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commend this Treatise to the World with all the Warmth and Zeal, that becomes the Promoters of useful Knowledge, the Patrons of Learning, the Judges of Science, and the Investigators of Truth.
I am, Gentlemen, with all possible Respect, Deference, Submission, and Veneration,
Tour most obedient, bumble,
and devoted Servants
First Printed in the Year 1754.
OF all the zealous Efforts that have been made by the Reformers of this Christian Age to check the Progress of Vice and Immorality, the Clamour against Gaming hath met with the greatest Number of Voices to support it: the Journalist worries it from the Press: the Preacher curses it most devoutly from the Pulpit; and to crown all, the Tragedian thunders against it from the Stage. This last courageous Author, in the Hurry of his Valour, disdaining the Precaution of most Heroes, who have usually entered upon these Adventures, cased in Poetry, and armed at all Points with Rhyme and Metaphor, fallies out with no earthly Weapon, but honest blunt Prose, npon the old Scheme of fighting Giants, and taming Monsters. But H 2 first
sirst he fends out bis little Dwarf of a [a] Prologue, to challenge the Hydra from her Den, and to desire she would come out and be tamed: they meet; and after a Fight of three Hours, the Monster having received some secret Wound, nobody knows where, falls down and expires. So Moore os Moore-Hall With Nothing at all Hath stain the Dragon os Wantley. But, in the Name of Fortune, what has the Society os Gameflers 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 least as epidemic as Gaming, and far more pernicious, that may employ all the Wit and Genius any modern Author has to spare. Hath Extortion been banished from the Seat of Trade; Perjury from the Courts of Justice; or hath Covent Garden been destroyed by Fire from Heaven? What Wisdom is it to connive at these Enormities, and vent our Spleen upon an innocent Diversion, which, if an Infirmity, is surely the Infirmity of Noble Minds?
That this Cause should hitherto have wanted Advocates, will, no doubt, appear singular: for though the Professors themselves are not at leisure to deal in Controversy, it might be expected their Dependants would take the Pen in their Behalf. However, since Gratitude has not done
[a] Our Author, Sirs, is come a Monster-taming,
them this gocd Office, Justice (hall; and I hope those noble Personages will interpret, with their usual Candour, the Intentions of one, who honours them for their Principles though he is a Stranger to their Persons: Principles that open and enlarge the Soul ; dear to Philosophy, because they are founded in the Contempt of worldly Things; Friends to Policy, because they make Money circulate, and teach Industry the Way to thrive; something allied to Religion too, for they fill the Hungry with good Things, and send the Rich empty away.
In order to set this Matter in the clearest Light, I shall fairly state and answer those Objections that are made to the Gamester, considered as Master of a Family, and Member of the Community; that we may fee how far his Profession can. be thought to affect either Domestic Peace, or public Happiness: After which I (hall briefly enumerate the Advantages that result from this Practice, which either Carelessness hath overlooked, or Prejudice misconstrued.
And first it is represented as a Matter of Scandal, that a Gentleman should indulge himself in a perpetual Course of licentious Diversions, while his Lady is left to bear the Burthen of Familyceconomy, and repining for the Loss of that Tenderness to which Ihe hath an undoubted Claim.
Here I observe, how difficult it is for Englishmen to preserve Reverence, or even common Modesty, when they are discoursing of their Superiors. Here is the whole Body of the Female Nobility and Gentry stigmatized in a Lump, as if they submitted to the vulgar Drudgery of inspecting H 3 the