In 1678 Antoine Bulifon carried the same kind of cards to Naples, where Don Annibal Aquaviva established a society to play at Blazon, under the name of “Armeristi,” with the map of Europe for a device, and the motto, “Pulchra sub imagine Ludi
“Be it therefore enacted, that if any person or persons, of any degree or quality whatsoever, shall by any fraud, cousenage, circumvention, deceit, c. in playing at Cards, Dice, Tables, Tennis, Bowls, Kittles, Shovel-board, or in or by Cock-fightings, Horse-races, Dog-matches, or Foot-races c. or by betting on the sides or hands of such as play, win, obtain, or acquire any sum or sums of money or any other valuable thing; that then every person so offending shall ipso facto forfeit treble the sum or value of money, or other thing, so won, gained, or acquired.
“And for the better avoiding and preventing of all excessive and immoderate playing and gaming for the time to [Pg 149] come, be it further enacted, that if any person shall play at any of the said games, or any other pastime whatsoever (otherwise than with and for ready money), or shall bet on the sides of such as play, and shall lose any sum of money or other thing played for, exceeding the sum of one hundred pounds, at one time or meeting, upon ticket or credit, or otherwise, and shall not pay down the same at the time when he shall so lose the same, the party who loseth the said moneys, or other things so played for, above the said sum of one hundred pounds, shall not, in that case, be bound or compelled to pay or make good the same; and that all Contracts, Judgments, Statutes, Recognizances, Mortgages, c. made, given, acknowledged, or entered for security and payment of the same shall be utterly void and of none effect. And, lastly, it is enacted, that the person, or persons, so winning the said moneys, or other things, shall forfeit and lose treble the value of all such sum and sums of money, or other thing which he shall so win (above the said sum of one hundred pounds), the one moiety to the King, and the other to the Prosecutor.” The passion for gaming at that period, and its consequences to wealthy flats, are thus described by Dryden:
Continue reading “Now as this was evidently a breach of etiquette and a derogation of heraldic nobility—Mons”