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own mother, I'll be bound. Yon may go home now, and the top of the morning to you.'
"Tim opened the gate politely and touched his forelock. McGosh, seizing his hat, made good his retreat; and when he got outside, fairly took to his heels and ran. Tim made his way to bed immediately, after singing himself to sleep, I presume, for I caught the sound of his voice repeating the words: —
"' Some say the divil's dead, and buried in Kil
More says he rose again and —listed in the army.'
"The first thing McGosh did next morning was to go the magistrate and swear informations against two soldiers, unknown, who had violently assaulted him inside the gates the night before.
"Here was a nice business, thought I to myself, when I read a letter brought me by a policeman, and heard his version of the affair.
"'It's a very serious charge,' said I; 'go back and sny that I shall use every effort to bring the men to justice — I can't say more. I'll see the magistrate at once and hear what Mr. McGosh has to say. The men shall be paraded for identification, and strict inquiry made.'
"Tim of course, would know nil about the business, to a dead certainty; if, indeed, he was not actually one of the actors in it. I made a firm and determined resolution to dismiss him forthwith. Things were becoming too serious, and I felt that I was really placing myself injeopariy by an overweening atfection -for the fellow. What I should do without him I did not allow myself to inquire, knowing, from previous experience, what the result would be if I temporized. I would not even give myself time to cool. I was, so to speak, in a white heat, and resolved to strike while I was hot.
"He came before me, looking very sheepish — the very picture of meekness and humility, as he always did, when he saw that I was inclined to be angry.
*' What do you think of yourself now 'I' I exclaimed, after 1 had explained all I knew; 'this is a pretty kettle-o'-fish. Of course, it was all your doing. It was you who got me into it.'
"'Well, it was I got you into it, surely, vour honour; but it wasn't all my doing, for all that.'
"' Well, another man's sir, and'
"' Confound you 1 It wasn't, a woman's
I suppose. Was it the sentry you posted at the back gate?'
"' It was, sir.'
"' Tim,' said, I severely, 'I am resolved that this shall be the last row or scrape you'll get me into. I'll give you, now, a month's wages. You may take yourself back to Kerry as soon as you like.'
"' As soon as / like, is it, captain?'
"' I'll not cons-nit your wishes in the matter; you'll go as soon as I like — that's at once I'
"' Maybe you'll let me stay till the iodger is identified, your honour?'
"' That will not take long, I presume,' said I, it's an easy matter.'
"' An aisy matter, is it?' responded Tim, brightening up all of a sudden; 'Divil a greater poser McGosh ever had in his life than that same identification'
"' What do you mean?' said I.
"' I mane that I'll howld on iu your service, Captain, awhile yet.'
"'I can't and won't allow any humbugging in this matter,' said I; 'once for all, let me tell you that he must bo punished, and you, too, I take it.'
"' Divil a matter about me,' responded Tim; 'but the sodc;er is all right, take iny word. I never told you a lie.'
"'All right 1" I exclaimed, growing wrath. 'What do you mean? Do you mean to say that he is gone — that he has deserted?'
"' Faix, he didn't, sir; for he never was there at all.'
"I looked at him in bewildered astonishment.
"' Sure, your honor,' said he, growing confidential, and speaking with bated breath, 'Sunn Wasn't It Wan Of The
POPE'S PAUPERS, OUT OF TUB WoRKHOtJSE. I HAD IN THE SINTRY BOX I'
"I burst into an immoderate fit of laughter as the truth dawned upon me. I saw my way out of the difficulty, and entered fully into the joke. Of course, identification mas out of the question. The uniform of a Carrigahinch pauper, when he had his big overcoat and round skull-cap on, would pass off very well to the non-military eye — particularly when seen uudcr such circumstances, and in the dark.
"Tim had chosen a ' good Catholic' (as he said), one on whom he could rely as not being very friendly to McGosh (there were plenty such in the workhouse); and, arming him with the handle of a stable-fork, posted him at the gate.
"At my examination I stated that I had not posted a sentry at this gate at all. My written orders to Sergeant Ski oner were produced. He would have got me into trouble if he could; but lie was, happily, powerless. The men were all in early and each room was in charge of a noncommissioned officer, who could answer for those iu his charge, as the roll had been called as usual.
"Nothing could be made of the case, and it was dropped. Even Tim escaped. He wisely kept out of sight; and McGosh not knowing who he was, or anything about him, could not give any clue as to his identity, any more than to that of the supposed soldier, though we had to go through the ceremony of parading all the men."
