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The Turf, Historical, Social, Moral

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII | VIII | IX | X | XI | XII | XIII | XIV

The Turf, Historical, Social, Moral

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Casino Gambling in history

The frauds and stratagems of wily craft which once passed current
at Newmarket, surpassed everything that can be imagined at the
present day. The intruding light of the morning was execrated by
the nightly gamblers. 'Grant us but to perish in the light,' was
the prayer of the warlike Ajax:--'Grant us black night for ever,'
exclaimed the gambler; and his wishes were consistent with the
place and the foul deeds perpetrated therein.[79]

[79] The principal gambling-room at Newmarket was called the
'Little Hell.'

Sit mihi fas audita loqui--sit numine vestro,
Pandere res alta terra et caligine mersas.

The turf-events of every succeeding year verify the lament of the
late Lord Derby:--

'The secession from the turf of men who have station and
character, and the accession of men who have neither, are signs
visible to the dullest apprehension. The once national sport of
horse-racing is being degraded to a trade in which it is
difficult to perceive anything either sportive or national. The
old pretence about the improvement of the breed of horses has
become a delusion, too stale for jesting.'

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