VIII. page 48
`The very name of Aix-la-Chapelle,' says a traveller, `makes one
think (at least, makes me think) of cards and dice,--sharks and
pigeons. It has a "professional odour" upon it, which is
certainly not that of sanctity. I entered the Redoute with my
head full of sham barons, German Catalinas, and the thousand-and-
one popular tales of renowned knights of the green cloth,--their
seducing confederates, and infatuated dupes.
`The rooms are well distributed; the saloons handsome. A
sparkling of ladies, apparently (and really, as I understood) of
the best water, the _elite_, in short, of Aix-la-Chapelle,
were lounging on sofas placed round the principal saloon, or
fluttering about amidst a crowd of men, who filled up the centre
of the room, or thronged round the tables that were ranged on one
side of it.
`The players continued their occupation in death-like silence,
undisturbed by the buzz or the gaze of the lookers-on; not a
sound was heard but the rattle of the heaped-up money, as it was
passed from one side of the table to the other; nor was the
smallest anxiety or emotion visible on any countenance.
`The scene was unpleasing, though to me curious from its novelty.