Imágenes de páginas
PDF

Stoc. Ay, or suppose, now, it was the Number of your Grandmother's 1 1 Buy. No, no! . She has no Luck in Lotteries: She had a whole Ticket once, and got but fifty Pounds by it. Soc. A very unfortunate Person, truly. Sir, my Clerk will furnish you, if you'll walk that way up to the office. Ha, ha, ha!—There's one 10,000l. got!—What an abundance of imaginary rich men will one month reduce to their former Poverty. [Knocking without..] come 1n. Enter 2 Buyer. 2 Buy. Does not your Worship let Horses, Sirt Stoc. Ay, Friend. 2 Buy. I have got a little Money by driving a Hackney-Coach, and I intend to ride it out in the Lottery. Stoc. You are in the right, it is the way to drive your own Coach. 2 Buy. I don't know, Sir, that—but I am willing to be in Fortune's way, as the saying 13. Stoc. You are a wise Man, and it is not impossible but you may be a rich one-'tis not above—no matter, how many to one, but that you are this Night worth 10,000l. 2 Buy. An belike you, Sir, I wou'd willingly ride upon the Number of my Coach. Stoc. Mr. Trick, let that Gentleman the Number of his Coach—[Aside.] No matter whether we have it, or no.—As the Gentleman is riding to a Castle in the Air, an airy Horse is the properest to carry him... [Knocking hard without..] Heyday! this is some Person of Quality, by the Impudence of the Footman. £nter Lady. Lady. Your Servant, Mr. Stocks. Stoc. I am your Ladyship's most obedient Servant. Lady. I am come to buy some Tickets, and hire some Horses, Mr. Stocks—I intend to have twenty Tickets, and ten Horses every

Day. &c. By which, if your Ladyship has any Luck, you may very easily get 30 or 40,000l. Lady. Please to look at those Jewels, Sir– they cost my Lord upwards of 60001–I intend to lay out what you will lend upon 'em. [Knocking without. Stoc. If your Ladyship pleases to walk up into the Dining-Room, I'll wait on you in a Moment.

[Chloe, a lady, holding an undrawn Lottery Ticket, which, from what a fortune-teller told her, what she saw in a coffee dish, and what she dreamt every night, she is confident would come up a orize of ten thousand pounds, desires to consult Mr. Stocks as to how she should lay out the money.]

Enter Stocks. Soc. I had the Honour of receiving your * Commands, Madam. Chloe. Sir, your humble Servant—Your Name is Mr. Stocks, I suppose. Stoc. So I am call'd in the Alley, Madam; a Name, tho' I say it, which wou'd be as well receiv'd at the Bottom of a Piece of Paper, as any He's in the Kingdom. But if I mistake not, Madam, you wou'd be instructed how to dispose of 10,000l. Chloe. I wou'd so, Sir. Stoc. Why, Madam, you know, at present, Publick Interest is very low, and private Securities very difficult to get—and I am sorry to . I am afraid there are some in the Alley who are not the honestest Men in the Kingdom. In short, there is one way to dispose of Money with Safety and Advantage, and that is —to put it into the Charitable Corpcration. Chloe. The Charitable Corporation! pray what is that? Stoc. That is, Madam, a method, invented by some very wise Men, by which the Rich may be charitable to the Poor, and be Money in Pocket by it.

The ChariTABLE Corporation.

This company, erected in 1707, professed to lend money at legal interest to the poor upon small pledges; and to persons of better rank upon security of goods impawned. Their capital, at first limited to £30,000, was by licenses from the crown increased to £600,000, though their charter was never confirmed by act of parliament. In 1731, George Robinson, esquire, member for Marlow, the cashier, and John Thompson, warehousekeeper of the corporation, disappeared in one day. The alarmed proprietors held several general courts, and appointed a committee to inspect their affairs, who reported, that for a capital of above $500,000 no equivalent was found; inasmuch as their effects did not amount to the value of £30,000, the remainder hav. ing been embezzled. The proprietors, in a petition to the house of commons, represented that, by a notorious breach of trust, the corporation had been defrauded of the greatest part of their capital; and that many of the petitioners were reduced to the utmost misery and distress: they therefore prayed parliament to inquire into the state of the corporation, and the conduct. of their managers, and extend relief to the petitioners. On this petition a secret committee was appointed, who soon discovered a most iniquitous scene

