from a desire of winning that of
another. In all such cases, gaming is a positive evil to society,
and is utterly inexcusable, much less justifiable, on any grounds
whatever; and all who thus venture large sums may be justly required to
show by what right they possess them. When a fool or a knave is thus
stripped of a large property, his loss is a matter of small import
to society; the true evil is, that so large a portion of national
wealth, created by the industry of others, should be at the disposal of
such a character, and should be allowed to pass, on such a contract,
to another even more worthless than himself. This objection has not
been urged in any of the numerous sermons and essays that have been
published against gaming; the authors of which, generally, instead of
showing that society has both the power and the right to correct such
abuses by depriving the offending parties of the means of continuing
them, have contented themselves with declamations on the wickedness
of the pursuit, and with vain appeals to the conscience of inveterate
gamesters: while they whistle to the deaf adder, they never seem to
suspect that it may be easily dispatched with a stick.--But such abuses
in society are never remedied till the HERACLIDÆ acquire a knowledge
of their rights, as well as a consciousness of their power.

The appeal to the vanity of men of "rank and education"[332] in order
to shame them out of their love of play is as futile in its effects
as it is wrong in principle; for it tends only to nourish in them
feelings of self-conceit, and to induce them to think rather of the
deficiencies of the low-born men, whose money they are eager to win,
than to consider their own dereliction of duty, in playing for large
sums, with any one. At the gaming-table, a community of feeling levels
all the artificial distinctions of rank; and the rude plebeian who
covers the high-born noble's stake is just as good, for all intents
and purposes of play, as that noble himself. The condescension of the
noble to play with a costermonger for the sake of winning his money, is
fully compensated by the other's willingness to afford him a chance.
The annals of gaming sufficiently show that rank is no guarantee of a
gamester's honesty; and in the case of Lord De Ros _versus_ Cumming,
tried before Lord Denman, 10th of February, 1837, it would appear that
the rank of the fraudulent gamester screened him for several years,
with one party at least, from being denounced. Sir William Ingilby,
in his examination, stated that he had seen Lord De Ros perform the
trick of reversing the cut, and thus secure himself an ace or a king
for the turn-up card, at least fifty times; and that he first observed
his lordship do it "about four, five, or six years ago." When asked
why he did not denounce Lord De Ros after he had become aware of
his fraudulent tricks, he gives the following answer: "I did not
mention the matter publicly for this reason:--I considered that if
an obscure and humble individual like myself, not possessed of his
rank, were to attempt to go up to a peer of the realm, who held a high
station in society, and who at the same time was regarded by all his
associates, and by the world in general, as a man of unimpeachable
character, and say, 'My lord, you are cheating;' if, I say, I, that
humble individual, had addressed Lord De Ros in these terms,--if I had
denounced a peer of the realm, and a man of such general popularity,
I should instantly have gathered around me a host of persons; and I
take it, as a matter of course, I should have had no choice between
the door and the window." Notwithstanding that the honorable baronet
was aware of the fraudulent practice of the right honorable peer, it
seems that he still continued to play with him; but it does not appear
that he was particularly attentive to his lordship's trick of reversing
the cut,--_sauter la coupe_,--when he had him for a partner.[333] If
Sir William Ingilby's fears were well founded, it seems reasonable to
conclude that those who would have "pitched him out of the window,"
for exposing the fraudulent tricks of a peer, must have been persons
of similar character to the party denounced; and that their conduct in
such a case would not have been influenced by a regard for the honour
of a peer of the realm, but would rather have been the result of the
vexation which they felt at the public exposure of one of their own
stamp. On this trial, one of the witnesses admitted that he had won
£35,000 at cards in the course of fifteen years. This is certainly a
large sum, but nothing to be compared to the winnings of some men by
their gambling in railway shares within the last ten years. Lord De
Ros failed in his action; the fact of cheating which had been alleged
against him having been clearly proved. He did not long survive the
disgraceful exposure; and Theodore Hook is said to have embalmed his
memory in the following epitaph: "HERE LIES ENGLAND'S PREMIER BARON

On the question of the lawfulness of playing at cards for the sake
of amusement, and not from the mere desire of gain, many persons of
eminent piety have held the affirmative in their writings; and a far
greater number of the same class have testified, by their practice,
their concurrence in the same opinion. "Many fierce declamations," says
Jeremy Taylor, "from ancient sanctity have been uttered against cards
and dice, by reason of the craft used in the game, and the consequent
evils, as invented by the Devil. And, indeed, this is almost the whole
state of the question; for there are so many evils in the use of
these sports, they are made trades of fraud and livelihood, they are
accompanied so with drinking and swearing, they are so scandalous by
blasphemies and quarrels, so infamous by misspending precious time,
and the ruin of many families, they so often make wise men fools and
slaves of passion, that we may say of those who use them inordinately,
they are in an ocean of mischief, and can hardly swim to shore without
perishing.... He can never be suspected in any criminal sense to tempt
the Divine Providence, who by contingent things recreates his labour,
and having acquired his refreshment hath no other end to serve, and
no desires to engage the Divine Providence to any other purpose....
A man may innocently, and to good purposes go to a tavern, but they
who frequent them have no excuse, unless their innocent business does
frequently engage, and their severe religion bring them off safely.
And so it is in these sports; there is only one cause of using them,
and that comes but seldom, the refreshment, I mean, of myself or my
friend, to which I minister in justice or in charity; but when our
sports come to that excess, that we long and seek for opportunities;
when we tempt others, are weary of our business, and not weary of our
game; when we sit up till midnight, and spend half days, and that
often too; then we have spoiled the sport,--it is not a recreation,
but a sin.... He that means to make his games lawful, must not play
for money, but for refreshment. This, though few may believe, yet is
the most considerable thing to be amended in the games of civil and
sober persons. For the gaining of money can have no influence in the
game to make it the more recreative, unless covetousness holds the
box.... But when money is at stake, either the sum is trifling, or it
is considerable. If trifling, it can be of no purpose unless to serve
the ends of some little hospitable entertainment or love-feast, and
then there is nothing amiss; but if considerable, a wide door is opened
to temptation, and a man cannot be indifferent to win or lose a great
sum of money, though he can easily pretend it. If a man be willing
or indifferent to lose his own money, and not at all desirous to get
another's, to what purpose is it that he plays for it? If he be not
indifferent, then he is covetous or he is a fool: he covets what is
not his own, or unreasonably ventures that which is. If without the
money, he cannot mind his game, then the game is no divertisement, no
recreation, but the money is all the sport, and therefore covetousness
is all the design; but if he can be recreated by the game alone, the
money does but change it from lawful to unlawful, and the man from
being weary to become covetous; and from the trouble of labour or
study, remove him to the worse trouble of fear, or anger, or impatient
desires. Here begins the mischief, here men begin for the money to use
vile arts; here cards and dice begin to be diabolical, when players are
witty to defraud and undo one another; when estates are ventured, and
families are made sad and poor by a luckless chance. And what sport
is it to me to lose my money, if it be at all valuable? and if it be
not, what is it to my game? But sure the pleasure is in winning the
money; that certainly is it. But they who make pastime of a neighbour's
ruin, are the worst of men, said the comedy. But concerning the loss
of our money, let a man pretend what he will, that he plays for no
more than he is willing to lose, it is certain that we ought not to
believe him; for if that sum is so indifferent to him, why is not he
easy to be tempted to give such a sum to the poor? Whenever this is
the case, he sins, that games for money beyond an inconsiderable sum.
Let the stake be nothing, or almost nothing, and the cards or dice are
innocent, and the game as innocent as push-pin.... In plays and games,
as in other entertainments, we must neither do evil, nor seem to do
evil; we must not converse with evil persons, nor use our liberty to a
brother's prejudice or grief. We must not do anything, which he, with
probability, or with innocent weakness, thinks to be amiss, until he be
rightly instructed; but where nothing of these things intervene, and
nothing of the former evils is appendant, we may use our liberty with
reason and sobriety: and then, if this liberty can be so used, and such
recreations can be innocent, as they assuredly may, there is no further
question, but those trades, which minister to these divertisements, are
innocent and lawful."[335]

Nelson, the pious author of the 'Fasts and Festivals of the Church of
England,' and of the 'Practice of True Devotion,' had no objection to
cards. "Sober persons," says he, in the last-mentioned work, "do not
make a business of what they should only use as a diversion." The Rev.
Augustus Toplady, so well known for his high Calvinistic principles,
used to occasionally amuse himself with a game at cards; and in a
letter dated "Broad Hembury, Nov. 19th, 1773," he thus expresses
himself on the subject of recreations in which clergymen may innocently

"I do not think that honest Martin Luther committed sin by playing at
Backgammon for an hour or two after dinner in order, by unbending his
mind, to promote digestion.

"I cannot blame the holy martyr Bishop Ridley for frequently playing at
Tennis before he became a prelate, nor for playing at the more serious
game of Chess twice a day after he was made a bishop.

"As little do I find fault with another of our most exemplary martyrs,
the learned and devout Mr. Archdeacon Philpot; who has left it on
record as a brand on Pelagians of that age, that 'they looked on
honeste pastyme as a sinne;' and had the impudence to call him an
Antinomian and a loose moralist, because he now and then relaxed his
bow with 'huntinge, shootynge, bowlynge, and such like.'

"Nor can I set down pious Bishop Latimer for such an enemy to holiness
of life on account of his saying that hunting is a good exercise for
men of rank, and that shooting is as lawful an amusement for persons of
inferior class.

"I have not a whit the worse opinion of the eminent and profound Mr.
Thomas Gataker for the treatise which he professedly wrote to prove the
lawfulness of card-playing, under due restrictions and limitations.

       *       *       *       *       *

"I cannot condemn the Vicar of Broad Hembury [Mr. Toplady himself]
for relaxing himself now and then among a few select friends with a
rubber of sixpenny Whist, a pool of penny Quadrille, or a few rounds of
twopenny Pope Joan. To my certain knowledge, the said vicar has been
cured of headache by one or other of those games, after spending eight,
ten, or twelve, and sometimes sixteen hours in his study. Nor will he
ask any man's leave for so unbending himself--because another person's
conscience is no rule to his, any more than another person's stature or

John Wesley, when a young man at college, and before his thorough
conversion, appears to have been fond of a game at cards. Tate
Wilkinson, writing in 1790, says: "Mr. Wesley, about four years ago,
in the fields at Leeds, for want of room for his congregation in his
tabernacle, gave an account of himself, by informing us, that when
he was at college, he was particularly fond of the devil's pops (or
cards); and said, that every Saturday he was one of a constant party at
Whist, not only for the afternoon, but also for the evening; he then
mentioned the names of several respectable gentlemen who were with him
at college.--'But,' continued he, 'the latter part of my time there I
became acquainted with the Lord; I used to hold communication with him.
On my first acquaintance, 'I used to talk with the Lord once a week,
then every day, from that to twice a day, till at last the intimacy so
increased, that He appointed a meeting once in every four hours.... He
recollected, he said, the last Saturday he ever played at cards, that
the rubber at Whist was longer than he expected; and on observing the
tediousness of the game, he pulled out his watch, when, to his shame,
he found it was some minutes past eight, which was beyond the time he
had appointed to meet the Lord.--He thought the devil had certainly
tempted him to stay beyond his hour; he therefore suddenly gave his
cards to a gentleman near him to finish the game, and went to the place
appointed, beseeching forgiveness for his crime, and resolved never to
play with the devil's pops again. That resolution he had never broken;
and what was more extraordinary, that his brother and sister, though
distant from Cambridge, experienced signs of grace on that same day, on
that same hour, in the month of October."[337]

On the subject of card-playing, even for the sake of amusement,
two distinguished laymen, John Locke and Dr. Johnson, appear to
have entertained different opinions. The former, in his Treatise on
Education, says, "As to cards and dice, I think the safest and best way
is never to learn any play upon them, and so to be incapacitated for
those dangerous temptations and incroaching wasters of useful time."
Dr. Johnson, on the contrary, regretted that he had not learnt to play
at cards, giving, at the same time, as his reason: "It is very useful
in life; it generates kindness, and consolidates society."[338] The
opinion of a living Professor of Moral Philosophy, on the subject
of card-playing, may be gathered from the following dialogue between
Christopher North and the Ettrick Shepherd.[339]


Gaming is not a vice, then, in the country, James?


There's little or nae sic thing as gamblin' in the kintra, sir. You'll
fin' a pack o' cairds in mony o' the houses--but no in them a'--for
some gude fathers o' families think them the deevil's buiks, and sure
aneuch when ower muckle read they begin to smell o' sulphur and Satan.


Why, James, how can old people, a little dim-eyed or so, while an
occasional evening away better than at an innocent and cheerful game at


Haud your haun' a wee, Mr. North. I'm no saying onything to the
reverse. But I was sayin' that there are heads o' families that abhor
cairds, and would half-kill their sons and daughters were they to bring
a pack into the house. Neither you nor me wull blame them for sic
savin' prejudice. The austere Calvinistic spirit canna thole to think
that the knave o' spades should be lying within twa three inches o' the
Bible. The auld stern man wud as soon forgie the introduction into the
house o' base ballads o' sinfu' love--and wishes that the precincts be
pure o' his ain fire-side. Though I take a ggem o' whust now and then
mysel, yet I boo to the principle, and I venerate the adherence till't
in the high-souled patriarchs of the Covenant.


