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of dangers and temptations, the young man felt fascinated by the risk. He would himself venture forth into this region perilous, and see if he could emerge unscathed. Thus does a too anxious wish to deter sometimes prove the most alluring of all baits to the adventurous spirit of youth.

While still an undergraduate at Oxford, Lord Rosebery decided that he was old enough to have a try to win the Derby. He bought a horse bearing the name of Ladas, which was believed to have some chance. The University authorities, scandalised at this infraction of rule, remonstrated, and ultimately finding their representations in vain, they had resort to the ultima ratio of dons, and confronted the young sportsman with the alternative to quit or obey. He did not believe that the interdict was reasonable, and he deliberately elected to leave college withont taking his degree rather than submit to an arbitrary interference with the course which he decided to take. No one then foresaw that he would be Prime Minister, although tradition has it that Lord Rosebery had himself determined that in addition to winning the Derby he would b3 Prime Minister before he died. But that was hidden from the authorities, and they adhered to their decision. So did Lord Rosebery. He left and began life without a University degree rather than surrender Ladas the First, with whom he was to make his first attempt to carry off the Blue Ribbon of the turf. Imagine then his chagrin when the brute for which he had sacrificed so much actually passed the winning-post the very last horse of the lot. So it came to pass that Lord Rosebery got neither his degree at college nor the Blue Ribbon of the turf. But although thwarted and disappointed, Lord Rosebery never gave up, and realised in due time the truth of Disraeli's saying that everything comes to him who knows how to wait. He had, however, to wait for nearly twenty-five years before his ambition was fulfilled.

It is odd to those who have never been in a racing stable to conceive the passion that consumes some exalted minds to achieve this distinction. A well-known passage from Disraeli's “Life of Lord George Bentinck” bears curious testimony to the hold which this passion had upon one of the most typical of all English country gentlemen. Mr. Disraeli says :

The day after the Derby, May 25th, the writer met Lord George Bentinck in the library of the House of Commons. He was standing before the bookshelf with a volume in his hands, and his countenance was gravely disturbed. His resolutions in favour of the colonial interest after all his labours had been negatived by the Committee, and on the 22nd and the 24th, his horse Surplice, whom he had parted with among the rest of his stud, solely that he might pursue without distraction his labours on behalf of the country, had won that paramount and Olympic stake, to gain which had been the object of his life. He had nothing to console him, and nothin to sustain him but his pride. Even that deserted him before a heart which he knew could yield him sympathy. He gave a sort of superb groan :

"All my life I have been trying for this, and for what have I sacrificed it?" he murmured. It was in vain to offer solace.

You do not know what the Derby is,” he moaned out. Yes, I do; it is the blue ribbon of the turf.” " It is the blue ribbon of the turf,” he slowly repeated to himself, and sitting down to a table he buried himself in a folio of statistics.

Ten years nearer our time another characteristically English Prime Minister was intensely chagrined by the failure of his horse Mainstone to carry off the prize. The tollowing passage from Evelyn Ashley's "Life of Lord

Palmerston” is as significant in its way as the extract from Disraeli's " Life of Bentinck." Mr. Ashley writes :

When the much-coveted “ blue ribbon” of the turf seemed just within his grasp, his horse Mainstone-third in the betting —unaccountably broke down, with a strong suspicion of foul play. The entries in his list of interviews on the morning of Monday, the 21st of May, are striking by their variety :-

John Day an 1 Professor Spooner about Mainstone: settled he should run on Wednesday.--Shaftesbury about Church appointments.---Powell, to ask about Mainstone.-Sir Robert Peel, ditto. — Bernstorff

, to read me a despatch. --- Sidney Herbert about his evidence to be given to-morrow before committee on army organisation.-Deputation from Manchester against intention of the House of Lords to throw out the repeal of the Excise duty on paper.".