of fraud, perpetrated by Robinson, and

Thompson, in concert with some of the directors, for embezzling the capital, and cheating the proprietors. Many persons of rank and quality were concerned in this infamous donspiracy. Sir Robert Sutton and sir Archibald Grant were exlled the house of commons, as having ad a considerable share in those fraudulent practices, and a bill was brought in to restrain them and other delinquents from leaving the kingdom, or alienating their effects.” In 1733, parliament granted a lottery in behalf of the sufferers. On the 1st of August in that year, books were opened at the bank to receive, from those who had given in their names, the first Poyment of one pound per ticket in the “Lottery for the relief of the Charitable Corporation;"+ and in 1734 “it was distributed among them, amounting to nine shillings and ninepence in the pound on on their loss."t

The “London Journal” of October 30, 1731, observing on the general disposition to adventure says:— The natural life of man is labour or business ; riches is an unnatural state; and therefore generally a state of misery. Life, which is a drug in the hands of idle men, never hangs heavily on the hands of merchants and tradesmen, who judiciously divide their time between the city and country. This is so true, that a wise man would never leave his children so much money as to put them beyond industry; for that is too often putting them beyond happiness. he heaping up riches for posterity is, generally speaking, heaping up destruetion ; and entailing of large estates, entailing vice and misery. These thoughts were occasioned by the present state lottery; which plainly discovers that the people would run into the excesses of the South Sea year, had they the same opportunities. The spring and source of this unreasonable passion, is the hirury of the age. Tradesmen commence gentlemen and men of pleasure, when they should be men of business ; and begin where they should end. This sets them a madding after lotteries; business is neglected, and poverty, vice, and misery spread among the people. It is hoped

that the Parliament will never come into another lottery. All other gaming should be also discouraged. Who but laments that unfortunate young lady at the Bath, who was ruined by gaming, and rather than submit to a mean dependance, thought it best to resign her life?” The tone of dissuasion from lotteries and gambling in the year 1731, prevails through the writings of the different persons who opposed such schemes and practices. The story of the “unfortunate young lady at the Bath, who was ruined by gaming,” referred to in the last paragraph, and already related in this work, is exceedingly affecting.

[blocks in formation]

* Smollett.
+ Gentleman's Magazine. -
3 Anderson. - -

* Gentleman's Magazine, 1731.
f Gentleman's Magazine.

getting the finest piece of music that ever was heard; it is a thing that will play eight tunes. Handel and all the great musicians say, that it is beyond any thing they can do; and this may be performed by the most ignorant person; and when you are weary of those eight tunes, you may have them changed for any other that you like. This I think much better than going to an Italian opera, or an assembly. This performance has been lately put into a Lottery, and all the royal family chose to have a great many tickets, rather than to buy it, the price being I think 1000l., infinitely a less sum than some bishopricks have been sold for. And a gentleman won it, who I am in hopes will sell it, and if he will, I will buy it, for I cannot live to have another made, and I will carry it into the country with me.”

In the State Lottery of 1739, tickets, chances, and shares were “bought and sold by Richard Shergold, printer to the honourable the commissioners of the Lottery, at his office at the Union Coffee-house over and against the Royal Exchange, Cornhill.” He advertised, that he kept numerical books during the drawing, and a book wherein buyers might register their numbers at sixpence each; that 15 percent. was to be deducted out of the prizes, which were to be paid at the bank in fifty days after the drawing was finished; and that “schemes in French and English” were given gratis.”

The per centage to be deducted from the prizes in this lottery occasioned the following

EPIGRAM. This lottery can never thrive, Was broker heard to say, For who but fools will ever give Fifteen per cent to play.

A sage, with his accustomed grin, Replies, I'll stake my doom,

That if but half the fools come in The wise will find no room.4

Lottery AT STATIon ERs' HALL.

