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G A MI M G
OF all the zealous Efforts that have been made by the Reformers of this Chriftian Age to check the Progrefs of Vice and Immorality, the Clamour againft Gaming hath met with the greateft Number of Voices to fupport it: the Journalift worries it from the Prefs: the Preacher curfes it moft devoutly from the Pulpit; and to crown all, the Tragedian thunders againft it from \ the Stage. This laft courageous Author, in the Hurry of his Valour, difdaining the Precaution of moft Heroes, who have ufually entered upon thefe Adventures, cafed in Poetry, and armed at all Points with Rhyme and Metaphor, fallies out with no earthly Weapon, but honeft blunt Profe, upt>n the old Scheme of fighting Giants, and taming Monfters. But firft he fends out his little Dwarf
of a [a] Prologue, to challenge the Hydra from hef Den, and to deilre fhe would come out and be tamed: they meet; and after a Fight of three Hours, the Monfter having received fome fecret Wound, nobody knows where, falls down and expires. So
Moore of Moore-Hall . , , With Nothing at all
'.• . Hathjluin Ae Dragon of
But, in the Name of Fortune, what has the Society ofGame/iers done to provoke all this Violence? If the Zeal of Gentlemen lies upon their Hands, let them however employ it upon its proper Objects. There are Vices at leaft as epidemic as Gaming, and far more pernicious, that may employ all the Wit and Genius any modern Author has to fpare. Hath Extortion been banifhed from the Seat of Trade; Perjury from the Courts of Juftice; or hath Caveat Garden been deftroyed by Fire from Heaven? What Wifdom is it to connive at tbefe Enormities, and vent our Spleen upon an innocent Diverfion, which, if an Infirmity, is furely the Infirmity of Noble Minds?
That this Caufe fhould hitherto have wanted. Advocates, will, no doubt, appear fingular: for though the Profeffors themfelves are not at leifure to deal in
[a] Our Author, Sirs, is come a Monfter-taming,
Arns'd at all Points againft the Hydra Gaming.
Prologue to the Gaatejler,
•Controverfy, Controverfy, it might be expected their Dependants would take the Pen in their Behalf. However, fince Gratitude has not done them this good Office, Juftice fhall; and I hope thofe noble Perfonages will interpret, with their ufual Candour, the Intentions of one, who honours them for their Principles, though he is a Stranger to their Perfons: Principles that open and enlarge the Soul; dear to Philofophy, becaufc they are founded in the Contempt of worldly Things; Friends to Policy, becaufe they make Money circulate, and teach Induftry the Way to thrive; fomething allied to Religion too, for they fill the Hungry witb goad Things, and fend the Rich empty away.
In order to fet this Matter in the cleareft Light, I fhall fairly ftate and anfwer thofe Objections that are made to the Game/ier, confidered as Maftcr of a Family, and Member of the Community; that we may fee how far his Profeffion can be thought to affecT: either Domeftic Peace, or public Happinefs: After which I fhall briefly enumerate the Advantages that refult from this Practice, which either Careleffnefs hath overlooked, or Prejudice mifconftrued.
And firft it is reprefented as a Matter of Scandal, that a Gentleman fhould indulge himfelf in a perpetual Courfe of licentious Diverfions, while his Lady is left to bear the Burthen of Family-oeconomy, and repining for the Lofs of that Tendernefs to which fhe hath an undoubted Claim.
Here I obferve, how difficult it is for Englijhmen
to preferve Reverence, cr even common Modefty,
4 when when they are difcourfing of their Superiors. Here I* the whole Body of the Female Nobility and Gentry ftigmatized in a Lump, as if they fubmitted to the vulgar Drudgery of infpecttng the Accounts and Morals of their Families: Such Calumnies as thefe are not the lefs injurious to Decency, becaufe in this Country of Freedom they may be vented with Safety; neither is it any ways fit, that Characters of this exalted Rank fhould lie at the Mercy of the vulgar Herd, who judge without Diftinction, and cenfure without Feeling.
As to the other Chimsera, that Women of Quality ever repine for their Hufbands Abfence, or that one fingle ftraggling Idea ever went in fearch of them, or their Amufements, their Bufinefs, or their Company, 1 can only wonder, where it found an Imagination to harbour it. Is any one fo wild to conceive that Numbers marry for any other Purpofe than to get a Separation as faft as poffible? Some wed for a Title; fome are weary of a Mother's Leading firings; fome fettle in the World, that they may run loofe about the Town, and indulge the Marriage Liberties: 'Tis the Lawyer, not the Prieft, tyes the Knot; they mortify for the prefent, to have Pleafure in Reverfion.
But the ftrongeft Objection againft this Commerce in the Eye of the World is ftill behind; and that is, Allegiance to the higher Powers: For there reigns in this Ifland a Monarch, who unfortunately could not be prevailed upon to abdicate at th« Revolution,