« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
The heavy silver coins have accumu- gratefully; He knows not what it lated almost to inconvenience. When is-is too bewildered to count. There they pay they gush silver.
are coins on some of the four numAfter all, this is the liveliest and bers of which the winning number is most exciting of the games. Most one, and then an operation in prowait until the sharp burr tells that portion has to be gone through in a the marble ball has started, and is second, and the amount paid. There running ; then all stoop, and stretch, are other coins, coasting, as it were and lunge, and fire pieces at numbers near the happy number, in a less with marvellous rapidity. Not a se- degree, and their ims have to be cond is lost. Most wonderful is the properly calculated—the result made gamester, with his hands and pockets into the shape of dainty little columns full of pieces, as it were of stones, of gold and silver mixed, gently prowith which, bending over, he covers pelled over to the blessed winner to this, that, every number, scattering his be greedily empochéd, according to pieces as though from a watering-pot. the phrase. But when the thin, Now the ball has begun to dance and gaunt Englishman, who looks more clatter among the brass cells. He or less dissipated and usé, who is dehas a second more, and has contrived corated with a moustache that grows to drop a dozen more coins here, raggedly, has, by some strange chance, there, and everywhere. Then comes placed his Napoleon on the lucky "Il ne va plus," and the gigantic number, when Croupier has chanted raking sets in. Strange to say those “Vingt cinq ! noir pair et passe !" large speculators who try to make the and the bright glittering darling yelgame “ safe” are rarely so successful low coin is seen reposing softly on as small fry. By some perverseness the happy square, a flutter and the lucky number seems to select the rustle runs round. Happy Englishquarter of the board not incumbered man! So calm and so careless. They by this profuse array of coins. He envy him, not the amount so much, will cover the board as closely, as for that is nothing startling-thirtyit is possible. Usually some adroit two Napoleons—but the rare luckgamester will insinuate two or three the winning against such odds. He pieces among the great speculators, leads his coin away, just as the Derby for he has no right to monopolise the winner is led past, pursued with adground, and the result will be a plea- miring glances; and yet the gaunt sant embarrass, it being impossible to Englishman has received back but identify the successful pieces. The a tithe of the capital he has put out. result is decided by the greatest He has been busy all the eveningamount of effrontery, and perhaps a all the week. He cannot play with scramble.
silver; it tastes like weak tea after Again, we have to admire the ad- brandy. He has had losses and gains mirable calculating powers of these too, but many more losses. This is Croupiers. By a rare chance a single behind all those grand coups we see shining new five-franc piece lies upon and envy. They are, as it were, a the number ten, and into the little miserable dividend of two and sixbrass, labelled ten, has the ball leaped pence in the pound. Can we not and is at rest.
sympathize with that surly EnglishEnvied coin! It is regarded hun- man who, coming out furious after grily. Croupier taps it with his being stripped to the last feather by rake, and inquires, “A qui ce piece ?" the calm eunuchs and viziers of A sheepish, rustic looking shopman Benazet, saw* a Frenchman at the rusty in his garments, claims it with door in the act of kneeling down and timidity, and is almost scared at his tying his shoe, very much as though own success. He, too, is regarded he were in skirmishing order. A with interest—with envy. Croupier, strange fit seized on the Englishman ; in a business-like way, washes his he could not restrain himself, but hands, as it were, in a heap of silver, rushing at the Frenchman, gave him and begins spilling, as it were, coins, a sound, bitter, satisfactory kick in into symmetrical rows, of five pieces the quarter of the human continent each ; then shoves it over to the rustic where, as a pleasant Frenchman put shopman. He, quite dazed with his it once, Le dos change du nom.' bliss, takes what is offered to him He added at the same time, “You
are always tying your shoe !" The Administrations generally make this feeling of mind that prompted this remark, that the one which Grand outrage is quite comprehensible. Duke Benazet directs is the least