Perhaps such strict morality is scarcely practicable in our present


What, do you mainteen that cairds are absolutely necessary in a puir
man's house? Tuts! As for auld dim-eyed people, few o' them, except
they be blin' a'thegither, that canna read big prent wi' powerfu'
specs, and they can aye get, at the warst, some bit wee idle Oe to
read out aloud to its grannies, without expense o' oil or cawnel, by
the heartsome ingle-light. You'll generally fin' that auld folk that
plays cairds, have been raither freevolous, and no muckle addicked to
thocht--unless they're greedy, and play for the pool, which is fearsome
in auld age; for what need they care for twa three brass penny-pieces,
for ony ither purpose than to buy nails for their coffin?


You push the argument rather far, James.


Na, sir. Avarice is a failing o' auld age sure aneuch--and shouldna be
fed by the Lang Ten. I'm aye somewhat sad when I see folk o' eighty
haudin' up the trumps to their rheumy een, and shaking their heads,
whether they wull or no, ower a gude and a bad haun alike. Then, safe
on us! only think o' them cheatin'--revokin'--and marking mair than
they ought wi the counters!


The picture is strongly coloured; but could you not paint another less
revolting, nay, absolutely pleasant, nor violate the truth of nature?


I'm no quite sure. Perhaps I micht. In anither condition o' life--in
towns, and among folk o' a higher rank, I dinna deny that I hae seen
auld leddies playing cards very composedly, and without appearin'
to be doin' onything that's wrang. Before you judge richtly o' ony
ae thing in domestic life, you maun understan' the hail constitution
o' the economy. Noo, auld leddies in towns dress somewhat richly and
superbly, wi' ribbons, and laces, and jewels even, and caps munted
wi' flowers and feathers; and I'm no blamin' them--and then they dine
out, and gang to routes, and gie dinners and routes in return, back to
hunders o' their friends and acquaintance, Noo, wi' sic a style and
fashion o' life as that, caird-playing seems to be somewhat accordant,
if taken in moderation, and as a quiet pastime, and no made a trade
o', or profession, for sake o' filthy lucre. I grant it harmless;
and gin it maks the auld leddies happy, what richt hae I to mint ony
objections? God bless them, man; far be it frae me to curtail the
resources o' auld age. Let them play on, and all I wish is, they may
never lose either their temper, their money, nor their natural rest.


And I say God bless you, James, for your sentiments do honour to


As for young folks--lads and lasses, like--when the gudeman and his
wife are gaen to bed, what's the harm in a ggem at cairds? It's a
chearfu', noisy, sicht o' comfort and confusion. Sic luckin' into
ane anither's haun's! Sic fause shufflin'! Sic unfair dealin'! Sic
winkin' to tell your pairtner that ye hae the king or the ace! And
when that wunna do, sic kickin' o' shins and treadin' on taes aneath
the table--aften the wrang anes! Then down wi' your haun' o' cairds in
a clash on the board, because you've ane ower few, and the coof maun
lose his deal! Then what gigglin' amang the lasses! What amicable, nay,
love-quarrels, between pairtners! Jokin', and jeestin' and tauntin',
and toozlin'--the cawnel blawn out, and the soun o' a thousan' kisses!
That's caird-playing in the kintra, Mr. North; and where's the man
amang ye that wull daur to say that its no a pleasant pastime o' a
winter's nicht, when the snaw is cumin' doon the lum, or the speat's
roarin amang the mirk mountains?


Wilkie himself, James, is no more than your equal.


O man, Mr. North, sir, my heart is wae--my soul's sick--and my spirit's
wrathfu' to think o' thae places in great cities which they ca'--Hells!


Thank Heaven, my dear James, that I never was a gambler--nor, except
once, to see the thing, ever in a Hell. But it was a stupid and
passionless night--a place of mean misery--altogether unworthy of its


I'm glad you never went back, and that the deevil was in the dumps;
for they say that some nichts in thae Hells, when Satan and Sin
sit thegither on ae chair, he wi' his arm roun' the neck o' that
Destruction his Daughter, a horrible temptation invades men's hearts
and souls, drivin' and draggin' them on to the doom o' everlasting


Strong language, James--many good and great men have shook the elbow.


Come, come now, Mr. North, and dinna allow paradox to darken or obscure
the bright licht o' your great natural and acquired understandin'.
'Good and great' are lofty epithets to bestow on ony man that is born
o' a woman--and if ony such there have been who delivered themselves
up to sin, and shame, and sorrow, at the ggeming-table; let their
biographers justify them--it will gie me pleasure to see them do't--but
such examples shall never confound my judgment o' right or wrang.
'Shake the elbow indeed!' What mair does a parricide do but 'shake
his elbow,' when he cuts his father's throat? The gamester shakes his
elbow, and down go the glorious oak trees planted two hundred years
ago, by some ancestor who loved the fresh smell o' the woods--away
go--if entail does no forbid--thousands o' bonny braid acres, ance a'
ae princely estate, but now shivered down into beggarly parshels, while
the Auld House seems broken-hearted, and hangs down its head, when
the infatuated laird dies or shoots himself. Oh, man! is nae it a sad
thocht to think that my leddy, aye sae gracious to the puir, should hae
to lay down her carriage in her auld age, and disappear frae the Ha'
into some far-aff town or village, perhaps no in Scotland ava'; while
he, that should hae been the heir, is apprenticed to a writer to the
signet, and becomes a money-scrivener i' his soul, and aiblins a Whig
routin' at a public meetin' about Queens, and Slavery, and Borough
Reform, and Cautholic Emancipation."

St. Francis Xavier, though disapproving of all games of chance, yet
did not absolutely condemn them as forbidden by the word of God; but
endeavoured to reclaim, by gentle means, those who were addicted to
play. "That he might banish Games of Chance," says his biographer,
"which almost always occasion quarrels and swearing, he proposed some
little innocent diversions, capable of entertaining the mind, without
stirring up the passions. But seeing that in spight of his endeavours
they were bent on Cards and Dice, he thought it not convenient to
absent himself, but became a looker-on, that he might somewhat awe them
by his presence; and when they were breaking out into any extravagance,
he reclaimed them by gentle and soft reproofs. He showed concernment
in their gains, or in their losses, and offered sometimes to hold their

"While the ship that carried Xavier was crossing the Gulph of Ceylon,
[in 1545] an occasion of charity was offered to the Saint, which he
would not suffer to escape. The mariners and souldiers pass'd their
time, according to their custome, in playing at cards. Two souldiers
set themselves to it more out of avarice than pleasure, and one of
them plaid with such ill fortune, that he lost not only all his own
money, but the stock which others had put into his hands to traffick
for them. Having nothing more to lose, he withdrew, cursing his luck,
and blaspheming God. His despair prevail'd so far over him, that he
had thrown himself into the Sea, or run upon the point of his sword,
if he had not been prevented. Xavier had notice of these his mad
intentions, and execrable behaviour, and immediately came to his
relief. He embrac'd him tenderly, and said all he cou'd to comfort him:
But the souldier in the transports of his fury, thrust him away, and
forbore not even ill language to him. Xavier stood recollected for some
time, imploring God's assistance and counsel; then went and borrow'd
fifty Royals of a passenger, brought them to the souldier, and advis'd
him once more to try his fortune. At this the souldier took heart,
and play'd so luckily, that he recover'd all his losses with great
advantage. The Saint, who look'd on, took out of the overplus of the
winnings, what he had borrow'd for him; and seeing the gamester, now
return'd to a calm temper, he who before refus'd to hear him, was now
overpower'd by his discourse, never after handled cards, and became
exemplary in his life.

"He was particularly free in his converse with souldiers who are
greater libertines, and more debauch'd in the Indies, than elsewhere.
For, that they might the less suspect him, he kept them company; and
because sometimes when they saw him coming, they had hid their cards
and dice, he told them, They were not of the clergy, neither cou'd they
continue praying all the day; that cheating, quarrelling and swearing,
were forbid to gamesters, but that play was not forbid to a souldier.
Sometimes he play'd at chess himself out of complyance, when they
whom he study'd to withdraw from vice, were lovers of that game: And
a Portuguese gentleman, whose name was Don Diego Norogna, had once a
very ill opinion of him for it. This cavalier, who had heard a report
of Xavier, that he was a saint-like man, and desir'd much to have a
sight of him, happen'd to be aboard of the same galley. Not knowing
his person, he enquir'd which was he; but was much surprised to find
him playing at chess with a private souldier. For he had form'd in his
imagination, the idea of one who was recollected and austere, and who
never appear'd in publick but to discourse of eternity, or to work

St. Francis de Sales was, in his younger days, a card-player, though
subsequently he condemned all games at cards as being in themselves
unlawful.[341] According to the Duchess of Orleans, the old Marshal
Villeroi, who had known him in his youth, could never bring himself
to call him Saint. As often as the name of St. Francis de Sales was
mentioned in his presence, he would observe, "I was delighted to
learn that Mons. de Sales was a Saint. He was fond of saying smutty
things, and used to cheat at cards; in other respects he was a perfect
gentleman, though a ninny."[342] The excuse that he made for his
cheating was, that whatever he won was for the poor. Cardinal Mazarine,
another dignitary of the church of Rome, was much given to cheating at
play as well as in politics; and it is related by an eye-witness, that
when he was on his death-bed, he still continued to play at cards, one
of the company holding his "hand;" and that he was thus employed when
he received the Pope's plenary indulgence, together with the viaticum,
as a prince of the church, from the Papal nuncio.[343]

In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, many of the clergy of all
degrees in France, Spain, and Italy appear to have been much addicted
not only to card-playing but to gaming in general, notwithstanding the
determinations of casuists and the prohibitions of councils. Masses
and prayers were sometimes staked by the priest against the hard
money of the layman; and even devout people, following the example
set them by their pastors, used to play with each other for Aves and
Pater-nosters. On the subject of the clergy staking masses at play,
Barbeyrac, a Protestant, observes, "These are in truth frivolous
matters, and of no effect, to say no worse; nevertheless, as those who
traffic in them believe, or, at least, pretend to believe that a kind
of sanctity and supernatural virtue are attached to their use, all play
for such stakes is unlawful; and he who thus profanely ventures them
is evidently guilty both of sacrilege and simony." With respect to
playing for prayers, Thiers says that the practice is not condemned by
Dr. Navarre, and that Père Raynaud bears witness of its being admitted
among the devout; for his own part, however, he disapproves of it as "a
heteroclite refinement of devotion;" and is of opinion that there is
some degree of irreverence in playing for Psalms, Pater-nosters, and
Aves.[344] The Spanish phrase, "_Jugar los Kiries_" shows that such a
practice was not unusual among the clergy of that country: though the
explanation of the phrase in some dictionaries is, that it relates to
a clergyman who plays away the alms that are given him for praying, it
yet properly relates to a clergyman who plays away prayers,--not the
money given for them.

Among the vices generated by gaming, that of swearing is especially
noted by most authors who have written on the subject.[345] The
French appear to have minced and frittered their oaths, swearing
"like a comfit-maker's wife;" the English and Germans to have sworn
grossly; and the Spaniards and Italians to have blasphemed in a spirit
of refined impiety. Pascasius Justus, in this respect, calls the
gaming-table the devil's farm, and says that it always yields him a
most abundant crop. In his time, gamesters do not appear to have merely
sworn from vexation, but even to have delighted in pouring forth a
volley of oaths. He relates that, when he once told a gambler that he
himself could never utter an oath, the other replied, "Then you are
ignorant of a great pleasure." A French writer, speaking of the oaths
of the Spaniards, gives the following anecdote, as an instance of their
impiety. On one occasion, when an order had been issued to the Spanish
army against swearing, a soldier having lost all his money at cards,
and not daring to violate the letter of the order, gave vent to his
feelings by exclaiming, "Beso las manos, Señor Pilato," "I thank you,
Mr. Pontius Pilate."--"Il devoit être brûlé," is the judgment of the
relater. A similar instance of blasphemy, on the part of an Italian
who had lost his money at cards, is recorded by Henry Stephens, in the
introduction to his 'Traité de la Conformité des Merveilles anciennes
avec les modernes.'[346]

With respect to the passions excited by gaming, the learned and pious
Jeremy Collier expresses his opinion in the following manner, in his
'Essay on Gaming,' in a Dialogue: "I can't help observing that playing
deep sets the spirits on float, strikes the mind strongly into the
face, and discovers a man's weakness very remarkably. Cards and dice,
&c. command the humour no less than the moon does the tide; you may see
the passions come up with the dice, and ebb and flow with the fortune
of the game; what alternate returns of hope and fear, of pleasure and
regret, are frequently visible upon such occasions?

    Ενθα δ' ἁμ' οιμωγη τε και ευχωλη πελεν ανδρων,
    Ολλυντων τε, και ολλυμενων.

"As you say gaming is an image of war, the sudden turns of success
are easily discernible; the advances of victory or ill luck, make a
strange revolution in the blood. The countenance takes its tincture
from the chance, and appears in the colours of the prospect. With what
anxiousness is the issue expected. You would think a jury of life
and death was gone out upon them. The sentence for execution is not
receiv'd with more concern, than the unlucky appearance of a cast or
a card. Thus some people are miserably ruffled, and thrown off the
hinges; they seem distress'd to an agony; you'd pity them for the
meanness of their behaviour; others are no less foolishly pleas'd;
break out with childish satisfaction, and bring the covetousness of
their humour too much into view.

"Now since play is thus arbitrary over the passions, who would resign
the repose of his mind, and the credit of his temper, to the mercy of
chance? Who would stake his discretion upon such unnecessary hazards?
And throw the dice, whether he should be in his wits or not?"