The Derby Day being the next but one, we may be sure that on tiis morning the trainer and the veterinary were received with even more interest than the Prussian Ambassador and the deputation. In spite of the bad report from the stable, Lord Palmerston rode down to Epsom on Wednesday to see Thormanby win and his own horse only come in somewhere about tenth. It was a great disappointment to him. He had never been so near taking the great prize of the turf, and he was convinced that if his horse had been fairly dealt with, it would at any rate have made a good show to the front. Lord Palmerston's connection with the turf extended over a long period, commencing in 1815, with a filly called Mignonette, at Winchester, and only ended with his death. He seldom betted, but raced from love of sport and horses. He usually bred his animals himself, and named them after his farms. A visit to his three paddocks at Broadlands made his favourite Sunday afternoon walk. Changing his trainer after this affair, and feeling very much disgusted at the state of the turf revealed, as he considered, by the treatment of Mainstone, he had no horse of any merit afterwards except Baldwin.-(Pp. 198-200.),

Lord Rosebery, piqued rather than dismayed by his failure, threw himself with energy into racing. He liked the excitement; he had not a very large stud, and he was fairly successful. He had his ups and downs like most beginners. But he lost rather than made money by his ventures, and when he married his devotion to the turf cooled down. Since that date, although he has always kept his stud, he has seldom had more than two or three horses in training, and during recent years he has not even taken the trouble to attend to these, so engrossed was he with the weightier affairs of politics. He sold his yearlings-picking out one or two whenever they seemed to him to have the look of a possible Derby winner, but he seldom went near his stables, and more than once was on the verge of parting with them altogether. Nothing could be a greater contrast than that between him and Lord George Bentinck, Of the latter his friend and biographer said:

Of late years he had become absorbed in the pastime and fortunes of the turf, in which his whole being seemed engrossed and which he pursued on a scale which has perhaps never been equalled.

When Lord George sold his stud to Mr. Mostyn for the bagatelle of £10,000, owing to his political engagements, 208 thoroughbreds, viz., 3 stallions, 50 horses in training, 70 brood mares, 40 yearlings, and 45 foals, passed into Mr. Mostyn's hands, It is worth noting that although Lord George Bentinck had thus abandoned the turf, in a couple of years he decided to return to the fleshpots of Egypt. John Kent, who trained for Lord George, thus chronicles how his old master announced his determination to return to the turf. Surplice had just won the

ser as well as the Derby, and Lord George's heart was


When I met Lord George on the appointed day be immediately remarked to me: “I found racing expensive when I



was mixed up with it, but nothing like so expensive as politics, What did the lucky or unlucky gamblers who confor I never saw such a hungry set of fellows as these poli tributed to the great Umballa sweep care for Ladas as a ticians; they were never satisfied. I want you, therefore, to

living, loving, beautiful, spirited creature ? Ladas might pick out eight or ten horses for me, and I will have another

have been as ugly as a cow and as cross as a bear, and try at the turf. You and I got on very well together before, and I have no doubt that we shall do so again.”

it would have been all one to them. Ladas to them, as

to almost everybody else, was not a horse at all; Ladas Nothing but his premature death prevented this being

was simply a gambling machine; and that, as the Americarried out.

cans say, was “ all there is it.” The beautiful gracious After Lord Rosebery had almost abandoned all hope of winning the Derby, Ladas was born. It was, to quote

thoroughbred, between whom and his owner and trainer

there naturally arise sentiments such as that expressed Lord Rosebery's own phrase, as if he had found a pearl

in Mrs. Hemans' verses on the Arab and his steed, in a dunghill, and he not unnaturally made the most of

was to these military gentlemen in India, and to the it. Old Matt. Dawson, although over seventy years of age, horde of gamesters at home, as little of a living was prevailed upon to train the promising colt, and after the first trial proved the animal's quality, his

breathing creature as the ball of ivory that is set

spinning in roulette. Ladas, in short, for practical owner felt his old interest in the turf begin to revive.

purposes to the immense majority is not a horse It was increased steadily by each successive victory, until it reached a climax at the Derby. Then, having achieved

but a mere gambling tool, and all the considerations the long-cherished object of his ambition, Lord Rosebery

which are pertinent and just enough in the case of those

to whom Ladas is a horse are simply ludicrous and nonwould probably have abandoned the turf, wait of

sensical to the others. Hence after having done what I course till the St. Leger was decided, but unfortunately the tactics of his critics rendered that impossible.

