24. The reflection of such a match as spotless innocence with abandoned lewdness, is what puts this vice in the worst figure it can bear with regard to others; but when it is looked upon with respect only to the drunkard himself, it has deformities enough to make it disagreeable, which may be summed up in a word, by allowing, that he who resigns his reason, is actually guilty of all that he is liable to from the want of reason.
TATLER, Vol. IV, No. 241.
1. ’As soon as you have set up your unicorn, there is no question but the ladies will make him push very furiously at the men; for which reason, I think it is good to be beforehand with them, and make the lion roar aloud at female irregularities. Among these I wonder how their gaming has so long escaped your notice.
2. ’You who converse with the sober family of the Lizards, are, perhaps, a stranger to these viragoes; but what would you say, should you see the Sparkler shaking her elbow for a whole night together, and thumping the table with a dice-box? Or how would you like to hear good widow lady herself returning to her house at midnight and alarming the whole street with a most enormous rap, after having sat up till that time at crimp or ombre? Sir, I am the husband of one of these female gamesters, and a great loser by it both in rest my and pocket. As my wife reads your papers, one upon this subject might be of use both to her, and;
YOUR HUMBLE SERVANT.’
3. I should ill deserve the name of Guardian, did I not caution all my fair wards against a practice, which, when it runs to excess, is the most shameful but one that the female world can fall into. The ill consequences of it are more than can be contained in this paper. However, that I may proceed in method, I shall consider them, First, as they relate to the mind; Secondly, as they relate to the body.
4. Could we look into the mind of a female gamester, we should see it full of nothing but trumps and mattadores. Her slumbers are haunted with kings, queens, and knaves. The day lies heavy upon her till the play-season returns, when for half a dozen hours together, all her faculties are employed in shuffling, cutting, dealing and sorting out a pack of cards; and no ideas to be discovered in a soul which calls itself rational, excepting little square figures of painted and spotted paper.
5. Was the understanding, that divine part in our composition, given for such an use? Is it thus that we improve the greatest talent human nature is endowed with? What would a superior being think, were he shewn this intellectual faculty in a female gamester, and at the same time told, that it was by this she was distinguished from brutes, and allied to angels?
6. When our women thus fill their imaginations with pips and counters, I cannot wonder at the story I have lately heard of a new-born child that was marked with the five of clubs.