PART I. GAMES OF CHANCE.
Nothing, perhaps, throws out in more odious relief the weakness of human nature, or exhibits more forcibly its tendency to superstition, than Games of Chance. How often do we see gamesters who attribute their ill-luck to the persons who may accidentally approach them, or to other circumstances equally fortuitous ! Some make it a rule always to play with the winning cards, from the conviction that a certain good luck is inherent in them; others, on the contrary, attach themselves with obstinate pertinacity to the losing ones, impressed with the idea, that as they have lost several times, it is less probable that they will lose again ; as if the past could have any influence on the future. To such an extent are these superstitious ideas carried, that many players actually refuse to shuffle the cards unless in certain situations, and who think that they will infallibly lose by the slightest deviation from these absurd