On DOLOMEDES, the other speaker in the dialogue, observing, that
this does not always follow; that some people play without the least
offensiveness or ruffle, and lose great sums with all the decency and
indifference imaginable, the author, in the character of CALLIMACHUS,
thus proceeds:

"Alas! this is often but a copy of the countenance: things are not
so smooth within, as they seem without. Some people when they bleed
inwardly have the art to conceal the anguish; and this is generally the
most of the matter; but if they are really unconcern'd; if so heavy a
blow brings no smart along with it, the case is still worse: these men
have no sense of the value of money, they won't do the least penance
for their folly, they have not so much as the guard of a remorse. This
stoicism is the speediest dispatch to beggary; nothing can be more
dangerous than such a stupid tranquillity. To be thus becalm'd presages
_Short allowance_. This sedateness makes the man foolhardy, renew the
combat, and venture a brush for the remainder; for he that can be
beaten at his ease, and feels no pain upon a wound, will fight, most
likely, as long as his legs will bear him.

"But this insensibleness is rarely met with: very few are proof against
a shrewd chance to this degree. When misfortune strikes home, 'tis
seldom decently receiv'd; their temper goes off with their money. For,
according to the proverb, _Qui perd le sien, perd le sens_. And here
one loss usually makes people desperate, and leads to another: and now
the gentlemen of your function are extremely vigilant to improve the
opportunity, and observe the current of the passions. You know very
well when a man's head grows misty with ill luck, when the spleen comes
over his understanding, and he has fretted himself off his guard, he is
much the easier conquest: thus, when your bubbles are going down the
hill, you manage accordingly, lend them a push, tho' their bones are
broken at the bottom. But I forget myself; there's neither mercy nor
justice in some people's business.

"To return: you know I may take it for granted, that your gaming sparks
are horribly ruffled when things with a promising face sicken, and sink
on the sudden, when they are surprizingly crossbitten, and success is
snatch'd from their grasp; when this happens, which is not unfrequent,
the spirits are up immediately, and they are a storm at the first
blast: the train takes fire, and they kindle and flash at the touch
like gunpowder. And when the passions are thus rampant, nothing is more
common than oaths, and execrable language: when instead of blaming
their own rashness, and disciplining their folly, they are cursing
their stars, and raging against their fate.[347]

"These paroxysms of madness run sometimes so high, that you would think
the Devil had seiz'd the organs of speech, and that they were possess'd
in every syllable: and to finish farther, these hideous sallies are
sometimes carry'd on to quarrelling and murther. The dice, it may
be, are snatch'd too quick, the cast is disputed, the loading and
legerdemain is discover'd.

  "Jamque faces et saxa volant:--

Upon this, they run to arms, and after some artillery discharg'd in
swearing, come to a close encounter. And thus one of them is run
through the lungs, and left agonizing upon the place: or, as it
happen'd not long since, the gamester is knocked down with a pint-pot,
and his skull broken: he is forced to be trepan'd, and then relapsing
into play and drinking, dies of a frenzy.

"As to the hazards, they are frightful, and sufficient to overset the
temper of better principled people than gamesters commonly are. Have we
not heard of ladies losing hundreds of guineas at a sitting? And others
more slenderly stock'd, disfurnish their husbands' studies, and play
off the books which, it may be, help'd to feed them. And when the women
are thus courageous, the men conclude their own sex calls for a bolder
liberty: that they ought to go farther in danger, and appear more brave
in the methods of ruin: thus a manor has been lost in an afternoon; the
suit and service follow the cast, and the right is transfer'd sooner
than the lawyer can draw the conveyance. A box and dice are terrible
artillery, a battery of cannon scarcely plays with more execution.
They make a breach in a castle, and command a surrender in a little

A curious Rabbinical tract on the subject of Gaming, entitled, סור
מרע, that is, "Depart from Evil,"[349] seems to require some notice
here. It was first printed at Venice, about 1615; was reprinted at
Leyden about 1660; and a third edition, accompanied with a German
translation, was published at Leipsic in 1683. None of the editors
mention either the name of the author, or the time when he lived. The
work is in the form of a dialogue between two young Jews, one of whom,
named MEDAD, maintains the lawfulness of Gaming, and is opposed by the
other, named ELDAD. The work is divided into six chapters. The first
is merely introductory, giving a brief account of the speakers in the
dialogue;--Medad, a merchant's son, addicted to play; and Eldad, his
friend, who endeavours to reclaim him. The second chapter contains
the argument which they had on the subject of gaming and commerce;
Medad endeavouring to show that play is commendable and similar to
commerce; while Eldad maintains the contrary. In the third chapter,
Eldad undertakes to prove from the Scriptures that a gamester breaks
all the Ten Commandments, and Medad ingeniously answers him. In the
fourth chapter, Eldad, on the authority of the Talmud and other
Rabbinical works, maintains that a gamester can neither be a judge nor
a witness; and Medad answers him, citing opposite passages from the
same authorities. In the fifth chapter, Eldad recites a piece of poetry
descriptive of the miserable state of a gamester; and Medad, in return,
recites another, wherein the pleasures of a gamester's life are highly
extolled. In the sixth and last chapter, Eldad seriously exhorts his
friend to assent to truth; Medad yields, and acknowledges that the
cause which he had maintained was bad.

The following are a few of the more remarkable passages in the argument
of Medad, the advocate of gaming: "Play is commendable, the same as
all other human inventions. It is like a bright mirror in which many
excellent things are to be discovered, exciting to a sluggish man,
and causing him to forget the cares incident to daily life. Though it
be undeniable that he whose whole pleasure consists in keeping the
commands of the Lord, and who is neither vain nor ambitious, is a
better man than he who plays; yet of the various pursuits in which men
engage in order to obtain wealth or power, Play is one which may be
allowed to those who, without pretending to be absolutely righteous,
yet endeavour to be as righteous as they can. Through much trafficking
man becomes knowing; and wares are in Hebrew called סחורה a word
which means 'circulation,' or 'that which circulates,' on account of
their passing from one person to another by way of barter or sale. Why
should Play not be estimated the same as any other business, at which
money is sometimes lost and sometimes gained?[350] The determining
of matters by lot or chance is even of Divine institution: the high
priest's sin-offering was to be determined by lot; the land was to
be divided amongst the Twelve Tribes by lot; David, in the sixteenth
Psalm, says that the Lord maintains his lot; and in Proverbs, chap.
xviii, we are told that 'the lot causeth contentions to cease, and
parteth between the mighty.'--It is answered, that traffic or commerce
is productive of mutual benefit. But hearken: in anticipation of a
dearth you purchase a hundred quarters of corn of your neighbour,
and lock it up in your granaries, in the hope of gaining double. You
raise your face to Heaven, but it is to look out for the signs of bad
weather; and you are content that there should be a famine in the
land, provided that you thrive by it. When your wine-vats are full to
overflowing, you enjoy the storm of thunder and hail that destroys the
vintage of the year; for you will thus be enriched. But is this just?
is there any mutual benefit in this? Can you make your profit without
the rest of the world being injured? And yet you are held to be an
honourable fair-dealing man.[351]--In the third chapter of the tract
_Sanhedrin_, gamesters and usurers are indeed classed together; but it
is known that in the Scriptures usury is strongly condemned, while play
is not even forbidden. But now, those who live by usury are honoured;
and so far from being deprived of the right of acting as judges or of
giving testimony as witnesses, they are magistrates and rulers: a word
of theirs is worth a hundred witnesses. Gamesters, on the contrary,
are unjustly vilified; and he who does not speak evil of play runs the
risk of being excommunicated.--Even the losing gamester may derive
great advantage from his play: he is thus taught to bear losses with
patience; and when in other matters he has been unlucky and has lost
much money, he consoles himself with the thought that it is only what
has often happened to him at play. He perceives that nothing is stable
or perpetual in human affairs, and takes the good and the bad with even
temper. From his games he also acquires the elements of science; he
learns arithmetic without a master; and also becomes a proficient in
logic and rhetoric, from his exercise of those arts on his opponents.
From the cards he may acquire a knowledge of painting, and from the
dice, which are exactly squared, he may learn mathematics. In short, he
who plays at cards and dice, has a hand in all arts. The Hebrew word
בכל which signifies 'in all,' is, in its numerical value, equal to
52: that is, ב‎ = 2; ‏כ‎ = 20; and ‏ל‎ = 30: in all 52,--the number of
cards in a French pack. The Hebrew word ויד which signifies 'a Hand,'
is, in the same manner, reckoning the word itself as 1, equal to 21:
that is, ו‎ = 6; ‏י‎ = 10; ‏ד‎ = 4; the word itself = 1: in all 21,--the
number of the spots on a die. Thus, from his play, may a man learn
righteousness, and how to conduct himself with moderation."

Though the game of cards has not been so elaborately moralised as
the game of Chess, yet the Pack has not wanted spiritual expounders,
who have ingeniously shown that it might serve, not only as a
perpetual almanack, but also as a moral monitor, and a help to
devotion. The most popular and best known of such expositions, or
rather applications, is that entitled 'The Perpetual Almanack, or
Gentleman-Soldier's Prayer Book;' which has been long circulated in
this country as a penny chap-book. Mons. Leber says that it is an
imitation of a French tract on the same subject, entitled 'Explication
morale du Jeu de Cartes, anecdote curieuse et intéressante, sous le nom
de Louis Bras-de-fer, engagé au service du roi,' which seems to have
been first published at Brussels, in 1778. The history of Bras-de-fer
is referred to by Breitkopf; and Mons. Renouard, speaking of Singer's
'Researches into the History of Playing Cards,' in the Catalogue of his
Library, observes, "Cet auteur, qui a tout recherché, n'a probablement
pas tout rencontré, car s'il l'eut seulement entrevue, auroit-il
laissé échapper l'explication morale du jeu de cartes par le soldat
Bras-de-fer, l'une des pièces le plus notables de la bibliothèque
à deux sols?" In order that a similar objection may not be brought
against the writer of this work, the whole of the Perpetual Almanack is
here given, _verbatim_, from a broadside, "printed by J. Catnach, 2,
Monmouth Court, Seven Dials."

"The Perpetual Almanack; or Gentleman-soldier's Prayer Book: shewing
how one Richard Middleton was taken before the Mayor of the city he
was in for using cards in church during Divine Service: being a droll,
merry, and humorous account of an odd affair that happened to a private
soldier in the 60th Regiment of Foot.

"The serjeant commanded his party to the church, and when the parson
had ended his prayer, he took his text, and all of them that had a
Bible, pulled it out to find the text; but this soldier had neither
Bible, Almanack, nor Common-Prayer Book, but he put his hand in his
pocket and pulled out a pack of cards, and spread them before him as
he sat; and while the parson was preaching, he first kept looking at
one card and then at another.[352] The serjeant of the company saw
him, and said, 'Richard, put up your cards, for this is no place for
them.'--'Never mind that,' said the soldier, 'you have no business with
me here.'

"Now the parson had ended his sermon, and all was over: the soldiers
repaired to the churchyard and the commanding officer gave the word
of command to fall in, which they did. The serjeant of the city
came, and took the man prisoner.--'Man, you are my prisoner,' said
he.--'Sir,' said the soldier, 'what have I done that I am your
prisoner?'--'You have played a game at cards in the church.'--' No,'
said the soldier, 'I have not play'd a game, for I only looked at a
pack.'--'No matter for that, you are my prisoner.'--'Where must we go?'
said the soldier.--'You must go before the Mayor,' said the serjeant.
So he took him before the Mayor; and when they came to the Mayor's
house, he was at dinner. When he had dined he came down to them, and
said, 'Well, serjeant, what do you want with me?'--'I have brought
a soldier before you for playing at cards in the church.'--'What!
that soldier?'--'Yes.'--'Well, soldier, what have you to say for
yourself?'--'Much, sir, I hope.'--'Well and good; but if you have not,
you shall be punished the worst that ever man was.'--'Sir,' said the
soldier, 'I have been five weeks upon the march, and have but little
to subsist on; and am without either Bible, Almanack, or Common-Prayer
Book, or anything but a pack of cards: I hope to satisfy your honour of
the purity of my intentions.'

"Then the soldier pulled out of his pocket the pack of cards, which he
spread before the Mayor; he then began with the Ace. 'When I see the
Ace,' said he, 'it puts me in mind that there is one God only; when I
see the Deuce, it puts me in mind of the Father and the Son; when I see
the Tray, it puts me in mind of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; when I
see the Four, it puts me in mind of the four Evangelists, that penned
the Gospel, viz. Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John; when I see the Five, it
puts me in mind of the five wise virgins who trimmed their lamps; there
were ten, but five were foolish, who were shut out. When I see the Six,
it puts me in mind that in six days the Lord made Heaven and Earth;
when I see the Seven, it puts me in mind that on the seventh day God
rested from all the works which he had created and made, wherefore the
Lord blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it. When I see the Eight,
it puts me in mind of the eight righteous persons that were saved when
God drowned the world, viz. Noah, his wife, three sons, and their
wives; when I see the Nine, it puts me in mind of nine lepers that were
cleansed by our Saviour; there were ten, but nine never returned God
thanks; when I see the Ten, it puts me in mind of the Ten Commandments
that God gave Moses on Mount Sinai on the two tables of stone.' He
took the Knave, and laid it aside.--'When I see the Queen, it puts me
in mind of the Queen of Sheba, who came from the furthermost parts of
the world to hear the wisdom of King Solomon, for she was as wise a
woman as he was a man; for she brought fifty boys and fifty girls,
all clothed in boy's apparel, to show before King Solomon, for him to
tell which were boys, and which were girls; but he could not, until he
called for water for them to wash themselves; the girls washed up to
their elbows, and the boys only up to their wrists; so King Solomon
told by that. And when I see the King, it puts me in mind of the great
King of Heaven and Earth, which is God Almighty, and likewise his
Majesty King George, to pray for him.'