What dramatic shapes! I say complaisant of the whole. At Homagain ; what eccentricities ! The man burg there is a charming delicacy-a who comes rushing in like a fury, superfluity of attention to players and throws down a note without looking non-players-a strewing of flowers, to the right or left, loses, and is gone! a crowning of garlands, as it were ; The man, who gives money to his Administration suggests the idea of friend in the street, and bids him, as a poor soft put-upon Administration. the clock strikes two, walk in and put Sturdy British fathers in tweeds, and it down on the number two! The coats of true British build, who grasp man who asked the lady to put down their sticks tightly when they tell for him, seeing something encouraging you, “Sir, it is an immoral system, in her face. Those men who are grossly immoral-a gang of sharpers, always getting cards—the punting sir, that if we had before us at Bul. cards-and those pleasant “punting" lington, we would set in the stocks." pins with the large round heads, and Yet this true moral patron will sit on who punt with surprising diligence, the simple-hearted Administration's but never play; I believe they havé velvet couches, in the Administration's mint collections, and whole museums reading-room, and will glare imof little punctured cards and pins at patiently while waiting for the Adhome. That man, too, with the ministration Times. He will go to the MS. book, so neatly ruled and tabu- Administration concerts, and take his lated, and who is present from morn- daughters to the Administration balls. ing till night, reporting every turn He will listen to the delightful music and number of the ball, what enter- of the Administration playing in the tainment can he find in that office? kiosk. Going away he will chuckle over The legend goes that he has been en- all he has "got out” of them, “and, gaged by a company of actionnaires, egad, sir, never left them a penny, not a possibly a société anonyme, to furnish penny, sir.” Poor soft Administration, them with valuable data, which when to be so put upon. They even sug; of respectable extent, will be submit- gest the idea that they like that sort ted to a skilful mathematician to of thing. They go out of their way calculate whatever doctrine of chance to be tricked and humbugged in this may be got out of them. The Com- fashion. Here are gamekeepers, dogs, pany's funds will then be applied in and prize shooting grounds of the Ada series of duly regulated mises. ministration, and, I believe, even dogs,
There is a Buhl cabinet in the if it be insisted upon. Surely, patrons room, which is surveyed at times with of the sport cannot contribute to the a greedy interest, for it is known to be necessities of the Administration ! a sort of temporary bank or strong Was there ever such a suicidal policy? box of the administration. Now and Mysterious body! again, when M. le Marquis sends No; in Duke Benazet's dominions one of the undertaker's menials for a they are not nearly so easy and foolishly rouleau or so on loan (which he does good-natured, and for this simple very much as though he were sending reason-the De Jure government has for a toothpick, and which is brought an unhandsome, unmanly way of dealto him much in the same way), the ing with them, threatening periodigray-headed Dissenting-looking old cally, every now and again, to withgentleman in a tail coat unlocks this draw their licence. It is believed Buhl safe, and snatches out a blue there is no serious intention of this rouleau or two. A hundred pair of sort on foot; but still it imparts an eyes assist at the operation, but they unhappy tone of insecurity to the have barely a glimmer of the treasure commonwealth. There is an antawithin; the menial carries it away gonism too, between the two governstealthily, like a candle-end done up ments. The Roi faineant believes he
is strong and independent, and might flourish without their aid. He envies
them their popularity. But in HomSKILFUL persons who have studied burg all is charming harmony. There and compared the physiognomies of is a lease of tremendous length,
in blue paper.
V. ROUGE GAGNE.
stretching, I believe, to the end of the each ; shall be sealed with the Grand century, such as only good and im- Ducal seal, and verified before being proving tenants deserve; they are opened by one of the Grand Ducal secure, and cannot be evicted. Every- Commissioners of the Games. In his thing is smooth. Croupiers have presence they must then be counted. private instructions to smile, and * 4. The bank must use fresh cards satisfy all claims with empressement. every day, and even during the course There are ladies and gentlemen there of the day, if the gallery require it; who make a genteel profession of also, if the bank has been broken." acting the victim of a mistake of the Every scene, in short, in the piece banks, and who each day suffer from is provided for by strict regulation. their little silver piece being raked in Even the Croupiers must relieve each by a very pardonable accident. These other at certain fixed hours ; and the persons trade on the compliant temper police are charged to see that there is of the Administration, and actually no change in the seasons of release. earn the price of their day's table d'hôte At the end of the day the Grand Duin this pleasant way.
cal Commissioner of the Games again Inside hang on the walls large slips on the scene, and in his presence printed placards, framed and labelled, the cards are again counted, *Spiel Ordnung” or,
Reglement trôlés," and carefully sealed up. pour les Jeux," and which leave a Thé roulette board is also visited police savour. Looking at the bottom by that functionary, and also sealed I find them, signed
up with his seal. On the cards he
writes the date of the day, and they “KUNTZ.”
are carefully put by for a whole year. And a little over Kuntz, I find
There are two important regulaKuntz' style and titles :
tions which I can testify from expe“Le Directeur de la Ville ; President rience to having often seen violated, de la Commune des Bains."
