Hypatia’s Lottery

A Gamble within the Game of Changes


Let each one present during a deal deposit any sum agreed on, but of course some trifle; put a complete pack of fifty-two cards, well shuffled, in a bag or reticule. Let the party stand in a circle, and the bag being handed around, each draw three cards. Pairs of any are favorable omens of some good fortune about to occur to the party, and gets back from the pool the sum that each agreed to pay. The king of hearts is here made the god of love, and claims double, and gives a faithful swain to the fair one who has the good fortune to draw him; if Venus, the queen of hearts, is with him, it is the conquering prize, and clears the pool; fives and nines are reckoned crosses and misfortunes, and pay a forfeit of the sum agreed on to the pool, besides the usual stipend at each new game; three nines at one draw shows the lady will be an old maid;three fives, a bad husband.

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