"'Well,' said the Mayor, 'you have a very good description of all
the cards, except one, which is lacking.'--'Which is that?' said the
soldier.'--'The Knave,' said the Mayor.--'Oh, I can give your honour a
very good description of that, if your honour won't be angry.'--'No,
I will not,' said the Mayor, 'if you will not term me to be the
Knave.'--'Well,' said the soldier, 'the greatest that I know is the
serjeant of the city, that brought me here.'--'I don't know,' said the
Mayor, 'that he is the greatest knave, but I am sure that he is the
greatest fool.'--'When I count how many spots there are in a pack of
cards, I find there are three hundred and sixty-five; there are so many
days in a year. When I count how many cards there are in a pack, I find
there are fifty-two; there are so many weeks in a year. When I count
how many tricks in a pack, I find there are thirteen; there are so many
months in a year. You see, sir, that this pack of cards is a Bible,
Almanack, Common-Prayer Book, and pack of cards to me.'

"Then the Mayor called for a loaf of bread, a piece of good cheese, and
a pot of good beer, and gave the soldier a piece of money, bidding him
to go about his business, saying he was the cleverest man he had ever

Another chap-book, entitled 'A New Game at Cards, between a Nobleman
in London and one of his Servants,' is merely a variation of the
'Perpetual Almanack:' a servant being denounced to his master as a
gambler, denies the fact; and on a pack of cards being found in his
pocket, he asserts that he is unacquainted with their use as mere
cards, and that he uses them as an almanack, and sometimes converts
them into a prayer-book. The four suits answer to the four quarters of
the year; there are thirteen cards in each suit, and thirteen weeks in
each quarter; the twelve coat cards correspond with the twelve months
in a year; and there are just as many weeks in the year as cards in a
pack. The King and Queen remind him of his allegiance; the Ten reminds
him of the Ten Commandments; the Nine, of the nine Muses; the Eight, of
the eight altitudes, and the eight persons who were saved in the ark;
the Seven, of the seven wonders of the world, and the seven planets
that rule the days of the week; the Six, of the six petitions contained
in the Lord's Prayer, and of the six working days in a week; the Five,
of the five senses; the Four, of the four seasons; the Three, of the
three Graces, and of the three days and nights that Jonah was in the
whale's belly; the Two, of the two Testaments, Old and New, and of the
two contrary principles, Virtue and Vice; and the Ace, of the worship
of one God. With respect to the Knave, which, like the soldier, he had
laid aside, and had omitted to notice in its proper place, he says, on
being asked its meaning by his master, that it will always remind him
of the person who informed against him.

A variation of the history of Bras-de-fer was published at Paris
in 1809, with notes by a Mons. Hadin, under the following title:
'Histoire du Jeu de Cartes du Grenadier Richard, ou Explication du Jeu
de cinquante-deux cartes en forme de Livres de Prière.'[353] Mons.
G. Brunet, in his 'Notice Bibliographique sur les Cartes à jouer,'
says that this _livret_ is not devoid of originality, and that it
is not easily met with. From the passages which he quotes, it would
appear that the "Grenadier Richard" was equally well read in sacred
and profane history, and that he had thumbed both his Concordance and
his Classical Dictionary to some purpose. The Ace reminds him, amongst
various other things, of the unity of the Deity; that Noah left the ark
one year after the deluge; and that there is only one Catholic Church.
When he sees the Nine, he thinks of the nine orders of angels; and is
reminded that Christ died at the ninth hour of the day. A Queen reminds
him of Eve, Judith, Dalilah, the Queen of Sheba, and the Virgin Mary;
a Knave, of the centurion in the Gospel; and a King, of Adam, Solomon,
or any king mentioned in Holy Writ. The twelve coat cards remind him
of the twelve fountains of Elim, the twelve precious stones in the
breastplate of the high priest, the twelve loaves of shew-bread, the
twelve stones with which Eli built an altar, the twelve patriarchs,
the twelve oxen that sustained the brazen sea in Solomon's temple,
the twelve apostles, the twelve articles of the creed, and the twelve
feasts which are more particularly celebrated by the Church of Rome
in honour of Christ. Diamonds--le Carreau,--make him think of the
place where the cross was fixed; Spades--le Pique,--of the lance which
pierced the side of Christ; and Clubs,--le Trèfle,--with their triple
leaves, of the love of the three women who went early in the morning
with perfumes to the holy sepulchre.

On subjects of heathen mythology, cards are equally suggestive to
his well-stored memory. The Three reminds him of the three sons of
Saturn,--Jupiter, Neptune, and Pluto; of the three Furies, the three
Graces, the three Hesperides, the three daughters of Mineus, and the
three horses of the chariot of Pluto. The Four reminds him of the
four ages, the four horses of the chariot of the sun, and the four
labyrinths, namely, of Egypt, Crete, Italy, and Lemnos; and whenever
he sees the Nine, he is vividly reminded of the nine Muses, and the
nine acres of land covered by the body of the giant Tithius. The twelve
coat cards are suggestive of the twelve gods and goddesses, the twelve
labours of Hercules, and sundry other twelves besides.[354]

The following historical anecdote, _apropos_, of a pack of cards, is
extracted from a little book in duodecimo, entitled 'The Social and
Instructive Companion,' printed for T. Field in Paternoster Row, 1765.
The same story is also inserted in the 'Whitehall Evening Post,' of
the 27th September, 1767; and the editor says that it is related in
the manuscript memoirs of Richard, Earl of Cork, and of Henry Usher,
primate of Armagh. He further adds that its truth was ascertained by
James Usher, Archbishop of Armagh, nephew of the aforesaid Henry.
Whether true or false, a great many more improbable things have passed
current as authentic history upon no better evidence.

"Queen Mary having dealt severely with the Protestants in England,
signed a commission about the latter end of her reign, for taking the
same course with them in Ireland; and to execute the same with greater
force, she nominated Dr. Cole, who had recommended himself by wholesome
severities in England, to be one of the commissioners, sending the
commission by the doctor himself.

"In the way, Dr. Cole lodged one night at Chester, where, being
visited as the queen's messenger, and a churchman of distinction by
the mayor of that city, he informed this magistrate of the contents
of his message; and taking a box out of his cloak-bag, said, 'Here is
a commission that shall lash the heretics' (meaning the Protestants of

"The good woman of the house being well affected to the Protestant
religion, and having also a brother named John Edmonds, then a citizen
in Dublin, and a Protestant, was greatly disturbed at the doctor's
words; but waiting a convenient time whilst the mayor took his leave,
and the doctor complimented him down stairs, she ventured to open the
box, and taking the commission out, she in its place put a sheet of
paper, and a pack of cards, with the Knave of Clubs faced uppermost,
wrapped up. The doctor, at his return to his chamber, suspecting
nothing of what had been done, put up the box again into his cloak-bag;
and next day the wind setting fair, he sailed for Ireland, and landed
at Dublin, the 7th of October, 1558.

"The doctor having notified his arrival at the Castle, the lord deputy
Fitz-Walters sent for him to come before his excellency and the privy
council; to whom the doctor made a long speech relating to the subject
of his commission, and then presented the leather box with its contents
to the lord deputy. But when the deputy opened it for the secretary to
read the commission, lo! to the great surprise of all present, and the
doctor's confusion, there was nothing found but a pack of cards with
the Knave of Clubs faced uppermost. The doctor assured the deputy and
council that he had a commission, but knew not how it was gone, 'Then,'
said the lord deputy, 'let us have another commission, and we will
shuffle the cards in the meanwhile.'

"The doctor withdrew in great trouble of mind; and hasting back to
England, obtained a fresh commission: but being detained some time at
the water side for a fair wind, he was prevented from putting it into
execution by the news of the queen's death.

"This account of the providential deliverance of the Protestants in
Ireland from the Marian persecution is attested in the memorials of
Richard, Earl of Cork, by the Lord Primate Usher; and in Sir James
Ware's MSS.; who also writes that Queen Elizabeth, being informed of
the truth thereof by the lord deputy Fitz-Walters, her Majesty was so
delighted, that she sent for the good woman, named Elizabeth Edmonds,
but by her husband (whom she afterwards married) named Mathershead, and
gave her a pension of forty pounds during life, for having saved her
Protestant subjects of Ireland."

       *       *       *       *       *

Having now laid before the reader a store of facts and speculations
on the origin and history of cards, a sketch of the progress of
card-playing in different countries in Europe, and a collection of
the opinions of several eminent men on the lawfulness of the game
theologically and morally considered, together with sundry other
matters either naturally, or artificially, associated with cards,--I
shall conclude the work by a brief recapitulation of a few of the
leading facts and circumstances relating to the origin of cards and the
time of their first introduction into Europe.

In Hindostan, the tradition is, that cards were known in that country
at a remote period,--upwards of a thousand years ago; but I have not
been able to learn that they are mentioned in any Hindostanee work of
an early date, and I am informed, on the authority of the Sanscrit
professor at Oxford, that there is no Sanscrit word for playing cards.
This last fact is, however, of but little weight as negative evidence
of cards being unknown in Hindostan a thousand years ago; for long
before that time Sanscrit had become obsolete as a vernacular language.
In China, if any credit can be attached to the two dictionaries, or
rather cyclopædias, of the greatest authority in that country, "Dotted
Cards" were invented in 1120, in the reign of Seun-ho, and began to
be common in the reign of Kaou-tsung, who ascended the throne in 1131.
Cards--_Carte_--are mentioned in an Italian work, said to have been
composed by Sandro di Pipozzo in 1299; but as the MS. is not of an
earlier date than 1400, there is good reason for concluding the word to
be an interpolation, seeing that in several works of the earlier part
of the fourteenth century, which had been cited to prove that cards
were then known in Europe, it has been discovered that the term cards
was an interpolation introduced at a later period by a transcriber. The
author of the 'Güldin Spil,' a work written about the middle of the
fifteenth century, and printed at Augsburg, in 1472, says that he had
read that the game of cards was first brought into Germany in 1300. No
fact, however, confirmatory of the correctness of this account has been
discovered; and the omission of all notice of cards by European authors
of the earlier half of the fourteenth century, even when expressly
treating of the games in vogue at the period, may be received as good
negative evidence of their not being then known as a popular game in
Europe: "_De non apparentibus et non existentibus eadem est ratio_."
Admitting cards to be of Eastern invention--a fact which appears to
be sufficiently established by the evidence adduced in the first
chapter,--it would seem that they first became known in Europe as a
popular game between 1360 and 1390. Covelluzzo, an Italian chronicler
of the fifteenth century, says, that the game was first brought
into Viterbo in 1379; in 1393, three packs of cards were painted by
Jacquemin Gringonneur for the amusement of Charles VI of France;[355]
in 1397, the working people of Paris were forbid to play at cards on
working days; and in the same year card-playing was prohibited by
the magistrates of Ulm. Such are the principal facts relative to the
introduction of cards into Europe. The game appears to have rapidly
spread amongst all classes of people. The manufacture of cards was a
regular business in Germany and Italy prior to 1425; the importation of
foreign cards into England was prohibited by act of parliament in 1463;
and about 1484, cards, as at present, was a common Christmas game.
It is unnecessary to recapitulate the more prominent incidents which
mark the progress of card-playing; it may be sufficient to observe,
that no other game was ever so generally played, with people of both
sexes,--young and old, rich and poor. Even the "red man" of America,
the "Stoic of the Woods," has acquired a knowledge of cards, from his
neighbours of European descent, and ceases to be apathetic when engaged
in the game. It is, perhaps, as extensively diffused as the use of
tobacco; and is certainly indulged in by a greater variety of persons.

[Illustration p. 330.]


[314] The author does not seem to have been successful in his ministry
at Newcastle. Colonel Fenwick says that the town was famous for
mocking and misusing Christ's ministers; and after naming Knox and
Udal, he thus reproaches the town for its treatment of Balmford:
"Witness reverend Balmford, whom in a like manner thou expulsed; though
thou couldst not touch his life, thou pricked his sides (as well as
Christ's) in his hearers, with the reproach of Balmfordian faction
and schism."--Christ in the midst of his Enemies, by Lieut.-Col. John
Fenwick, 1643. Reprinted by M. A. Richardson, Newcastle, 1846.

[315] The opinions of Luther, Calvin, Peter Martyr, Lambert Daneau, and
others upon this question are to be found in the 'Collectanea variorum
authorum de Sortibus et Ludo Aleæ,' appended to the Alea of Pascasius
Justus, by Joannes a Munster, 4to, 1617.

[316] "Traité du jeu, ou l'on examine les principales Questions de
Droit naturel et de morale qui ont du rapport à cette Matière. Par
Jean Barbeyrac, Professeur en Droit à Groningue. Seconde Edition,
revue et augmentée. A laquelle on a joint un Discours sur la nature du
Sort, et quelques autres Ecrits de l'Auteur qui servent principalement
à défendre ce qu'il avoit dit de l'innocence du jeu consideré en
lui-même."--This Edition, in three volumes, 16mo, was published at
Amsterdam, 1738, and is dedicated to Anne, Princess of Orange, eldest
daughter of George II. The first edition appeared in 1710. It is said
that the idea of writing such a book was first suggested to Barbeyrac
in consequence of his being so frequently appealed to on questions
relating to the game of cards by ladies who came to play with his
mother-in-law, with whom he resided, and in whose apartment he used
frequently to sit.

