Living Picture of London, for 1828 and Stranger's Guide Through the Streets of the Metropolis

Bee, Jon

1828

GAMBLERS' CARDS OF ADDRESS,

 

As well as those of high-flyer prostitutes, at the west-end of town, are frequently put into the hands of well-dressed gentlemen; the former, in the streets, the parks, or at coffeehouses; the latter description mostly at the theatres, but, occasionally, in the streets, or at pastrycooks, or orange-shops, at which they may call in to rest or refresh.

Formerly, when black-legs practised their arts at night only, fit season for such a scene, the danger to be apprehended for novices need be entertained for those alone who kept late hours; but they change their operations wofully in this respect, laying about them, now- aday, to entrap the unwary idler by the noonday sun, when his suspicions may be supposed least awake. Upon the most casual occasions, or after some impertinent interference, invented for the purpose, as the beauty of your dog, admiration of your horse, assistance in supposed trouble, or pretended recognition, or in a mailcoach, or at the races, a most charmingly welldressed, very fine spoken sort of a gentleman, whose education at school (by the way) has generally been

neglected,

expresses awish to pass a pleasant hour with you, to take a bottle of wine, that is always at your service, where the speaker is a

subscriber

and now and then joins in the play. Hereupon he produces a well-executed card, with a remark respecting the master:

Frank is a very good sort of a fellow, on my honour, a perfect gentleman, I assure you; you have only to produce the card, and if I should not be there, he will be glad to see you, mention my name. See this at the back of it. I shall be there every day, during those hours, till Sunday se'nnight, when I go to the Newmarket Second Meeting.

Upon looking at the card, you read

Une, deux, cinque

, every day, 12 to 4-6 to 11, at

142

 

No. ** , Bury-street, St. James's.

Whilst you ruminate on this, or answer syllabically to his proposals, the pander goes on,-

Should the intended dupe hearken or even hesitate a moment, he is done for, as sure as fate. Let him refuse the proffered civility in a peremptory manner; quit, a little, his former suavity; keep the card in his hand, rather than place it in his pocket; better return it back to the leg, offence or no offence; or else, preferably, throw it indignantly from him. Any other course than one of these, will cost him all his loose cash, now, all his disposable property, in process of time, and a good deal of peace of mind, until he devolves into a black-leg himself. How this will be brought about, he may learn in the sequel, when he comes to read of those socalled hells, to one of which the card invites him for the first time.

 
 
Footnotes:

[] THE LEGS' CARDS OF ADDRESS.

[] A HELLITE'S RECOMMENDATION.