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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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And yet all this is no Babel; for all, though concentrated, is
admirably void of confusion; and evil or strong passions, if they
do exist, are religiously suppressed--a necessary consequence, indeed,
where there can be no sympathy, and where contempt and ridicule
would be the sole reciprocity. In case, however, any such display
should take place, a gendarme keeps constant watch at the door, appointed
by government, it is true, but resembling our Bow-street officers
in more respects than one.

`Now that we have taken a survey of the brilliant and moving
throng, let us approach the stationary crowd to the left hand,
and see what it is that so fascinates and rivets their
attention. They are looking upon a long table covered with green
cloth, in the centre of which is a large polished wooden basin
with a moveable rim, and around it are small compartments,
numbered to a certain extent, namely 38, alternately red and
black in irregular order, numbered from one to 36, a nought or
zero in a red, and a double zero upon the black, making up the
38, and each capable of holding a marble. The moveable rim is
set in motion by the hand, and as it revolves horizontally from
east to west round its axis, the marble is caused by a jerk of
the finger and thumb to fly off in a contrary movement. The
public therefore conclude that no calculation can foretell where
the marble will fall, and I believe they are right, inasmuch as
the bank plays a certain and sure game, however deep, runs no
risk of loss, and consequently has no necessity for superfluously
cheating or deluding the public. It also plays double, that is,
on both sides of the wheel of fortune at once.

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