As the Captain conch-'" 1 his story the grey light of dawn wa° breaking. There was a stir in the barrack yard. The men were already falling in, and preparing for the march. We filled a parting bumper.
There was an unanimous call for a song. The Captain demurred.
"You established the custom yourself," I pleaded, " the first night we met."
"A custom more honored in the breach than the observance," said he, with charicteristie modesty, "as far, at least, as my voice is concerned."
"Not so," said I, "but this is no time for compliment; Captain, you will not fail us now. I urge it with all the solemnity of a last request."
"What shall it be then?" ssid he.
'• One of Tim's," I suggested; "you gave us a while ago a few lines of one — a foretaste of what we might expect. Give us the whole of it."
Without more ado he began : —
"When I axel your owld father, my Kitty, He wouldn't take on him to pay.
He's » bit of a screw;
"Says she: —
You're just from school, Arrah! getaway — Closer — shawn, Ommadhaun!
"Your mother is willing, my Kitty,
She's a bit of a screw;
"Says she : —
You're just from school,
Arrah ! get away — Closer — shawn,
"I'm bothered intirely for aise;
"Tig draming I am in the day.
On me if you plaise.
"Your lips are so rosy, my Kitty,
It's no wonder I'd wish to make free.
"Sure I couldn't at all!
Like a fool,
If you get away — Closer — shawn,
""Tis past and gone,
My song is done.
We were two fools, and now we're wan —
J. Franklix Fuller.
From Tho Comhill Magazine. GAMBLING SUPERSTITIONS.
It might be supposed that those who are most familiar with the actual results which present themselves in long series ofchnncegames would form the most correct views respecting the conditions on which such results depend,— would be, in fact, freest from all superstitious ideas respecting chance or luck. The gambler who sees every system — his own infallible system included — foiled by the run of events, who witnesses the discomfiture of one gamester after another that for a time had seemed irresistibly lucky, and who can number by the hundred those who have been ruined
by the love of play, might bo expected to recognize the futility of all attempts to anticipate the results of chance combinations. It is, however, but too well known that the reverse is the case. The more familiar a man becomes with the multitude of such combinations, the more confidently he believes in the possibility of foretelling,— not, indeed, any special event, but the general run of several approaching events. There has never been a successful gambler who has not believed that his success (temporary though such success ever is, where games of pure chance are concerned ) has been the result of skilful conduct on his own part; and there has never been a ruined gambler (though ruined gamblers are to be counted by thousands) who has not believed that when ruin overtook him he was on the very point of mastering the secret of success. It is this fatal confidence which gives to gambling its power of fascinating the lucky as well as the unlucky. The winner continues to tempt fortune, believing all the while that he is exerting some special aptitude for games of chance, until the inevitable change of luck arrives; and 'thereafter he continues to play because he believes that his luck has only deserted him for a time, and must presently return. The unlucky gambler, on the contrary, regards his losses as sacrifices to ensure the ultimate success of his "system," and even when he has lost his all, continues firm in the belief that had he had more money to sacrifice he could have bound fortune to his side for ever.
We propose to consider some of the most common gambling superstitions, — noting, at the same time, that like superstitions prevail respecting chance events (or what is called fortune) even among those who never gamble.
Houdin, in his interesting book, Les Trickeries das Grecs devoilees, has given some amusing instances of the fruits of long gambling experience. "They are presented," says Steinmetz, from whoso work, The Garning-Table, we quote them, "as the ax-, ioms of a professional gambler and cheat." Thus we might expect that, however unsatisfactory to men of honest mind, they would at least savour of a certain sort of wisdom. Yet these axioms, the fruit of I long study directed by self-interest, are all' utterly untrustworthy.