No stake is to be received on mere Kuntz! Admirable name ! sharp, parole, but must be laid down on the short, and jerky; such as Kuntz is him- board in very hard cash ; neither may self, in all probability, or should be. It the banker or his employés lend mois Kuntz, then, who has set his hand and ney to any of their guests. The conseal to the arbitrary regulations which trary is done over and over again. follow, and which show, as was before But Benazet is Sultan, and can do as remarked, suspicious and unhealthy he please. relations between the authorities of Again, notice must be given-at the place, typified by “Kuntz,” and cards before the card-deal; at roulette, the good-natured purveyors to our before the three last twirls—that the amusement. These are the stringent game is about to conclude. If the regulations
roulette cylinder for any reason has 1. The play shall commence every to be changed, the functionary assures year on the 1st of May and end on the himself by various tests that the new 31st of October. During this period cylinder is in perfect "equilibre." the bank shall open every morning at Neither cards nor ball may be touched eleven o'clock, but on Sundays and before all stakes have been paid. holidays only after the Church ser- Every unclaimed stake won by an vices shall have terminated. (Who anonymous or made by an anonyma, shall say our Administration is not must be kept for the orphans for moral, or even pious ?), At midnight whom Stultz (who was Stultz ?) it must close; but on ball nights it founded an asylum. When I see may go on until the fête is over-i.e., Croupiers surreptitiously, and with an until two, three, or four, A.M. air of abstraction, raking in this un
“ 2. The authorities reserve to claimed specie about a dozen times in themselves the right of deciding who the day, I am tempted to call out shall be admitted. The police shall “Stultz! Stultz!"
What the orhave the right of removing such per- phans receive from this source of sons as they please. (Moral Adminis- income must be slender, indeed. It tration again!)
would be better for Stultz and his “3. Cards with white backs only orphans to compound for a small allowed. Every case of cards shall steady allowance. contain six packs of fifty-two cards The lowest coin taken at roulette VOL. LXIII._NO. CCCLXXVIII.
is a florin (18. 8d.), and at thirty and cathedral; and here of a Sunday, as we forty, two foring—a rule also violated; pass by, we can hear a rich, old organ, for that coin is always rejected as trumpeting, swelling, rising, and falldegradingly small. At roulette the ing, within. Hither do the honest highest stake allowed is six Louis for Baden agricultural men and women the numbers and 4,000 francs for the repair--rough, rude, figures, racing if other departments; for rouge et noir, farming-earrings in the men's ears6,000 francs.
uninfected by the polite plague On the whole, taking these regula- raging below ;-most honest, faithful, tions into consideration, I would say sturdy, and devout children of labour, that they were framed in a spirit un- whom I see reading their prayers generously hostile to King Benazet, earnestly from books. and almost suspicious of that poten- A quaint, old electoral sort of intate.
terior, with the tombs, grand-ducal, Strange to say, it was difficult to scattered all about, in corners and get a glimpse of this secret and mys- nooks ; each conceived in the oldterious power. King Benazet kept fashioned, windy flamboyancy-the himself shrouded, like a veiled pro- luxuriance of gilt scroll-work and phet. Surely it would be supposed flowing drapery, which is not unwelthat such a monarch would be digito come to the eye. This little Cathemonstrari ad nauseam-he would be dral, too, being built in a misty, the lion; and yet I can see the feel- rambling way, gives an artful idea of ing towards him is hostile. I was greater height and space in the recesses almost shocked when on asking a lady and galleries, from one of which our who sold cartes de visite down in the profane fiddlers and drummers, who pretty little alley, which may be have been busy the night before furcalled “ Baden Vanity Fair"-she nishing wicked
music from their green replied pertly, and with a curl of her alcove on the Prado, are now joining lip, in disparagement, “C'est n'est pas melodiously in one of Hummel's best un grand homme ça.” I respectfully masses. These men are the very dissent from that view.