[317] "Anacharsis, apud Aristot. Paizein, d'hopôs sp?xazth, kat'
'Anacharsin, horthôs hechein xokei. Παιζειν, δ'ὁπως σπ;ξαζθ, κατ'
'Αναχαρσιν, ὁρθως ἑχειν ξοκει.--Ethic. Nicom. lib. x, cap. 6."

[318] Ἡ ἀναπαυσις, των πονων ἀρτυμα ἐστι.--Plutarch. de Puerorum

[319] "Inter se ista miscenda sunt: et quiescenti agendum, et agenti
quiescendum est. Cum rerum natura delibera: illa dicet tibi, se et Diem
fecisse et Noctem.--Seneca, Epist. iii."

[320] "Βιος ανεορταστος, μακρη ὁδος απανδοκευτος.--Democrit. apud

[321] It may be observed, that such cases of "Natural Equity," as are
here hypothetically put by Barbeyrac, do not properly admit of a third
party as a judge, in the event of a dispute. Parties entering into such
contracts, irrespective of the usages of society, or the positive laws
of the country where they reside, ought to be left to enforce their
natural equity by natural means. One wealthy fool loses to another the
whole of his property, the contract between them being, that he was
to be the winner who should draw the longest straw out of a stack. In
natural equity, between the two parties, the loser is obliged to pay;
but, should he recover his senses, he will refuse, and leave the winner
to his remedy; for the circumstance of his risking so much in the first
instance, was a greater offence against society than his subsequent
refusal to pay. What one gambler may lose to another is of small moment
to society, compared with the primary evil through which such persons
are enabled to play deeply with the fruits of others' labours. Luther,
speaking of the lawfulness of retaining money won by gaming, concludes
that it might be lawfully retained; but adds, that he could wish both
parties to lose, if it were possible. The impossibility has been
removed since regular gaming houses and gaming banks were established.

[322] The following is the passage referred to: περιφερομενοι παντι
ανεμω της διδασκαλιας εν τη ΚΥΒΕΙΑ των ανθρωπων.--"Carried about with
every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men."--Ephesians, iv, 14.--Dr.
Rennell, quoting the passage in the notes to his sermon against Gaming,
observes, that "The connexion between the artifices of gamesters, and
the shifting depravity of heretical subterfuge, is strongly marked by
the Apostle."

[323] Barbeyrac, Traité du Jeu, liv. i, chap. 1. "Que le Jeu en
lui-même, et l'abus mis à part, est une chose tout-à-fait indifferente."

[324] "Selden, de Jure Naturæ et Gentium, lib. iv, cap. v."

[325] From this account of instruments of play containing pictures
and devises, it has been conjectured that cards were then known, and
that the game was included in the general term "Alea." On this point,
Barbeyrac observes, in a note: "All this pleasant conceit [about
pictures and idolatry] is founded on two things: first that the board
on which they played at Trictrac and Dice, was adorned with paintings;
and second, that the invention of those games was attributed to Theut,
or Thout, the Egyptian Mercury, who, after his death, was numbered
amongst the gods."

[326] "Daniel Souter, Palamed. lib. ii, c. 6."

[327] Réflexions sur ce que l'on appelle Bonheur et Malheur en matière
de Loteries, par M. le Clerc, ch. viii, p. 97.

[328] La Placette, Des Jeux de Hasard, ch. ii, p. 202.

[329] J. B. Thiers, in his Traité des Jeux et des Divertissemens, p. 5,
thus refers to the same anecdote: "Saint Ignace de Loiola joüa un jour
au billard avec un gentil-homme qui l'avoit invité d'y jouer, et s'il
en faut croire l'éloquent Jésuite Maphée, il le gagna miraculeusement,
quoiqu'il ne sçût pas le jeu. _Cum nihil minus calleret Ignatius,
divinitus factum est ut in singulos omnino trajectus victor eraderet._"

[330] "Omnis autem Actio vacare debet temeritate et negligentia:
nee vero agere quidquam, cujus non possit causam probabilem
reddere."--Cicero de Offic. lib. i. See also Marc. Antonin. lib. viii,
cap. 2, and lib. x, cap. 37, together with Gataker's observations.--On
this point the remark of Seneca deserves quotation: "Hac [Ratione]
duce, per totam vitam eundum est. Minima Maximaque ex hujus consilio
gerenda sunt."--De Benefic. lib. ii, cap. 18.

[331] Thiers, in his Traité des Jeux et des Divertissemens,
distinguishes games in the same manner; but Barbeyrac observes that he
is wrong in classing all games of cards with games of pure chance.

[332] "The low and profligate company which a gentleman of rank and
education will frequently submit to keep, rather than lose his beloved
Hazard, is such that, if he had been required to admit them simply on
the ground of companions, he would certainly have looked upon it as an
insufferable degradation."--A Dissertation on the pernicious effects of
Gaming, published, by appointment, as having gained a Prize (June 1783)
in the University of Cambridge. By Richard Hey, LL.D., Cambridge, 1784,
p. 31.

[333] "I know a man who cheats," said a young gentleman to Sheridan; "I
do not like to expose him; what shall I do?" "Back him," was the reply.

[334] "Hook's clever epitaph on a fashionable gambler then recently
deceased."--The Dowagers; or, the New School for Scandal, by Mrs. Gore.

[335] "Question on Gaming, Whether or no the making and providing such
instruments, which usually minister to it, is by interpretation such
an aid to the sin, as to involve us in the guilt?" This treatise is
printed in a small work entitled 'The Life of Bishop Taylor, and the
Purest Spirit of his Writings extracted and exhibited by John Whealdon,
A.M.' 8vo, 1789.

[336] This letter is given in the Rev. R. Polwhele's Reminiscences,
vol. ii, p. 42. Edit. 1836.

[337] Memoirs of Tate Wilkinson, vol. iii, p. 9-11. York, 1790.

[338] Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides. The following
anecdote respecting Locke is related by Le Clerc. Three or four men of
rank met him by appointment at the house of Lord Ashley, afterwards
Earl of Shaftesbury, rather for the sake of mutual entertainment than
for business. After mutual compliments had passed, and before there had
been any time for conversation, cards were introduced, and the visitors
sat down to play. Mr. Locke, after looking on a while, drew out his
tablets and sat down to write. One of the company at length observing
how he was employed, asked him what he was writing. "My lord," replied
he, "I am endeavouring to profit as much as I can from your company;
for having impatiently longed to be present at a meeting of the most
sensible and most witty men of the day, and having at last that good
fortune, I thought that I could not do better than write down your
conversation; I have indeed here put down the substance of what has
been said for the last hour or two." The satire was immediately felt;
the players quitted the game, and after amusing themselves for a while
in retouching and enlarging what Mr. Locke had set down, spent the
remainder of the day in more worthy conversation.--Eloge de Mr. Locke
dans la Bibliothèque Choisie, tom. vi, p. 357.

[339] Noctes Ambrosianæ, No. 25, in Blackwood's Magazine for April,

[340] The Life of St. Francis Xavier, by Father Bouhours. Translated
into English by John Dryden, pp. 71, 203, 697.

[341] "Les jeux des dez, des cartes, et semblables, esquels le gain
dépend principalement du hasard, ne sont pas seulement des récréations
dangereuses, comme les danses, mais elles sont simplement et
naturellement mauvaises et blâmables."--St. François de Sales, Introd.
à la Vie dévote, quoted by Thiers in his Traité des Jeux, p. 168.

[342] Mémoires sur la Cour de Louis XIV et de la Régence. Extraits de
la Correspondance Allemande de Madame Elisabeth-Charlotte, Duchesse
d'Orléans, mère du Régent, p. 339. 8vo, Paris, 1823. In corroboration
of the anecdote related by the Duchess, the Editor gives the
following from the 'Loisirs d'un Homme d'Etat,' and the 'Dictionnaire
Historique:' "M. de Cosnac, archevêque d'Aix, était très vieux, quand
il apprit que l'on vient de canoniser Saint François de Sales. 'Quoi!'
s'écria-t-il, 'M. de Genéve, mon ancien ami? Je suis charmé de la
fortune qu'il vient de faire: c'était un galant homme, un aimable
homme, et même un honnête homme, quoiqu'il trichât au piquet, où nous
avons souvent joué ensemble.' 'Mais, monseigneur,' lui dit-on, 'est-il
possible qu'un saint friponne au jeu?' 'Ho!' repliqua l'archevêque, 'il
disait, pour ses raisons, que ce qu'il gagnait était pour les pauvres.'"

[343] Mémoires inédits de Louis Henri de Lomenie, Comte de Brienne.

[344] "Une treizième circonstance, qui, à mon sens, est capable de
gâter le jeu, c'est quand on joüe des prières, je veux dire quand
on joüe à condition que celui qui perdra fera certaines prières ou
pour les fidèles trépassés, ou pour celui qui aura gagné, ou pour
quelqu'autre qui lui fera indiqué. Le Docteur Navarre ne condamne
pas cet pratique. Le P. Théophile Raynaud témoigne qu'elle est reçue
parmi les devots. Mais pour moi, je la regarde comme un raffinement
de dévotion hétéroclite ou irrégulière, et j'estime qu'il y a de
l'irrévérence à jouër, par exemple, des Pseaumes à reciter, ou des
_Pater noster_, ou des _Ave Maria_ à dire."--Thiers, Traité des Jeux,
p. 425.

[345] On this point the reader is more particularly referred to Thiers,
Traité des Jeux et des Divertissemens, p. 422; and to Barbeyrac, Traité
du Jeu, tom. ii, p. 356, second edit. 1737.

[346] "Toutefois sans venir à telles sortes de blasphèmes, nous en
trouvons de forts sauvages au langage Italien: dont aucuns semblent
plutost sortir de la bouche de diables que d'hommes. Du nombre desquels
est un que j'ouy proférer à Rome par un prestre, lequel sera recité
en son lieu. Mais on luy peut bien donner pour compagnon un qui fût
proféré à Venise par un Italien, non prestre, mais seculier, en jouant
aux cartes en la maison d'un ambassadeur du Roy. Ce blasphème est
tel: 'Venga 'l cancaro ad lupo.' Quel si grand mal y-a-t-il ici? dira
quelqu'un. Le grand mal est en ce que ceci se disoit par une figure,
qui s'appelle aposiopese ou retinenca, en lieu de (comme depuis on
cogneut) 'Venga 'l cancaro, ad lupo che non manjiò christo quando era
agnello.' Or l'appelloit il agnello, ayant esgard à ce qui est dict en
S. Jean, 'Ecce agnus Dei qui tollit peccata mundi.'"

[347] The author of 'A Short Essay on the Folly of Gaming,' reprinted
from the Dublin Intelligencer, in 1734, speaking of the loss of temper
at cards and dice, says: "If any one doubts the truth of this position,
I refer him to the Groom-Porter's, and other public tables, where the
virtuosos of the gaming science are daily and nightly to be seen.
If blasphemy, cursing, swearing, duelling, running of heads against
the wall, throwing hats and wigs in the fire, distortions of the
countenance, biting of nails, burning of cards, breaking of dice-boxes,
can be called a loss of temper, they are to be found there in the
highest degree."--He concludes his essay with the following warning: "I
shall close these cursory reflections with a useful remark of Plato's,
viz. that the Dæmon Theuth was the inventor of Dice; and the vulgar
have it by tradition that cards are the Devil's books; therefore I
cannot but say that after this information given, if gamesters will not
desist, they are undoubtedly at the Devil's devotion."

[348] An Essay upon Gaming, in a Dialogue between Callimachus and
Dolomedes. By Jeremy Collier, M.A. 1713.

[349] This title is taken from the 14th verse of the xxxivth Psalm:
"Depart from evil, and do good." The names of the speakers, Eldad and
Medad, are from Numbers, xi, 26.

[350] Eldad, in replying to this portion of Medad's argument, observes
that Play is not to be compared with commerce or trade, which supplies
men with things necessary or useful, and that in fair trade both the
buyer and the seller are benefited.

[351] Eldad, in answer to this tirade, observes that no blessing can
attend the gains of such an unfeeling character, and that his money
will go as it has come. Out of a thousand, he says, there is not one
who succeeds in such speculations, and that we daily see many reduced
to poverty by them. Trade and commerce supplying us with useful
articles are to be distinguished from speculations which partake of the
nature of gaming.

[352] The following anecdote of a card-playing parson who inopportunely
let some cards drop from his sleeve when in church, occurs in 'The
Women's Advocate, or the Fifteen real Comforts of Matrimony.'--2d edit.

"The Parson that loved gaming better than his eyes, made a good use
of it when he put up his cards in his gown-sleeve in haste, when the
clerk came and told him the last stave was a-singing. 'Tis true, that
in the height of his reproving the Parish for their neglect of holy
duties, upon the throwing out of his zealous arm, the cards dropt out
of his sleeve, and flew about the church. What then? He bid one boy
take up a card and asked him what it was,--the boy answers the King of
Clubs. Then he bid another boy take up another card. 'What was that?'
'The Knave of Spades.' 'Well,' quo' he, 'now tell me, who made ye?' The
boy could not well tell. Quo' he to the next, 'Who redeemed ye?'--that
was a harder question. 'Look ye,' quoth the Parson, 'you think this
was an accident, and laugh at it; but I did it on purpose to shew you
that had you taught your children their catechism, as well as to know
their cards, they would have been better provided to answer material
questions when they come to church.'"

