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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 season of 1869 in Hombourg is thus depicted in a high class

`Never within the memory of the oldest inhabitant (who in this
instance must undoubtedly be that veteran player Countess
Kisselef) has the town witnessed such an influx of tourists of
every class and description. Hotels and lodging-houses are
filled to overflowing. Every day imprudent travellers who have
neglected the precaution of securing rooms before their arrival
return disconsolately to Frankfort to await the vacation of some
apartment which a condescending landlord has promised them after
much negotiation for the week after next. The morning promenade
is a wonderful sight; such a host of bilious faces, such an
endless variety of eccentric costumes, such a Babel of tongues,
among which the shrill twang of our fair American cousins is
peculiarly prominent, could be found in no other place in
the civilized world. A moralist would assuredly find here
abundant food for reflection on the wonderful powers of self-
deception possessed by mankind. We all get up at most
inconvenient hours, swallow a certain quantity of a most nauseous
fluid, and then, having sacrificed so much to appearances, soothe
our consciences with the unfounded belief that a love of early
rising and salt water was our real reason for coming here, and
that the gambling tables had nothing whatever to do with it.
Perhaps, in some few instances, this view may be the correct one;
some few invalids, say one in a hundred, may have sought Hombourg
solely in the interest of an impaired digestion, but I fear that
such cases are few and far between; and, as a friend afflicted
with a mania for misquotation remarked to me the other day, even
"those who come to drink remain to play."

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