Swiss of musicians as the latter had What a deal there is in a name. their swords ready always for At home there are people who, in gent,” so do the former proffer their their coarse way, would call this bows and fiddles with the strictest imillustrious man the keeper of a hell. partiality. Church, gambling rooms, Here this keeper of a hell, if it must theatre, and ball-it is all one to them. be so, has a lovely palace of a villa— Money is king here. the Villa Benazet. Here this keeper Baden Sundays are very gay fesof a hell gives parties, the most delight- tivals, especially when it is a festiful soirees and balls, to choice artistic val Sunday. For then flock in from guests. To him comes on a visit all points, the strangest, wildest, Viardot Garcia, the incomparable, and and most motley miscellany that can gives bits of “Orfeo” to delighted be conceived. The opera chooses its audiences. To him comes the Italian best piece, and its best men and artists on furlough-to play at his women. The orchestra scrape less opera house, it is said, Franco, and in mechanically, and much as though return are entertained sumptuously. the director had inserted a key someHe is not so bad, this hell-keeper, where under the shoulderblade of after all. In alliance with him is King each performer, and wound him up Girardin, late of The Presse, whose with half a dozen turns. WhiteVilla Girardin is pointed out to all coated Austrian officers, with storkstrangers. He has reunions too- shaped legs, and spectacles on, move witty, artistic, brilliant.
about in pairs, saluting everybody with In short, it is a gay kingdom, and laborious and overdone salaams. we must not look this gift horse—the There are Prussian officers meanderArabian they call Benazet—too closely ing in pairs also, whose flat epaulettes in the mouth.
look so old-fashioned, and who salute The offices of piety are not neglected the Austrians when they meet. It is at this little depôt of dice and cards. the reign of universal salaams. Little High up, on the side of the hill, with cadets are only too happy to have the its porch actually appearing to be on opportunity, and assert their quality the roofs of the houses below, is the by saluting officers, policemen-every
body that is salutable. The music is see the horizon is cleared of human exquisite if it be a Prussian band, beings, save, perhaps, of one luckless and if they are playing that wonder- wretch seen fying for his life. The ful musical entanglement, called the shipwrecked ones, huddled together “ Tannhäuser Overture,” that mass of on the island, look out more and sweets and sours--of melody and dis- more dismally, and see no hope. * cord-of method and extravagance, These happy hunting grounds are which divides all Germany as though enclosed within gates and railings, it were a political faith. Something with avenues and walks, which the of this party spirit is to be seen on wheel of cab or carriage is not perthis very night; for a knot of men mitted to mark. Such assistance gathers round the kiosk in a knot, therefore as takes the shape of cabs and when the overture is done, burst may be seen afar off out in the heavy into a laboured applause very much rain, like boats that may not come akin to that of the Claque.
in close to shore. The water between Some of these gala nights at times is by this time like a shining pond, end disastrously Huge vaporous and the shipwrecked ones huddle toclouds, charged with waterspouts, gether yet more closely upon their are always lying in wait over the island. It is the most dismal prosBaden lieges, and burst upon them pect in the world. An hour passes without a second's warning. One away; King Roulette's palace is shut soft Sunday night, about ten, the up. Lamps all about the garden are walks are crowded. The dresses are put out one by one. We should be gay, and the music is just finishing. all in sheer darkness on our island, Café is in full work. Suddenly a few but for the charity of the Adminiswarning drops, heavy as molten lead, tration, who kindly allow a lamp or give a short notice. The crowd is two to remain under the porch. Anscattered in an instant. Some have other hour and no relief. There was swooped down upon a few cabs wait- something almost ludicrous in our ing at the gate; some, blessed in um- distress. At times, some one or two, brellas, rush home frantically under chafed to desperation by the delay, that shelter. Such panic, such rout, and seeing no hope, would make a dessuch scudding with a reckless regard perate plunge, in the hope of reaching to the decencies of fashion, cannot be the boats; and bending down his conceived. But some, too late for head, would plunge recklessly into the cabs, too improvident to have the wet. He was seen buffeting, as it thought of umbrellas, retire to dry were, with the terrific rain; but before land and huddle_together under the being pulled on board, discovered too yellow porch of King Roulette. late, that he might, for all practical
They seem like mariners upon an purposes, have swam all the way island, and they look out ruefully home. Another hour! Things began upon the smooth promenade, fast to look desperate. filling into an ocean. The rain is It was not absolutely until past descending in broad flat sheets. It one in the morning that the rains befalls on the ground with a loud dull gan to abate a little, when there set palpable swish, that makes all feel in a desperate sauve qui peut. rueful at heart. Far as the eye can