hope may be regarded as ample justice to the equineLord Rosebery is not a man to be driven. If he left

human element in Ladas worship, I venture to discuss

the real question as it confronts all but a handful of the University rather than be coerced into sacrificing Ladas the First, one of the worst horses of his year, it is

human beings, and leaving poor Ladas out of account,

consider the salient facts of the case about our National not very probable that he would under menace consent

Gaming Hell. to give up the best horse of the day. There is a certain dogged tenacity about Lord Rosebery not yet adequately appreciated. He showed it somewhat curiously when he It is this aspect of racing which supplies the solid persisted in giving the name of Ladas to the colt. It was foundation for the disapproval with which it is regarded unlucky. In the opinion of the superstitious-and all by the most serious thinking people in England. To gamblers are superstitious-nothing could have more racehorses and racing no living soul would make an assuredly ruined the chances of the young horse. Lord objection ; what is objected to is the gambling which Rosebery opposed a stolid front to the representatives of

to be their invariable concomitant. Lord the cognoscenti. He had lost the Derby with one Ladas; Rosebery, in reply to Mr. Hawke, alluded somewhat with another he would win it, and he did, superstition cleverly to the fact that Oliver Cromwell kept a stud of notwithstanding

racehorses. But no one knows better than Lord Rose

bery that under the rule of the Lord Protector horses IV.-THE GAMING HELL OF GREAT BRITAIN.

were not used as four-legged gambling machines; that if After what I have just written concerning the human they had been so used he would have made very short equine side of horseracing, no one, I hope, will venture to

work of them. Cromwell was a great cavalry general, accuse meof sour and squint-eyed fanaticism on the subject. and he naturally took a deep interest in the quality of the I fear I stand in greater danger of being denounced by my

steeds on which his Ironsides were mounted, friends for holding a candle to the devil and of inventing

It is a curious instance of the inversion of rôles that excuses for the inexcusable. For as a matter of fact, while the example of the King of the Puritans is invoked while the love of a man for a good horse is one of the as justifying the maintenance of a racing stud, the most natural and most excellent of the minor emotions of leading advocate of license in English fiction should be life, it is simple nonsense to imagine that the bulk of the chief assailant of the racing system of to-day. In the interest excited in the victory of Ladas had even the “Esther Waters ” George Moore has drawn a vivid and remotest relation to the likeable qualities in the horse, somewhat lurid picture of the consequences of betting in Ladas to Lord Rosebery is rightly enough almost human. circles which are usually regarded as lying outside the Every good man feels a friendship for his horse. But province of the novelist's pen. Mr. George Moore is not ninety-nine men out of a hundred who got excited about exactly the person from whom we should have expected the Derby winner would laugh at the suggestion that so vigorous a denunciation of one of the vices which are Ladas touched them in the least as a realised sentient eating into the heart of modern society. But, espected or entity, capable of sharing to a certain limited extent in unexpected, his contribution is a welcome addition to the its own dumb way with the feelings of its master. Their task of arousing public sentiment upon a subject of the interest in St. Ladas is to be explained on very different first importance. grounds, of which a plain hint is afforded us in the

PRELIMINARY ADMISSIONS. following paragraph, that has been going the rounds of

In considering these questions it is well to clear the the press :

ground by admitting fully and frankly much that is Lord William Beresford has signalised his last days in India, the Yorkshire Posts London correspondent says, by a lucky

usually urged against all attempts to cope with the evil

under consideration. The instinct of gaming, it may be stroke of speculative business. He bought the Ladas chance for a lakh of rupees from a military officer who had drawn the

admitted, lies deep in the human heart. The passion for horse in the great Umballa sweep. The price paid was a long

backing your opinion with ready money is distinctive of one, representing close upon £6,000 of English money, but the

both Englishmen and Americans, and it must be admitted value of the winning horse in the sweepstake was not far

that there is much about it that is extremely creditable to short of two lakhs, so that it is probable the popular Military

our national character. There is no other method so Secretary of the Viceroy has netted £5,000 by the transaction. simple and so precise by which a man can express exactly

what he believes and how far he believes it. Apart from this desire to formulate in this unmistakable and simple terminology your conviction as to the merits of respective horses, or of the accuracy of your assertions, there is no doubt that the passion of gaming is intense. It is no holiday task to which we have to put our hands if we endeavour to keep within bounds a passion so strong and so universal. But the excuso that a task is difficult is no reason for refusing to face a duty and to counteract an evil by every means in our power.


