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Gambling at the german bathing-places , chapter 8, page 1

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The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz

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Gambling at the german bathing-places

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`The first visit of the British youth to the Kursaal is usually
paid with fear and trembling. He is with difficulty persuaded to
enter the accursed place. When introduced to the saloons--
delusively called _de conversation_, he begins by staring fixedly
at the chandeliers, the ormolu clocks, and the rich draperies,
and resolutely averts his eyes from the serried ranks of punters
or players, and the Pactolus, whose sands are circulating on the
green cloth on the table. Then he thinks there is no very great
harm in looking on, and so peeps over the shoulder of a
moustached gamester, who perhaps whispers to him in the interval
between two coups, that if a man will only play carefully, and be
content with moderate gains, he may win sufficient--taking the
good days and the evil days in a lump--to keep him in a decent
kind of affluence all the year round. Indeed, I once knew a
croupier--we used to call him Napoleon, from the way he took
snuff from his waistcoat pocket, who was in the way of expressing
a grave conviction that it was possible to make a capital
living at Roulette, so long as you stuck to the colours, and
avoided the Scylla of the numbers and the Charybdis of the Zero.
By degrees, then, the shyness of the neophyte wears off. Perhaps
in the course of his descent of Avernus, a revulsion of feeling
takes place, and, horror-struck and ashamed, he rushes out of the
Kursaal, determined to enter its portals no more.

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