[353] Mons. Peignot says that Mlle. Le Normand, the celebrated
fortune-teller, published in her 'Souvenirs Prophétiques,' Paris, 1814,
the same history, but with the name of the hero changed to Richard
Middleton. Mlle. Le Normand died at Paris in 1843, aged 72, leaving
a fortune, it is said, of 500,000 francs. She had followed the trade
of fortune-telling for upwards of forty years; and is said to have
been frequently consulted by the Empress Josephine, who was extremely
superstitious. A great number of her customers were gamblers, of both
sexes. She is said to have been visited both by Napoleon, and by
Alexander, Emperor of Russia.

[354] Notice Bibliographique sur les Cartes à jouer, p. 9. Paris, 1842.

[355] Since this sheet was in type I have learned that cards are
mentioned in a work entitled 'Le Ménagier de Paris,' written about
1393, by "un bourgeois Parisien," and recently published by the Society
of Bibliophiles Français. In the notice of it in the 'Journal des
Savants' for February last, it said: "On y rencontre des indications
historiques que nul autre ouvrage ne nous fournit; tel est, par
example, la mention des Cartes à jouer."


No. 1.

     _List of the Specimens of Cards given in the 'Jeux de Cartes
     Tarots et de Cartes Numérales, du Quatorzième au Dix-huitième
     Siècle;' published by the Society of Bibliophiles Français, Paris,

1. Seventeen cards, ascribed to Gringonneur, from the originals in the
Bibliothèque du Roi.

2. Ten cards, from the originals engraved on wood and coloured, in the
Bibliothèque du Roi. Supposed date, 1425.

3. Cards, from the originals engraved on wood, in the possession of
Mons. Hémuville. Supposed date, 1440.

4. Copies of the set of fifty old Italian engravings, usually called
Tarocchi. Supposed date, 1470.

5. Ten plates, containing a set of fifty-two circular cards, with the
mark T. W., and having Hares, Parroquets, Pinks, and Columbines as the
marks of the suits. Supposed date, 1477.

6. Four cards of a pack engraved on copper at Venice in 1491.

7. Ten plates, containing forty cards, with Human Figures, Bears and
Lions, Deer, and Birds as the marks of the suits. From the originals,
ascribed to the "Master of 1466," formerly in the possession of Mr. T.
Wilson, but now in the Bibliothèque du Roi.

8. Four plates, containing thirty-six cards of a German pack of
fifty-two, engraved on wood, of the date 1511.

9. A plate, containing sixteen Portuguese cards, of the date 1693.

10. A plate, containing twelve French cards, engraved by Vincent
Goyraud, of the time of Henry IV.

11. A plate, containing sixteen French cards, of the time of Louis XIII.

12. A plate, containing twelve cards of a Republican pack, engraved in
France about 1793.

13. A plate, containing twelve cards of another Republican pack,
engraved in France about the same period as the preceding.

The originals of all the specimens, with the exception of those
mentioned under No. 3, are preserved in the Bibliothèque du Roi.

No. 2.

     _A List of the principal Works either directly relating to Cards,
     or incidentally treating of the Game. From the 'Jeux de Cartes
     Tarots et de Cartes Numérales,' with many additions._

Le Ménagier de Paris: traité de morale et d'économie domestique,
composé, vers 1393, par un Bourgeois Parisien. Publié pour la première
fois par la Société des Bibliophiles Français. 8vo, Paris, 1848.

Ingold, Das Güldin Spil. Folio, Augsburg, 1472.

Baptista Platina, de Honesta Voluptate. 4to, Venice, 1475.

Galeottus Martius, de Doctrina promiscua. About 1490.

R. Maphei Volaterrani Commentaria Urbana. 1506.

Logica Memorativa: Chartiludium logice, auctore Thoma Murner. 4to,
Cracoviæ, 1507. Strasburg, 1509. Reprinted at Paris. 8vo, 1629.

Philesii Vosgesigenæ Grammatica figurata. 4to, 1509.

Speculum Fatuorum, auctore Joanne Geiler de Kiesersberg, concionatore
Argentorense. Sect. lxxvii, Lusorum turba. 4to, Strasburg, 1511.

Chartiludium institute summarie, vel institutiones Justiniani; doctore
Thoma Murner, memorante et ludente. 4to, Argentinæ, 1518.

Dialogi omnes Hadriani Barlandi. 8vo, Paris, 1542.

Ludus Chartarum, Dialogus, auctore Ludovico Vives. 1545.

Raggionamiento del divino Pietro Aretino, nel quale si parla del
giuoco, con moralità piacevole. 8vo, about 1545. Reprinted in 1589 and

Le Mépris et le Contemnement de tous les Jeux de Sort, par Ol. Gouyn.
8vo, Paris, 1550.

Cento Giuochi liberali e d'ingegno, da Innocentio Ringhieri ritrovati.
4to, Bologna, 1551.

Satyra invectiva contra los Tahures: en que se declaran los daños? que
al cuerpo, y al alma, y la hazienda se siguen del juego de los naypes.
(Por Diego del Castillo.) 12mo, Sevilla, 1557.

Pascasius Justus, de Alea. About 1560. Reprinted in 4to, with a large
Appendix on the subject of gaming, selected from various authors, by
Joannes a Munster, at Neustadt, in the diocese of Spires, 1617.

Hieronymi Cardani Lib. de ludo Aleæ. About 1560.

John Northbrooke's Treatise against Dicing, Dancing, Plays, and other
Idle Pastimes, 1577. Reprinted by the Shakspeare Society, 1843.

Liber de Alea, ou breve Remontrance sur les Jeux de Cartes et de Dés,
par Lambert Daneau. Small 8vo, Paris, 1579.

Philip Stubbes's Anatomy of Abuses. 12mo, 1583.

Reginald Scott's Discovery of Witchcraft. 4to, 1584.

Le Triomphe du Berlan, par J. Perrache. 8vo, Paris, 1585.

Del Giuoco; Discorso del R. Padre M. Tommaso Buoninsegni. 4to,
Florence, 1585.

A Short and Plain Dialogue concerning the Unlawfulness of Playing at
Cards or Tables. By James Balmford. First edition, 1593. Reprinted in

Les Tromperies et Piperies du Jeu, ou la Mort aux Pipeurs. 12mo, Paris,

The Four Knaves, a series of Satirical Tracts. By Samuel Rowlands,
1611-13. Reprinted by the Percy Society, 1843.

Commentarius contra Ludum Alearum, Chartarum scilicet ac Taxillorum; a
Fratre Angelo Roccha, episcopo Tagastensi. 4to, Rome, 1616.

On the Nature and Use of Lots. By Thomas Gataker, B.D. 4to, London,
1619. Second edition, 1627.

Académie des Jeux. 12mo, Paris, 1659. Numerous enlarged editions of
this work have been published.

And. Senftlebius, de Alea veterum, p. 137-8. 8vo, Leipsic, 1667.

The Compleat Gamester. By Charles Cotton. 12mo, London, 1674.

Der Gelehrte und Bekehrte Spieler: das ist ein annehmliches
Tractätlein, darinnen zwey Jüdische Studenten scharffsinnig disputiren,
Was vom Spiel zu halten sey? Ins Deutsche übersetzet von P. A.
Christian. 12mo, Leipzig, 1683. The first edition of the original
Hebrew appears to have been printed at Venice about 1615. A second
edition was printed at Leyden about 1660.

Traité des Jeux et des Divertissemens, par M. Jean Baptiste Thiers,
Docteur en Théologie. 12mo, Paris, 1686.

Parallèle entre la Jurisprudence espagnole et celle de France,
relativement aux Jeux de Cartes, par Lucio Marinero Siculo, 1686.

Elenchus quorumdam eorum qui de ludis scripserunt, et de ludis
orientalibus; auctore Thoma Hyde. 12mo, Oxford, 1694.

Réflexions sur ce que l'on appelle Bonheur et Malheur en matière de
Loteries (Par J. Le Clerc.) 12mo, Amsterdam, 1696.

Bibliothèque instructive et curieuse, par le Père Menestrier. 12mo,
Trévoux, 1704.

Essai d'Analyse sur les Jeux de Hasard (cartes, dés, tric-trac). Fig.
de Seb. Leclerc. 4to, Paris, 1708.

Traité du Jeu, où l'on examine les principales Questions de Droit
naturel et de Morale qui ont rapport à cette matière, par Jean
Barbeyrac. 16mo, Amsterdam, 1710. Seconde edition, revue et augmentée,

An Essay upon Gaming, in a Dialogue between Callimachus and Dolomedes.
By Jeremy Collier. A.M. 8vo, London, 1713.

Memoirs of the Lives, Intrigues, and Comical Adventures of the most
Famous Gamesters and Celebrated Sharpers in the reigns of Charles II,
James II, William III, and Queen Anne. By Theophilus Lucas, Esq. 12mo,

The Court Gamester: or full and easy instructions for playing the Games
now in vogue. By Richard Seymour, Esq. 12mo, second edition, London,

Dissertation sur l'Origine du Jeu de Piquet, par le Père Daniel,
extraite du Journal de Trévoux, Mai, 1720.

A View of the Antique Laws against Immorality and Profaneness. By the
Rev. John Disney, A.M. Folio, London, 1729.

A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist. By Edmond Hoyle, Gent. 12mo,
first published about 1737.

Istoria della Citta di Viterbo, da Feliciano Bussi. Folio, Rome, 1740.
This work contains the extract from Covelluzzo, relating to the
introduction of cards into Viterbo, in 1379, first pointed out by M. C.

The Humours of Whist; a Dramatic Satire: as acted every day at WHITE'S,
and other Coffee-houses and Assemblies. 8vo, London, 1743.

A Letter to a Lady on Card-playing on the Lord's Day. 8vo, London, 1748.

Longuerana. Tom. i, p. 408. 12mo, Berlin, 1754.

Recherches sur les Cartes à jouer, par Bullet. 12mo, Lyon, 1757.

H. J. Clodii Bibliotheca Lusoria, sive Notitia Scriptorum de Ludis.
8vo, 1761.

Meerman, Origines Typographicæ. Vol. I. 4to, 1765.

Traité historique et pratique de la Gravure en Bois, par J. M.
Papillon. Tom. i, p. 80. 8vo, Paris, 1766.

Burgh on the Dignity of Human Nature. Vol. II, p. 164-6. 8vo, 1767.

Coutumes d'Italie, par Baretti. Vol. II. London, 1768.

Encyclopédie des Arts et Métiers (Art du Cartier), par Duhamel du
Monceau. 4to, 1771-76.

Idée générale d'une Collection d'Estampes, par le Baron de Heineken.
8vo, Leipsic, 1771.

Recueil des Actes sur la Régie du Droit des Cartes. 4to, Paris, 1771.

Il Giuoco del Carte, da Saverio Bettinelli. 8vo, Cremona, 1775.

C. G. Von Murr, Journal zur Kunstgeschichte, 2ter Theil, s. 89-92; 98;
200. 12mo, Nuremberg, 1776.

Explication du Jeu des Cartes, anecdote curieuse sous le nom de Louis
Bras-de-fer. 12mo, 1778. The original of the story of the soldier who
used a pack of cards for his prayer-book.

Sur la Passion du Jeu, par Dusaulx. 8vo, Paris, 1779. Mons. Peignot
says that this work seems to have produced but little effect; for
in the following year a counsellor of parliament, M. Bergeret de
Frouville, lost at one sitting 27,000 louis.

Eclaircissements sur l'Invention des Cartes à jouer, par l'Abbé Rive.
12mo, Paris, 1780.

Le Monde primitif, par Court de Gebelin, tom. viii, pp. 365-418. 4to,
Paris, 1781.

Versuch den Ursprung der Spielkarten zu erforschen. Von J. G. I.
Breitkopf. 4to, Leipsic, 1784.

A Dissertation on the pernicious effects of Gaming. By Richard Hey,
LL.D. 8vo, Cambridge, 1784.

Archæologia, vol. viii. Dissertations on the History of Playing Cards,
by Barrington, Bowle, and Gough. 4to, London, 1787. In Vol. XV of the
same work there is an Account of the Italian game of Minchiate.

Whist: a Poem, in twelve cantos. By Alex. Thomson, Esq. 12mo, second
edition, London, 1792.

Leçons sur l'Histoire universelle, depuis le commencement du XVI^e
Siècle par M. Fant, Professeur à l'Université d'Upsal, 1780-93. In this
work the author speaks of the engraving of cards as having led to the
invention of printing.

Decret de la Convention, dite Nationale de France, du 22 Octobre, 1793,
qui enjoint aux municipalités Françaises de purger les cartes à jouer
de tous les emblèmes de la royauté et de la féodalité.

Materiali per servire all' Storie dell' Origine e de' Progressi dell'
Incisioue in Rame e in Legno, col. da Pietro Zani, pp. 78-81, et
149-93. 8vo, Parma, 1802.

The Monthly Repository of Theology and General Literature. Vol. I, pp.
534, 644-50. On the Propriety of Dissenting Ministers playing at Cards.
8vo, 1806.

Essai sur l'Origine de la Gravure en Bois et en Taille-douce, par Henri
Jansen. 8vo, Paris, 1808.

Le Peintre-Graveur, par Adam Bartsch, tom. x, pp. 70-120, et tom. xiii,
pp. 120-38. 8vo, Vienna, 1812.

Aperçu du Jeu des Tarots, ou Jeu de la Vie, &c., par Durand. 12mo,
Metz, 1813.