"Every game of chance," says this authority, "presents two kinds of chances which are very distinct, — namely, those relating to the person interested, that is the player; and those inherent in the combinations of the game." That is. we are to
distinguish between the chances proper to the game, and those depending on the luck of the player. Proceeding to consider the chances proper to the game itself, our friendly cheat summons them all up in two rules. First: "Though chance can bring into the game all possible combinations, there are, nevertheless, certain limits at which it seems to stop: such, for instance, as a certain number turning up ten times in succession at roulette; this is possible, but it has never happened." Secondly: "In a game of chance, the oftener the same combination has occurred in succession, the nearer we are to the certainty that it will not recur at the next cast or turn up. This is the most elementary of the theories on probabilities; it is termed the maturity of the chances" (and he might have added that the belief in this elementary theory had ruined thousands). "Hence," he proceeds, " a player must come to the table not only ' in luck,' but he must not risk his money except at the instant prescribed by the rules of the maturity of the chances." Then follow the precepts for personal conduct:— "For gaming prefer roulette, because it presents several ways of staking your money — which permits the study of several. A player should approach the gaming-table perfectly calui and cool — just as a merchant or tradesman in treaty about any affair. If he gets into a passion 't is all over with prudence, all over with Ejood luck — for the demon of bad luck invariably pursues a passionate player. Every man who finds a pleasure in playing runs the risk of losing.* A prudent player, before undertaking anything, should put himself to the test to discover if he is 'in vein ' or in luck. In all doubt he should abstain. There are several persons who are constantly pursued by bad luck : to such I say — never play. Stubbornness at play is ruin. Remember that Fortune does not like people to be overjoyed at her favours, and that she prepares bitter deceptions for the imprudent who are intoxicated by success. Lastly, before risking your money at play, study your 'vein'and the different probabilities of the game — termed, as aforesaid, the maturity of the chances."
Before proceeding to exhibit the fallacy of the principles here enunciated — principles which have worked incalculable mischief— it may be well for us to sketch the history of the scamp who enunciated them,
* This naive admission would appear, as we shall presently see, to have been the fruit of genuine experience on our gambler's part: it only require* that, for the word* " runs the risk," we should read "Incurs the certainty," to be Incontrovertible.
— so far, at least, as his gambling successes | the non-persistence of favourable conditions are concerned. His first meeting with I in their case.
Houdin took place at a subscription ball, I Taking in their order the gambling suwhere he managed to fleece Houdin " and ; perstitions which have been presented others to a considerable amount, contriving ' above, we have, first of all, to inquire what a dexterous escape when detected. Hou- j truth there is in the idea that there are din afterwards fell in with him at Spa, j limits beyond which pure chance has no where he found the gambler in the greatest i power of introducing peculiar combina
poverty, and lent him a small sum — to practise his grand theories." This sum the gambler lost, and Houdin advised him " to
tions. Let us consider this hypothesis in the light of actual experience. Mr. Steinmetz tells us that, in 1813, a Mr. Ogden
take np a less dangerous occupation." It wagered 1000 guineas to one that" seven
was on this occasion, it would seem, that the gambler revealed to Houdin the particulars recorded in his book. "A year afterwards Houdin unexpectedly fell in with him again; but this time the fellow was transformed into what is called a 'demi-miliionaire,' having succeeded to a large fortune on the death of his brother, who died intestate. According to Houdiu, the following was the man's declaration at the auspicious meeting:—'I have,' he said, 'completely renounced gaming; I am rich enough; and care no longer for fortune. And yet,' he added proudly, 'if I Dow cared for the thing, how I could break those bloated banks in their pride, and what a glorious vengeance I could take of bad luck and its inflexible agents! Bnt my heart is too full of my happiness to allow the smallest place for the desire of vengeance.'" Three years later he died; and Houdin informs us that he left the whole of his fortune to various charitable institutions, his career after his acquisition of wealth going far to demonstrate the justice of Becky Sharp's theory, that it is easy to be honest on five thousand a year.
It is remarkable that the principles enunciated above are not merely erroneous, but lelf-contradictory. Yet it is to be noticed that though they are presented as the outcome of a life of gambling experiences, they are in reality entertained by all gamblers, however limited their experience, as well as by many who are only prevented bjr the lack of opportunity from entering the dangerous path which has led so many to ruin. These contradictory superstitions may be called severally, — the gambler's belief iu bis own good luck, and his faith in the turn of luck. When he is considering hU own fortune he does not hesitate to believe that on the whole the Fates will favour him, though this belief implies in reality the persistence of favourable conditions. On the contrary, when he is con•dering the fortunes of others who are successful in their play against him, he does noe doubt that their good luck will presently desert them, that is, he believes in
would not be thrown with a pair of dice ten successive times. The wager was accepted (though it was egregiously unfair) and strange to say his opponent threw "seven" nine times running. At this point Mr. Ogden offered 470 guineas to be off the bet. But his opponent declined (though the price offered was far beyond the real value of his chance). He cast yet once more, and threw " nine," so that Mr. Ogden won his guinea.
