It plainly follows, that as Playing Cards are the instruments of the most fascinating species of gambling that ever was devised by the ingenuity of man, their origin and history are a very proper subject for rational discussion. A history of Playing Cards, treating of them in all their possible relations, associations, and bearings, would form nearly a complete cyclopaedia of science and art ; and would still admit of being further enlarged by an extensive biographical supplement, containing sketches of the lives of celebrated characters who have played at cards,—or at anyother game. Cards would form the centre—the point, having position, but no space,—from which a radius of indefinite extent might sweep a circle comprehending not only all that man knows, but all that he speculates on.
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