By a strange confusion of ideas there are many puzzleheaded controversialists who consider that they have made out an unanswerable case for leaving things alone when they have proved that any evil is deeply rooted in human nature and appeals to some of the most powerful of human instincts. The logical conclusion is of course of an exactly opposite nature. The more imperious the passion may be, and the greater the number who may feel its sway, the more necessary is it that it should be checked and curbed, and in every way prevented from having an uninterrupted course. If the Dutch had regarded the strength of the waves or the peculiar liability of their lowlands to inundation as a reason for not building their dykes, their land would have been under water to this day. But to hear many people talk, you would imagine that the greater the danger the less reason there is for endeavouring to cope with it.

SHALL WE THEREFORE DO NOTHING ? It may further be admitted without hesitation that nothing that we can do will extirpate betting and gambling. To return again to the Dutch analogy, we may say that we no more dream of preventing any man from betting or gambling privately with his friend by any acts of the legislature or by any vigilance of the administration than the Dutch dreamed of drying up the ocean when they set themselves to work to rear the sandy ramparts behind which they cultivate in safety meadows actually lying below the level of the ocean. No amount of dykes will give absolute security against occasional inundations, and even where the dykes are the strongest they merely keep the waves within bounds. If we are not to do anything because we cannot do everything, then all human action would be paralysed at once. It is our bounden duty to do what we can; and the more gigantic the evil against which we have to contend, the more imperative it is for us to neglect no means by which we can contribute, on however small a scale, to rescue our population from the plague and the scourge of betting and gambling.

IS GAMBLING AN EVIL ? There are a few possibly who may be inclined to debate the question whether or not the betting mania of to-day is a plague to the community. As to that, however, there is practical unanimity among all those who care for the welfare of the people, whether they be magistrates, employers of labour or ministers of religion. There is a universal opinion that betting on races is spreading, and that wherever it spreads it is morally and socially pernicious. Indeed the subject is one on which the consensus of opinion is overwhelming. Civilised man has not arrived at many definite conclusions upon many subjects, but one of these points is that the habit of gaming is pernicious to the community. Pagan, Freethinker, and Christian are all agreed on that point. If gambling is not an evil, then the course of human legislation for centuries has been wrong; and instead of passing new laws to supplement those already on the statute book, or of

even enforcing those already made, we should logically repeal all the interdicts by which the wisdom of our ancestors contrived to circumscribe this evil. We may therefore take it for granted that whatever a few interested sophists may say as to the innocence of betting, gambling is bad, and the less of it there is in the community the better.

BETTING NOT ITS WORST FORM. The next objection to be raised will be by those who say that gambling is bad, but that the worst gambling does not take place on the turf. A good honest bet, they say, is not so bad and does not affect any one but the man himself-except, it might be added, his wife and children and the community at large, to whose interest it is that gambling should not exist. Politics are dull compared with the fierce excitement of the betting-ring, and the stimulant of the gamester causes all the other interests of life to appear dull and weak. But this by the way. Gambling on the turf, so its apologists say, is nothing to the gambling which takes place on the Stock Exchange. Bookmakers are innocent and virtuous citizens compared with the operators who rig the market, contrive corners, and generally upset the prices. The practice of gambling in stocks and shares which has been democratised by the bucket shop is much more pernicious to the individual gambler. The man who bets on the races, so the turfites say, is soon out of his pain, but the man who has invested in futures or options, or is engaged in speculations on the Stock Exchange, is in a chronic state of fever much more serious than the brief fierce thrill of the man who has put his money on his favourite horse. Now I am not disposed to deny the accuracy of these assertions. If it will tend to clear the ground in this controversy, I am willing to admit that the Stock Exchange is worse than the betting-ring, and that the attention of all serious men must be turned as gravely to the question of the bucket shop as to the newspapers which convert themselves into morning and evening touts for the bookmakers. But the question of the bucket shop is too large a question to be discussed merely as incidental to the subject of betting on races.