Hindostanee Cards. In the Calcutta Magazine, vol. ii. 8vo, Calcutta,

Researches into the History of Playing Cards; with Illustrations of the
Origin of Printing and Engraving on Wood. By Samuel Weller Singer. 4to,
London, 1816.

Mélanges d'Origines étymologiques et de Questions grammaticales, par
Eloi Johanneau. P. 35, Sur l'Origine étymologique du Nom Espagnol et
Italien des Cartes à jouer. 8vo, Paris, 1818.

The Gaming Calendar, to which are added the Annals of Gaming. By
Seymour Harcourt, Esq. 12mo, third edition, London, 1820.

Geschichte der Holzschneidekunst; nebst zwei Beilagen enthaltend den
Ursprung der Spielkarten und ein Verzeichness der samt xylographischen
Werke, von Joseph Heller. 8vo, Bamberg, 1823.

Analyse critique et raisonnée de toutes les Recherches publiées jusqu'à
ce jour sur l'Origine des Cartes à jouer, par G. Peignot (à la suite de
ses Recherches sur les Danses de Mort.) 8vo, Dijon, 1826.

Catalogue raisonné of the select collection of engravings of an
Amateur, (Mr. T. Wilson) pp. 87-91. 4to, London, 1828.

Manuel du Cartonnier, du Cartier, et du Fabricant de Cartonnages. Par
M. Lebrun, pp. 189-237. 16mo, Paris, 1830.

Memorie spettanti alla storià délia Calcografia, dal conte Leopold
Cicognara. 8vo, Prata, 1831.

Origine Française de la Boussole et des Cartesà jouer, par Rey. 8vo,
Paris, 1836.

Observations sur les Cartes à jouer, par M. Duchesne ainé, extraites de
l'Annuaire Historique pour 1837. 12mo, Paris, 1836.

Gaming, and the Gaming Houses of London and Paris, or Les Maisons des
Jeux dévoilées. By Scrutator. 8vo, London, 1836.

A Treatise on Wood Engraving. (By Wm. A. Chatto.) P. 52-9. Royal 8vo.
Published by Charles Knight and Co., London, 1839.--Copies of this work
without the _Third_ Preface are incomplete.

Catalogue des livres, dessins, cartes, etc., de M. C. Leber. 8vo,
Paris, 1839. The list of works on cards, and of old cards collected by
Mons. Leber, is in tom. i, p. 240 et seq.

Etudes historiques sur les Cartes à jouer, principalement sur les
Cartes Françaises. Par M. C. Leber. Extrait du tome xvi des Mémoires de
la Société Royale des Antiquaires de France. 8vo, Paris, 1842.

Notice Bibliographique sur les Cartes à jouer. 8vo, Paris, 1842.--A
Translation from the 'Lehrbuch einer Literargeschichte der berühmtesten
Volker des Mittelalters.' Von J. G. T. Grasse, Dresden, 1842, with
additions, by Brunet, the younger.

Dictionnaire historique des Moeurs des Français, par La Chesnaye des
Bois. Tom. i, p. 374.

Whist. By B. E. Pote. In the Foreign Quarterly Review, No. 48.

On the Costume of Coat Cards. By John Adey Repton. In the 'Gentleman's
Magazine' for November, 1843.

Sur d'anciennes Cartes à jouer, par M. le Baron de Reiffenberg. Dans
le Bulletin de l'Académie Royale des Sciences et des Beaux-arts de
Bruxelles. No. 10, 1847.

Bibliotheca Antiquaria Fabricii.

Vindiciæ typographicæ, auctore Schœpflin.

Dissertation sur l'Origine et le Progrès de la Gravure en Bois, par

Mémoire sur l'Origine de l'Imprimerie, par De Vigny.

Essais sur Paris, par Saint-Foix.

Traité de la Police, par De la Marre.



  Act of Parliament, of 1463, prohibiting the importation of cards, 96.
    --Acts to protect gamesters who play on credit, 147;
    the reason of their partial repeal, 148.

  Advice to professional card-players, 270.

  Alea, a general term for play; supposed to include cards, 61.

  Almanac, Cotta's card, 259;
    the Perpetual, or Gentleman-Soldier's Prayer Book, 321.

  Amadeus VIII, Duke of Savoy, forbids gaming in 1430, 80.

  Ames, William, 129;
    preaches against cards and dice at Cambridge in 1610, 281.

  Amman, Jost, his designs in a book of trades, 84;
    cards of his designing, 238.

  Anderson's History of Commerce, 96.

  ---- Christopher, Annals of the English Bible, 109, 112.

  ---- R., Ballads in the Cumberland dialect, 185.

  Anson, Lord, the circumnavigator, caricatured as a gamester, 181.

  Anstis's History of the Garter, 18.

  Arabian Nights, cards not mentioned in, 46.

  Aretine, Pietro, his Carte Parlanti, 194, 207.

  Assembly-rooms devoted to dancing and cards, 185.

  Astragali, 11.

  Avatars of Vichnou, 38.

  Bacon, Lord, his inquisitive spirit excited when a boy by a juggling
    trick with cards, 118.

  Baker's chronicle, 108.

  Baker and Co.'s eclectic cards, 261.

  Bale, John, uses the word Jack-a-Naipes, 233.

  Balmford's, James, tract concerning the unlawfulness of games of
    hazard, 129, 279.

  Barbeyrac's Traité du Jeu, extracts from, 282-94, 310.

  Barrington's, the Hon. D., Observations on the Antiquity of
    Card-playing in England, 18, 46, 65, 107, 132, 145, 160.

  Barrois, J., on the proper meaning of the name Gringonneur, 76.

  Bartsch's Peintre-Graveur, 200, 223.

  Basset, prohibited by Louis XIV, 147.

  Battle of the Reed Swire, 113.

  Bells, an ornament of dress, 240.
    --Leber's researches on the subject, 240-5.

  Bernardin, St., his address to the citizens of Bologna, 90.

  Bibliophiles Français, specimens of cards published by, 190, 201,
    236, 250-3.

  Blacksmith's coat of arms, 6.

  Bonds, voluntary, to abstain from gaming, 79.

  Bras-de-fer, his moral exposition of a pack of cards, 320, 324.

  Brietkopf's Inquiry into the Origin of Playing Cards, 7, 26, 225,
    227, 239.

  Briefe, the German name for cards, 26.

  Briefmaler, 84.

  Brunet, the younger, his note prefixed to a 'Notice Bibliographique
    sur les Cartes à jouer,' 100, 326.

  Bullet's Recherches Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer, 27-8.

  Buoninsegni's, Father Thomas, Discorso del Giuoco, 90.

  Bussi's History of Viterbo, 23, 73.

  Cabinet du Roi de France, cited, 111.

  Capability of cards as a subject of disquisition, 2.

  Capistran, John, his discourse against gaming at Nuremberg in 1452, 91.

  Card-playing at Bologna in 1423, 90.

  ---- in Germany in the fifteenth century, 92.

  Card-playing common in England as a Christmas game about 1484, 97.

  ---- in Scotland, 98, 110, 113.

  ---- at Rhodes in 1498, 99-100.

  ---- in Ireland and Spain, about 1590, 114-15.

  ---- in the reign of James I, 125.

  ---- in the reign of Charles II, 146-9.

  ---- in the reign of Queen Anne, 165.

  ---- in the reign of George II, 170-80.

  ---- in the reign of George III, 186.

  Cards.--Hindostanee, 32-50.

  ---- Chinese, 55-9.

  ---- old stencilled, in the British Museum, 88.

  ---- Heraldic, 150.
       Historical, 153.
       Mathematical, 155.
       For carving, 156.
       Satirical, 157-9.

  ---- old painted, ascribed to Gringonneur, 195-8.

  ---- Dr. Stukeley's, 205.

  ---- old French, 211, 214.

  ---- old German, engraved on copper, 220-6.

  ---- engraved on copper, ascribed to Israel van Mecken, 226.

  ---- German, engraved on wood, 1511, 236.

  ---- French, of the time of Henry IV, 250.

  ---- Portuguese, of the date 1693, 251.

  ---- French Republican, 253-6.

  ---- American, 256.

  Caricatures in the reign of George II, 181.

  Cartas (Epistolæ) from Carthage, 26.

  Cartes, chartæ, cards, probable etymology of, 20, 22.

  Carving, cards teaching the art, 156.

  Castillo's, Diego del, Satyra contra los Tahures, 115.

  Catharine of Arragon, wife of Henry VIII, a card-player, 107.

  Cervantes' Comical History of Rinconete and Cortadillo, 115.

  Charta, paper, probable etymology of, 24.

  Chaturanga, the Hindostanee name for chess, 16.

  Cheating at cards, trial on the subject, 296.

  Chess, said to have been invented by an Indian, 13.

  Chesterfield, _the_ Earl of, a card-player, 173.

  Chinese cards, 55-9.

  Christie, James, his inquiry into an ancient Greek game, 13.

  Clubs for gaming, 170.

  Cole's, Dr. loss of his commission, 327.

  Collier, Jeremy, on gaming, 312.

  Colours of the ground of the Hindostanee cards, 17, 35, 36, 37.

  Comedy devised on the game of cards, 122.

  Controversy on the lawfulness of playing at cards and other games of
    chance, 128, 279.

  Cook's, Aurelian, Titus Britannicus, 145.

  Cotta's Card Almanacs, 259.

  Cotton's Complete Gamester, 159.

  Counting and guessing, 11.

  Covelluzzo's account of the introduction of cards into Viterbo,
    23, 73.

  Cuffe, secretary to the Earl of Essex, his fortunes told by cards,

  Curse of Scotland, 266-8.

  Cyprian, St., his treatise, de Aleatoribus, 61, 290.

  Daniel's, Père, Origine du Jeu de Piquet, 4, 209, 265.

  Dictionary of the Spanish Academy; its sanction of a conundrum as an
    etymology of Naipes, 23.

  Dominotiers, an old name for engravers and colourers of woodcuts, 87.

  Ducange's glossaries, 63, 99.

  Duchesne's, Observations sur les Cartes à jouer, and Précis
    Historique, 65, 99, 189, 204, 206, 210, 225.

  Dunbar's, Wm., poems, 110; Valet of cards, 234.

  Dutch names of the suits of cards, 230.

  Elizabeth, Queen, a card-player, 120.

  Engravings, a series of, improperly called Tarocchi cards, 199-204.

  Epitaph on Beau Nash, 173; on a noble gambler, 297.

  Equity, natural, how to be enforced in games of hazard, 287.

  Evelyn's Memoirs, 146.

  Exchequer, derivation of the word, 16, 21.

  Fante, the Italian name for the Knave of cards, 229.

  Fierge, the Pherz of Persian chess, 14.

  Fleur-de-lis, on coat cards, and in the compass, 7.

  Foreign Quarterly Review, article on Whist, 36.

  Formschneider, a wood-engraver, as distinguished from a
    card-painter, 83.

  Forret, Thomas, his objections to the manner in which many of the
    Scottish clergy, about 1539, spent their tithes, 111-12.

  Fortune, the gambler's goddess, 11.

  Fortune-telling by cards, 116-19.

  Four Kings, a name given to cards, 19.

  Franklin, Dr., his definition of man, 1.

  Freret on the origin of chess, 14.

  Furny card, explained, 109.

  Game, the first played at, 9.

  Games at cards in 1709, 159.
    Before the time of Charles II, 160.

  Games, various, enumerated by Taylor, the water-poet, 163.

  Games, three different species of, 294.

  Gaming, excessive, of the French clergy, about 1580, 111.

  Gammer Gurton's Needle, cards mentioned in, 109.

  Gataker, Thos. B. D., on Lots, 129, 279.

  Gebelin, Court de, finds in cards an abstract of Egyptian learning, 5;
    his explanation of the word Tarocchi, 189.

  Geiler, John, his remarks on card-playing about 1508, 100.

  Geographical cards, 150.

  German cards, names of the suits, 228.

  Gittern, guitar, derivation of the word, 25.

  Goethe's Götz von Berlichingen, 61.

  Gough's Observations on the Invention of Cards, 22.

  Goyraud, Vincent, a French card-manufacturer, of the time of Henry
    IV, 249.

  Grace's card, 266.

  Gregory, Dr., reply of, respecting cards, 77.

  Gringonneur, Jac., paints cards in 1393, 76.

  Guevara's epistles translated into French by Gutery, 66.

  Guilleville's, William de, Pelerinaige de l'Homme, 69.

  Güldin Spil, 74.

  Gungefu, the name for cards among the Moslems, in Hindostan, 41.

  Heineken's Idée générale d'une Collection d'Estampes, 15, 27, 82,

  Helgen, a name given to woodcuts in Suabia, 87.

  Heller's History of Wood-engraving cited, 91, 93.

  Henry VII, a card-player, 98.

  Henry VIII, Act of Parliament against card-playing, 108.

  Henry, Prince of Wales, son of James I, a card-player, 125.

  Heraldic cards, 150-2.

  Herrera relates that Montezuma took pleasure in seeing the Spanish
    soldiers play at cards, 106.

  Hieroglyphics, 6.

  Hindostanee cards, 33-52.

  Historical cards, relating to the Popish plot, and the death of Sir
    E. Godfrey, 153-5.

  Homer, his notice of the games of Petteia and Astragali, 12.

  Houbigant's Cartes Royales, 257.

  Hoyle, Edmond, his treatise on Whist, 162, 170.

  Hume, David, apostrophised as a whist-player, 160.

  Hycke-Scorner, cards mentioned in, 108.

  Hyde, Dr. T., De ludis orientalibus, 16, 265.

  Ingilby, Sir Wm., his examination on the trial, Lord De Ros _versus_
    Cumming, 295.