Now here we have an instance of a most remarkable series of throws, the like of which has never been recorded before or since. Before those throws had been made, it might have been asserted that the throwing of nine successive "sevens" with a pair of dice, was a circumstance which chance could never bring about, for experience was as much against such an event as it would seem to be against the turning up of a certain number ten successive times at roulette. Yet experience now shows that the thing is possible; and if we are to limit the action of chance, we must assert that the throwing of "seven " ten times in succession is an event which will never happen. Yet such a conclusion obviously rests on as unstable a basis as the former, of which experience has disposed. Observe, however, how the two gamblers viewed this very eventuality. Nine successive " sevens'" had been thrown; and if there were any trnth in tbe theory that the power of chance was limited, it might have been regarded as all but certain that the next throw would not be a "seven." But a run of bad fortune had so shaken Mr. Ogden's faith in hia luck (as well as in the theory of the maturity of the chances) that he was ready to pay 470 guineas (nearly thrice the mathematical value of his opponent's chance) in order to save his pndangered thousand; and Bo confident was his opponent that the run of luck would continue that he declined this very favourable offer. Experience had in fact shown both the players, that although "sevens " could not be thrown for ever,
yet there was no saying when the throw would change. Both reasoned probably that as an eighth throw had followed seven successive throws of "seven" (a wonderful chance), and as a ninth had followed eight successive throws (an unprecedented event), a tenth might well follow the nine (though hitherto no such series of throws had ever been heard of). They were forced as it were by the run of events to reason justly as to the possibility of a tenth throw of " seven," — nay, to exaggerate that possibility into probability; and it appears from the narrative that the strange series of throws quite checked the betting propensities of the bystanders, and that not one was led to lay the wager (which according to ordinary gambling superstitions would have been a safe one) that the tenth throw would not give " seven."
We have spoken of the unfairness of the original wager. It may interest our readers to know exactly how much should have been wagered against a single guinea, that ten " sevens" would not be thrown. With a pair of dice there are thirty-six possible throws, and six of these give "seven" as the total. Thus the chance of throwing "seven " is one sixth, and the chance of throwing "seven" ten times running is obtained by multiplying six into itself ten times, and placing the resulting number under unity, to represent the minute fractional chance required. It will be found that the number thus obtained is 60,400,176, and instead of 1,000 guineas, fairness required that 60,400,175 guineas should have been wagered against one guinea, so enormous are the chances against the occurrence of ten successive throws of "seven." Even against nine successive throws the fair odds would have been 10,077,595 to one, or about forty thousand guineas to a farthing. But when the nine throws of "seven" had been made, the chance of a tenth throw of "seven" was simply one-sixth as at the first trial. If there were any truth in the theory of the "maturity of the chances,1' the chance of such a throw would of course be greatly diminished. But even taking the mathematical value | of the chance, Mr. Ogden need in fairness j only have offered a sixth part of 1,001 guineas (the amount of the stakes), or 100 guineas 17s. 6d., to be off his wager. So that his opponent accepted in the first instance an utterly unfair offer, and refused in the second instance a sum exceeding by more than three hundred guineas the real value of his chance.
Closely connected with the theory about the range of possibility in the matter of chance combinations, is the theory of the maturity of the chances, — " the most elementary of the theories on probabilities." It might safely be termed the most mischievous of gambling superstitions.
As an allustration of the application of this theory, we may cite the case of an Englishman, once well known at foreign gambling-tables, who had based a system on a generalization of this theory. In point of fact the theory asserts that when there has been a run in favour of any particular event, the chances in favour of the event are reduced, and, therefore, necessarily, the chances in favour of other events are increased. Now our Englishman watched the play at the roulette table for two full hours, carefully noting the numbers which came up during that time. Then, eschewing those numbers which had come up oftenest, he staked his money on those which had come up very seldom or not at all. Here was au infallible system, according to li the most elementary of the theories of probability." The tendency of chance-results to right themselves, so that events equally likely in the first instance will occur an equal number of times in the long run, was called into action to enrich our gambler and to ruin the unlucky bankers. Be it noted, in passing, that events do thus right themselves, though this circumstance does not operate quite as the gambler supposed, and cannot be trusted to put a penny into any one's pocket. The system was tried, however, and instead of reasoning respecting its soundness, we may content ourselves with recording the result. On the first day our Englishman won more than seven hundred pounds in a single hour. "His exultation was boundless. He thought he had really discovered the 'philosopher's stone.' Off he went to his banker's, and transmitted the greater portion of his winnings to London. The next day he piitv-cd and lost fifty pounds; and the following day he achieved the same result, and had to write to town for remittances. In fine, in a week he had lost all the money he won at first, with the exception of fifty pounds, which he reserved to take him home; and being thoroughly convinced