On the 23d of November, 1741, “the drawing of the Bridge Lottery began at Stationers' Hall—The Craftsman of the 28th says, that every 100,000l. laid out in

a lottery puts a stop to the circulation of at least 300,000l., and occasions almost a total suppression of trade.”

In June, 1743, “the price of lottery tickets having risen from iOl. to 111. 10s. some persons, who probably wanted to purchase, published a hint to the unwary adventurers, that they gamed at 50 per cent. loss; paying, at that price, 2s. 6d. to play for 5s.; the money played for bein only three pound, besides discount .# deductions."+

*-
Ticker stuck IN THE WHEEL.

On the 5th of January, 1774, at the conclusion of drawing the State Lottery at Guildhall, No. 11,053, as the last drawn ticket, was declared to be entitled to the 1000l., and was so printed in the paper of benefits by order of the commissioners. It was besides a prize of 100l. But after the wheels were carried back to Whitehall and there opened, the ticket No. 72,248 was found sticking in a crevice of the wheel. And, being the next drawn ticket after all the prizes were drawn, was advertised by the commissioners' order as entitled to the 1000l., as the last drawn ticket: “which affair made a great deal of noise.”:

A PEER's Substitute Foa Lotten IEs.

On the bill, for a lottery to succeed the preceding, being brought into the house of lords, a peer said, that such measures always were censured by those that saw their nature and their tendency. “They have been considered as legal cheats, by which the ignorant and the rash are defrauded, and the subtle and avaricious often enriched. They have been allowed to divert the people from trade, and to alienate them from useful industry. A man who is uneasy in his circumstances, and idle in his disposition, collects the remains of his fortune, and buys tickets in a lottery, retires from business, indulges himself in laziness, and waits, in some obscure, place, the event of his adventure. Another, instead of employing his stock in a shop or a warehouse, rents a garret in a private street, and make it his business, by false

* Gentleman's Magazine, 1739.
f The Champion, January 10, 1740.

* Gentleman's Magazine.
Ibid

t Maitland. Gentleman's Magazine.

intelligence, and chimerical alarms, to raise and sink the price of tickets altermately, and takes advantage of the lies which he has himself invented. If I, my lords, might presume to recommend to our ministers the most probable method of raising a large sum for the payment of the troops of the electorate, I should, instead of the tax and lottery now proposed, advise them to establish a certain number of licensed wheel-barrows, on which the laudable trade of thimble and button might be carried on for the support of the war, and shoe-boys might contribute to the defence of the house of Austria, by raffling for apples.’

Chances of Tickets.

The State Lottery of 1751 seems to have encountered considerable opposition. There is a discouraging notice in the * Gentleman's Magazine” on the 4th of July in that year, that “those inclined to become adventurers in the present lottery were cautioned in the papers to wait some time before they purchased tickets, whereby the jobbers would be disappointed of their market, and obliged to sell at a lower price. At the present rate of tickets the adventurer plays at 35 per cent. loss.”

In the next month, August, the “London Magazine” exhibited the following computation.

IN THE LOTTERY 1751, IT IS

69998 to 2 or 34999 to 1 69994 to 6 or 11665 to 1 69989 to 11 or 6363 to 1 69981 to 19 or 3683 to 1 69961 to 39 or 1794 to 1 69920 to 80 or 874 to 1 69720 to 280 or 249 to 1 69300 to 700 or 99 to 1 60000 to 10000 or 6 to 1

The writer says, I would beg the favour of all gentlemen, tradesmen, and others, to take the pains to explain to such as any way depend upon their judgment, that one must buy no less than seven tickets to have an even chance for any rize at all; that with only one ticket, it s six to one, and with half a ticket, twelve to one against any prize; and ninety-nine or a hundred to one that the prize, if it comes, will not be above fifty pounds; and no less than thirty-five thousand to one that the owner of a single ticket will not obtain one of the greatest F. No lottery is proper for persons of very small fortunes, to whom the loss of five or six pounds is of great consequence, besides the disturbance of their minds; much less is it advisable or desirable for either poor or rich to contribute to the exorbitant tax of more than two hundred thousand pounds, which the first engrossers of lottery tickets, and the brokers and dealers strive to raise, out of the pockets of the poor chiefly, and the silly rich partly, by artfully enhancing the price of tickets above the original cost. The prices of tickets in this lottery was ten pounds. On their rise a Mr. Holland publicly offered to lay four hundred gui