  Ingold, a Dominican friar, author of the Güldin Spil, 74.

  Injunctions to the clergy, 1559, against card-playing, 121.

  Interpolations of the word Cartes, in old MSS., 67-71.

  Isis, the horned, the original of the Virgin with the crescent on her
    head, 5.

  Italian names of the suits of French cards, 207.

  Jackanapes, the probable etymology of the word, 231-5.

  Jack at Warts--Jack o'Hearts, 235.

  James IV of Scotland a card-player, 98.

  James I of England a card-player, 126.

  Jansen's Essai sur l'Origine de la Gravure, 67.

  Jeux de Cartes, Barrington's opinion of the signification of the term,

  Johanneau, Eloi, on the etymology of Naipes, and the invention of
    cards, 27-30.

  Johnson, Dr. Samuel, his opinion of card-playing, 302.

  Jones, Sir Wm., on Chess, 15-17.

  Jonson, Ben, his device for Abel Drugger's sign, 6.

  Juggling tricks with cards, 118.

  Junius, F., his explanation of the word Quartes, 22.

  Justus, Pascasius, his work on gaming, 115, 174, 271.

  Kartenmacher at Augsburg in 1418, 81;
    at Ulm, 82.

  Knave, the original meaning of the word, 231.

  Lassale, Antoine de, author of the Chronicle of Jehan de Saintré, 68.

  Latrunculi, 12.

  Leber's, M. C., Etudes Historiques sur les Cartes à Jouer, 8, 23, 73,
    85, 103, 132, 155, 211-13, 217, 220, 240-9.

  Le Normand, Mlle., the Parisian fortune-teller, 324.

  Leo X, a trick of his at cards, 174.

  List of specimens of cards published by the Society of Bibliophiles
    Français, Appendix, No. 1, 333.

  List of works relating to cards, Appendix, No. 2, 334.

  Locke, John, his opinion of card-playing, 302.

  Lookup, the gamester, 173-6.

  Loyola, St. Ignatius, wins, miraculously, at billiards, 292.

  Lusty Juventus, cards mentioned in, 108.

  Lyly, John, represents Cupid and Campaspe playing at cards, 123.

  Lyndsay, Sir David, satirises the card-playing of the clergy in
    Scotland, about 1535, 110.

  Machiavelli on Fortune, 10.

  Madden's, Sir F., Privy-purse Expenses of the Princess Mary, daughter
    of Henry VIII, 109.

  Magasin Pittoresque, article on cards in, 71.

  Manners in the time of Charles II, 143;
    George II, 176.

  Manufacture of cards, extensive in Germany about 1450, 82;
    at Venice, 1441;
    in England, 131, 166, 272.

  Mappa, its ancient meaning, 29.

  Margaret, daughter of Henry VII, found playing at cards by her
    affianced husband, James IV of Scotland, 98.

  Marks of the suits of cards, 206.

  Martius, Galeottus, speculates on the meaning of the marks of the
    suits, 93.

  Mary, the Princess, daughter of Henry VIII, afterwards queen, a
    card-player, 109.

  Mary, daughter of James II, afterwards queen, a card-player, 146.

  Mazarine, Cardinal, played at cards when dying, 310.

  Mecken, Israel van, cards supposed to be engraved by, 226.

  Meerman's reference to the chronicle of Petit-Jehan de Saintré, 68.

  Menestrier's, Père, Bibliothèque curieuse et instructive, 3, 76, 80,
    151, 191.

  Meré, the Chevalier de, submits certain questions to Pascal respecting
    chances at play, 157. [See the treatise on Probability, by Lubbock
    and Drinkwater, published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful
    Knowledge, p. 12; 41-50.]

  Merrels, the game of, 13.

  Meursius, de Ludis Græcorum, 5.

  Millin's description of the Marquis Girolamo's cards, 229.

  Morelli's chronicle, 73.

  Moxon's cards for carving, 156;
    astronomical cards, 157.

  Murner's Chartiludium, or logical card-play, 101-5.

  Murr's, C. G. von, Journal, 75, 81, 85, 133, 226.

  "Murry neet," in Cumberland, 185.

  Nabob, the meaning of the word, 22.

  Naibi, and Naipes, speculations on the name as applied to cards, 22-9.

  Names of the suits of Hindostanee cards, 41-2; of German, Spanish,
    Italian, and French cards, 228.

  ---- given to coat cards, 208, 211, 215.

  ---- of particular cards, 265-9.

  Nash, Beau, his reign at Bath, 171.

  Nine of Diamonds,--the Curse of Scotland, 266-8.

  Noctes Ambrosianæ., extract from, relative to card-playing, 303.

  Ombre, Barrington's conjecture as to the time of its introduction into
    England, 145.

  ---- Pope's description of, frequently praised, 167.

  One-and-thirty, a popular game at cards in Ireland and Spain, 115.

  Pair of Cards, the old name for a pack, 269.

  Pam, the Knave of Clubs, 269.

  Pamphlets with titles borrowed from the game of cards, 138.

  Paris, Mons. Paulin, his collation of MSS. of Wm. de Guilleville's
    poem of the Pilgrimage of Man, 70;
    his conjectures respecting the name Valery on a Knave of cards, 218.

  Parson, the, that loved gaming better than his eyes, 321.

  Paston, Margery, mentions cards as a Christmas game, about 1484, 97.

  Peignot's Analyse de Recherches sur les Cartes à jouer, 20, 69, 81,
    253-6, 259, 265.

  Pepin, Nicolas, said to be the inventor of cards, 23.

  Pepys's Diary, 146.

  Perlimpimpim, the by-name of an Italian juggler in 1622, 117.

  Phaer's Book of Precedents, 121.

  Picture cards in Cotta's Card Almanac, 259.

  Piozzi, Mrs., refers to the game of the Four Kings, 20.

  Piquet, the meaning of the game explained by Père Daniel, 209.

  Platina, B., cards mentioned by, 93.

  Pollux, Julius, his account of the game of Petteia, 13.

  Pomegranate, a mark on cards, 226.

  Poupart, C., pays Gringonneur for cards in 1393, 74.

  Prayer-book, the soldier's, in a pack of cards, 321.

  Prayers, playing for, 311.

  Price of a pack of cards in the time of Roger Ascham, 133;
    in the reign of Queen Anne, 167.

  Process of card-making at De La Rue and Co.'s, 272.

  Prodigal, picture of a, 163.

  Protestants of Ireland, in the reign of Queen Mary, how saved from
    persecution, 327.

  Pulci's Morgante Maggiore--Re di Naibi, 234.

  Quartes, 22.

  Quatuor Reges, a game so called, mentioned in the wardrobe accounts of
    Edward I, 18, 64.

  Queen, none in the earliest European cards, 15.

  Quire, derivation of the word, 25.

  Rabelais, translated by Urquhart, 19.

  Rabbinical treatise against gaming, 316-20.

  Reiffenberg, the Baron de, his account of a woodcut discovered at
    Malines, with the supposed date 1418, 86;
    mistakes the Spanish _sota_ for a female, 229.

  Rennell, Dr. Thomas, his sermon against gaining, 187.

  Republican cards, 253-6.

  Rey, M., on cards, 7.

  Ringhieri's Cento Giuochi liberali, 53.

  Rive's, the Abbé, Eclaircissements Historiques sur les Cartes à jouer,
    20, 66.

  Roccha, Angelus, Commentarius contra Ludum Alearum, 61.

  Rogers represents the followers of Columbus playing at cards, 105.

  Rowlands, Sam., his Knave of Hearts, and More Knaves yet, 134-7.

  Roy's, William, satire on Cardinal Wolsey, 109.

  Russia, great consumption of cards in, 272.

  Sadler's, Sir Ralph, State Papers, 112.

  Saint Foix's historical essays on Paris, 123.

  Saintré, Petit-Jehan de, 68.

  Sales, St. Francis de, a card-player when young, 309.

  Sandro di Pipozzi, cards mentioned in a MS. work of his, 65.

  Sarisberiensis, Joannes, 62.

  Satirical cards, French, about 1819, 264

  Schön, Erhard, cards of his designing, 238.

  Sciential and grammatical cards, 139-41.

  Sex of the East India Company, 32.

  Seymour's Court Gamester, 168.

  Sheppard, W., his England's Balm, 141.

  Sheridan's character of the East India Company, 32.

  Shufflers, diplomatic, 181.

  Singer's Researches into the History of Playing Cards, 7, 131, 147,
    201, 223, 238.

  Skelton's Bowghe of Court,--Card of Ten, 234.

  Solis, Virgil, cards of his designing, 238.

  Solme, Thomas, 'the Bushoppes poure thresshere,' uses the term _Yack
    an napes_, 233.

  Sota, the Spanish name for the Knave of cards, 229.

  South-sea bubble, cards ridiculing the speculators, 169.

  Spata, a weapon figured in Baker and Co.'s eclectic cards, 261.

  St. Christopher, woodcut of, with the date 1423, in Earl Spencer's
    collection, 86.

  Stencilling, early cards executed by means of, 83.

  Stephens, Henry, relates an anecdote of a losing gamester's
    swearing, 312.

  Strutt's Sports and Pastimes, 107.

  Stubbes, Philip, his opinion of playing at cards and other games, 124;
    on ruffs, 165.

  Stukeley, Dr., old cards formerly belonging to, 205.

  Suits of cards, names of, 228, 230.

  Sunday, card-playing on, 146.

  Sûr Mera, the title of a Rabbinical treatise against gaming, 317.

  Swabbers, 161.

  Swearing, a vice to which gamesters are prone, 311.

  Tahures, a Spanish name for gamesters, etymology of the word,
    according to Diego del Castillo, 115, 116.

  Taj, or Tas, a name for cards in Hindostan, 41.

  Tali, 11.

  Tarocchi, or Tarots, 190-5.

  Tarotiers, French card-makers called by this name in 1594, 272.

  Tax on cards, when first levied in England, 131.

  Taylor, the water-poet, his picture of a prodigal, 163.

  Taylor, Dr. Jeremy, on card-playing, 297-300.

  Teniers, in a picture represents two soldiers playing at cards in the
    hall of the high priest, 123.

  Terms used at the game of cards in Hindostan, 43.

  Thiers, Dr. J. B., his Traité des Jeux, 80, 293, 309, 311.

  Thimble-rig superseded by railway speculation, 101.

  Toplady, the Rev. Augustus, on card-playing, 300.

  Townshend, Lord George, caricatures ascribed to, 184.

  Transformation of cards, 260.

  Turner, Sharon, his derivation of the word jackanapes, 231.

  T. W., the initials of the engraver of a pack of cards of the 15th
    century, 222.

  Urquhart, Sir Thomas, his translation of Rabelais, 19.

  Valery, a name on an old Knave of Hearts, 217.

  Valet, the original meaning of the word, 231

  Vega, Garcilasso de la, his account of the Spanish soldiers
    manufacturing cards, 106.

  Vichnou, incarnations of, in a pack of Hindostanee cards, 36-40.

  Vierge, Fierge, Pherz, the queen at Chess, 15-21.

  Visconti, Philip, Duke of Milan, cards painted for him, 230.

  Volay, Jean, a French card manufacturer, 132.

  Volpato, Mons., cards formerly belonging to, 221.

  Ward, Samuel, preacher, of Ipswich, his Woe to Drunkards, 130.

  Wesley, John, sometimes sought an answer by lot, 129: fond of whist
    when a young man, 301.

  Whist, its relation to chess, 17.

  ----, a game of English origin, 160-5.

  White's coffee-house, 161-2; club at, 178.

  Wilson, Mr. T., old cards engraved on copper, formerly belonging
    to, 224.

  Wilson, Professor, on card-playing, in the 'Noctes Ambrosianæ,' 303-7.

  Wood-engraving, the earliest with an authentic date, 85.

  Worcester, council of, prohibitions in its canons, 62.

  Wuruq, a leaf, the name for a card with the Moslems in Hindostan, 25.

  Xavier, St. Francis, card-playing in the East in his time, 53;
    his lenity towards gamesters, 307.

  Yack an napes, Jackanapes, Jack-a-Naipes, the Knave of cards, 233.

  Zani, P. on the Pipozzi MS., 65.



  |  Transcriber's Note:                                               |
  |                                                                    |
  |  Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note where |
  |  the author's original intent was clear.                           |
  |                                                                    |
  |  Punctuation and spelling were made consistent when a predominant  |
  |  form was found in this book; otherwise they were not changed.     |
  |                                                                    |
  |  Ambiguous hyphens at the ends of lines were retained.             |
  |                                                                    |
  |  Mid-paragraph illustrations have been moved between paragraphs    |
  |  and some illustrations have been moved closer to the text that    |
  |  references them. The List of Illustrations paginations and those  |
  |  in image captions were not corrected.                             |
  |                                                                    |
  |  Italicized words are surrounded by underline characters, _like    |
  |  this_. Superscript characters are preceded by a caret,            |
  |  as in n^o or XIV^{me}.                                            |
  |                                                                    |
  |  Footnotes were moved to the ends of the chapters in which they    |
  |  belonged and numbered in one continuous sequence. The pagination  |
  |  of index entries which referred to these footnotes was not        |
  |  changed to match their new locations so they refer to the pages   |
  |  in the main text where the footnotes are referenced.              |
  |                                                                    |
  |  The index entry for "Manufacture of Cards, extensive ... at       |
  |  Venice, 1441;...." lacked a page reference.  That text was found  |
  |  to be on page 194 and was added to the index entry.               |

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