C.N. Douglas, comp. Forty Thousand Quotations: Prose and Poetical. 1917.


It is lost at dice, what ancient honor won.


Keep flax from fire, youth from gaming.


A heavy tax placed upon fools.


Games of chance are traps to catch schoolboy novices and gaping country squires, who begin with a guinea and end with a mortgage.


European lotteries are the tax on fools.

Count Cavour.

The gambler is a moral suicide.


Oh, this pernicious vice of gaming!

Ed. Moore.

  • Could fools to keep their own contrive,
  • On what, on whom could gamesters thrive?
  • Gay.

  • Curst is the wretch enslaved to such a vice,
  • Who ventures life and soul upon the dice.
  • Horace.

    Lookers-on many times see more than gamesters.


    The most patient man in loss, the most coldest that ever turned up ace.


    It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief.


    The gambler is more wicked as he is a greater proficient in his art.


    What more than madness reigns, when one short sitting many hundreds drains.

    Sir J. Davies.

    There is but one good throw upon the dice, which is to throw them away.


    What honest man would not rather be the sufferer than the defrauder?


    A mode of transferring property without producing any intermediate good.

    Dr. Johnson.

  • Cards were at first for benefits designed,
  • Sent to amuse, not to enslave the mind.
  • David Garrick.

    Gambling with cards, or dice, or stocks, is all one thing—it is getting money without giving an equivalent for it.

    Henry Ward Beecher.

    Gaming finds a man a cully, and leaves him a knave.

    T. Hughes.

    A gamester, as such, is the cool, calculating, essential spirit of concentrated, avaricious selfishness.

    Henry Ward Beecher.

    The deal, the shuffle, and the cut.


    Gaming is the child of avarice, but the parent of prodigality.


  • Our Quixote bard sets out a monster taming,
  • Arm’d at all points to fight that hydra, gaming.
  • David Garrick.

    A gamester, the greater master he is in his art, the worse man he is.


    Bets at first were fool-traps, where the wise like spiders lay in ambush for the flies.


  • Play not for gain, but sport. Who plays for more
  • Than he can lose with pleasure, stakes his heart;
  • Perhaps his wife’s too, and whom she hath bore.
  • Herbert.

    All gaming, since it implies a desire to profit at the expense of another, involves a breach of the tenth commandment.


    Gaming is the destruction of all decorum; the prince forgets at it his dignity, and the lady her modesty.

    Marchioness d’Alembert.

  • Look round, the wrecks of play behold,
  • Estates dismember’d, mortgag’d, sold!
  • Their owners now to jails confin’d,
  • Show equal poverty of mind.
  • Gay.

    The gamester, if he die a martyr to his profession, is doubly ruined. He adds his soul to every other loss, and by the act of suicide, renounces earth to forfeit heaven.


    It is possible that a wise and good man may be prevailed on to game; but it is impossible that a professed gamester should be a wise and good man.


    By gaming we lose both our time and treasure—two things most precious to the life of man.


    Ay, rail at gaming—’tis a rich topic, and affords noble declamation. Go, preach against it in the city—you’ll find a congregation in every tavern.

    Ed. Moore.

  • Some play for gain; to pass time others play
  • For nothing; both play the fool, I say:
  • Nor time nor coin I’ll lose, or idly spend;
  • Who gets by play, proves loser in the end.
  • Heath.

  • Whose game was empires, and whose stakes were thrones;
  • Whose table earth, whose dice were human bones.
  • Byron.

  • A night of fretful passion may consume
  • All that thou hast of beauty’s gentle bloom;
  • And one distemper’d hour of sordid fear
  • Print on thy brow the wrinkles of a year.
  • Sheridan.

    I look upon every man as a suicide from the moment he takes the dice-box desperately in his hand; and all that follows in his fatal career from that time is only sharpening the dagger before he strikes it to his heart.


    It is well for gamesters that they are so numerous as to make a society of themselves; for it would be a strange abuse of terms to rank those among society at large, whose profession it is to prey upon all who compose it.


    The coldness of a losing gamester lessens the pleasure of the winner. I would no more play with a man that slighted his ill fortune than I would make love to a woman who undervalued the loss of her reputation.


    Sports and gaming, whether pursued from a desire of gain or love of pleasure, are as ruinous to the temper and disposition of the party addicted to them, as they are to his fame and fortune.


    Gaming has been resorted to by the affluent as a refuge from ennui. It is a mental dram, and may succeed for a moment; but, like all other stimuli, it produces indirect debility.


    That reproach of modern times, that gulf of time and fortune, the passion for gaming, which is so often the refuge of the idle sons of pleasure and often, alas! the last resource of the ruined.


    I’ll tell thee what it says; it calls me villain, a treacherous husband, a cruel father, a false brother; one lost to nature and her charities; or to say all in one short word, it calls me—gamester.

    Ed. Moore.

    The exercises I wholly condemn are dicing and carding, especially if you play for any great sum of money, or spend any time in them, or use to come to meetings in dicing-houses, where cheaters meet and cozen young gentlemen out of all their money.

    Lord Herbert.

    Gambling houses are temples where the most sordid and turbulent passions contend; there no spectator can be indifferent. A card or a small square of ivory interests more than the loss of an empire, or the ruin of an unoffending group of infants, and their nearest relatives.


    Gaming is a kind of tacit confession that the company engaged therein do in general exceed the bounds of their respective fortunes, and therefore they cast lots to determine upon whom the ruin shall at present fall, that the rest may be saved a little longer.


    Be assured that, although men of eminent genius have been guilty of all other vices, none worthy of more than a secondary name has ever been a gamester. Either an excess of avarice or a deficiency of what, in physics, is called excitability, is the cause of it; neither of which can exist in the same bosom with genius, with patriotism, or with virtue.


    There is nothing that wears out a fine lace like the vigils of the card table, and those cutting passions which naturally attend them. Hollow eyes, haggard looks and pale complexions are the natural indications.


    Gaming is a vice the more dangerous as it is deceitful; and, contrary to every other species of luxury, flatters its votaries with the hopes of increasing their wealth; so that avarice itself is so far from securing us against its temptations that it often betrays the more thoughtless and giddy part of mankind into them.


    An assembly of the states, a court of justice, shows nothing so serious and grave as a table of gamesters playing very high; a melancholy solicitude clouds their looks; envy and rancor agitate their minds while the meeting lasts, without regard to friendship, alliances, birth or distinctions.

    La Bruyère.

    If thy desire to raise thy fortunes encourage thy delights to the casts of fortune, be wise betimes, lest thou repent too late; what thou gettest, thou gainest by abused providence: what thou losest, thou losest by abused patience; what thou winnest is prodigally spent; what thou losest is prodigally lost; it is an evil trade that prodigality drives; and a bad voyage where the pilot is blind.


    This is a vice which is productive of every possible evil, equally injurious to the morals and health of its votaries. It is the child of avarice, the brother of iniquity, and the father of mischief. It has been the ruin of many worthy families, the loss of many a man’s honor, and the cause of suicide. To all those who enter the lists, it is equally fascinating. The successful gamester pushes his good fortune, till it is overtaken by a reverse. The losing gamester, in hopes of retrieving past misfortunes, goes on from bad to worse, till, grown desperate, he pushes at everything and loses his all. In a word, few gain by this abominable practice, while thousands are injured.

    George Washington.