[blocks in formation]

Then let them spin out their fine scheme as

they will, No horseshoe nor magpye shall baffle our skill; In triumph we'll ride, and, in spite of the rout, Our point we'll obtain without wheeling about. Derry down, &c.

Tho' sturdy these beggars, yet weak are their brains; Who offer to check us, must smart for their pains; In concert united, we'll laugh at the tribe, Who play of their engines to damp all our pride. Derry down, &c.

Let Holland no longer appear with his brags,
His four hundred guineas keep safe in his bags,
Northink we're such fools to risque any thing
down,
By way of a wager to humour the town.
Derry down, &c."

On the 11th of the next month, November, the drawing of the State Lottery began, when, notwithstanding the united efforts of several societies and public-spirited gentlemen to check the exorbitancy of the ticket-mongers, the price rose to sixteen guineas just before drawing. All means were tried to cure this infatuation by writing and advertising; particularly on the first day of drawing, it was publicly averred, that near eight thousand tickets were in the South Sea House, and upwards of thirty thousand pawned at bankers, &c. that nine out of ten of the ticket-holders were not able to go into the wheel; and that not one of them durst stand the drawing above six days. It was also demonstrated in the clearest manner, that to have an even chance for any prize a person must have seven tickets; that with only one ticket it was six to one; and ninety-nine to one that the prize, if it came, would not be above fifty pounds, and no less than thirty-five thousand to one that the owner of a single ticket would not obtain one of the greatest prizes.—Yet, notwithstanding these and other precautions, people still suffered to: to be deluded, and the moniedmen arrogantly triumphed.t

A Lottery Job IN IRELAND.

In August, 1752, a lottery was set on foot at Dublin, under the pretext of raising 13,700l. for rebuilding Essex-bridge, and other public and charitable uses.

zine. agazine.

* Universal Ma f Qentleman's

There were to be 100,000 tickets, at a guinea each. The lords justices of Ireland issued an order to suppress this lottery. The measure occasioned a great uproar in Dublin; for it appears, that the tickets bore a premium, and that though the original subscribers were to have their money returned, the buyers at the advanced price would lose the advance. Every purchaser of a single ticket in this illegal lottery incurred a penalty of 50l. for each offence, and the seller 500l., one third of which went to the informer, a third to the king, and the other third to the poor of the parish; besides which, the offenders were subject to a year's close imprisonment in the county gaol.”

[ocr errors]

To prevent the .. of tickets in the State Lottery, it had been enacted, that persons charged with the delivery of tickets should not sell more than twenty to one person. This provision was evaded by pretended lists, which defeated the object of parliament and injured public credit, insomuch that, in 1754, more tickets were subscribed for than the holders of the lists had cash to purchase, and there was a deficiency in the first payment. The mischief and notoriety of these practices occasioned the house of commons to prosecute an inquiry into the circumstances, which, though opposed by a scandalous cabal, who endeavoured to screen the delinquents, ended in a report by the committee, that Peter Leheup, esq. had privately disposed of a great number of tickets before the office was opened to which the public were directed by an advertisement to apply; that he also delivered great numbers to particular persons, upon lists of names which he knew to be fictitious; and that, in particular, Sampson Gideon became |. of more than six thousand, which he sold at a F. Upon report of these and other illegal acts, the house resolved that Leheup was guilty of a violation of the act, and a breach of trust, and presented an address to his majesty, praying that he would direct the attorney-general to rosecute him in the most effectual manner or his offences. An information was *...} filed, and, on a trial at bar in the court of king's bench, Leheup, as one of the receivers of the last lottery of 300,000l., was found

• Gentleman's Magazine.

« AnteriorContinuar »