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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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CHAPTER VIII. page 5

A room of this description, a temple dedicated to fashion, fortune,
and flirtation, requires a pen more current, a voice more eloquent,
than mine to trace, condense, vivify, and depict. Taking everything,
therefore, for granted, let us suppose a vast saloon of regular
proportions, rather longer than broad, at either end garnished by a
balcony; beneath, doors to the right and left, and opposite to the
main entrance, conduct to other apartments, dedicated to different
purposes. On entering the eye is at once dazzled by the blaze of
lights from chandeliers of magnificent dimensions, of lamps,
lustres, and sconces. The ceiling and borders set off into
compartments, showered over with arabesques, the gilded pillars,
the moving mass of promenaders, the endless labyrinth of human
beings assembled from every region in Europe, the costly dresses,
repeated by a host of mirrors, all this combined, which the eye
conveys to the brain at a single glance, utterly fails in
description. As with the eye, so it is with the ear; at every
step a new language falls upon it, and every tongue with
different intonation, for the high and the low, the prince, peer,
vassal, and tradesman, the proud beauty, the decrepit crone, some
fresh budding into the world, some standing near the grave, the
gentle and the stern, the sombre and the gay, in short, every
possible antithesis that the eye, ear, heart can perceive, hear,
or respond to, or that the mind itself can imagine, is here to be
met with in two minutes.

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