If it be a worse evil than betting, then it is so great a subject that it ought to be considered by itself, and that consideration we are quite willing to give it when the subject arises. The moment for discussing the bucket shop has not come, whereas the question of the hour is the question of the turf.

MEN WILL BET. The third objection which will be taken is that men will gamble upon something, and that if they are not allowed to gamble upon horses they will do so on some thing else. That also to a certain extent is true. Men who have no other excitement, and who are accustomed to decide the ownership of money by chance, will always find something on which to bet. There is the classic instance of the gamblers who made bets on whether a man who had fallen down in a fit at the steps of a club, was really in a fit or was dead, and those who had backed him to die objected to the doctor giving him assistance on the ground that it was prejudicial to their chances. Men constantly bet on the number of miles an Atlantic steamer will make in the twenty-four hours, or what number will be on the sail of the pilot boat off Sandy Hook. The story of the jumping frog is an instance of the facility with which the harmless batrachian can be pressed into ice as a four-legged gambling machine if the nobler animal is absent. There have been bets as to which drop of water will find its way to the bottom of a pane of glass

press it.



first, bets as to which lump of sugar a fly will first settle public lotteries are rigorously suppressed, for the petty upon or as to which worm will first make its way out of exception of raffling in charity bazaars can hardly be a given circle. Men bet upon elections, upon the spelling regarded as a serious infraction of the law. We have of words, upon the age of celebrities, upon the number of therefore in these two instances a certain plain and easy words in the Bible, and many other things. There is, in rule to apply to betting on the turf. Private betting short, nothing upon which men will not bet if they want between man and man which is not publicly advertised to. But when all that is admitted what does it prove? will go on to a greater or lesser extent. With that we The fact is usually brought forward as if the imme cannot interfere. Public betting, however, is another diate and only conclusion deducible therefrom is that the matter, and especially that form of betting which is legislature should do nothing whatever to limit or to check practically the creation of the penny and halfpenny the indulgence in this impulse. If this were admitted press, which, so far from being discouraged, is actively the first consequences that would follow would be assisted by the Government through the Telegraph the opening of public gaming-hells in every centre of Department of the Post Office. We are therefore population, and the second would be the repeal of the not confronted by any non possumus in relation to Lotteries Act and the establishment of lotteries all over betting on horse-racing. If public betting on racing the country. If,

is not suppressed, on the other hand,

it is not because betting men who

it cannot be supprotest against any

pressed but beinterference with Go Bless (ORD POSE DERY

cause the will is their sport do not

wanting to supgo so far, it is for them to answer the

WHAT CAN BE question why is it

DONE. right to suppress

Those who are lotteries and shut

disposed to object up gaming-houses,

to this are reand wrong to inter

quested to fere with betting

sider the following horse - races,

possibilities if Mr. which is by far the

Hawke and the most general mode

Anti-Gambling of gambling which

League were to prevails in Eng

secure the return land at the present

to the House of day?

Commons of BETTING

large majority of HORSE-RACES

their way of thinkCAN BE STOPPED.

ing. Leaving out Practical

of account the have to deal with

House of Lords, vice and other

which would probevils as best they

ably not interfere can, However

in the interests of difficult it may be

vice if the popular for us to define the From the Western Mail.]

[June 8, 1894. majority were limits within CHAIRMAX: "Ladies and Gentlemen, before the Rev. Jonah Mathias, of Chapel Thomas, sufficiently strong, which we can inaddresses the meeting I wish to introduce to your notice a life-like model of the immortal

what is there to Lalas, winner of the Derby." (Loud and prolonge.l cheers.) terfere in dis

hinder such a couraging gam

majority from bling, the experience of the past indicates pretty clearly taking the following steps ?-First, to pass an Act prothe direction in which we should move. No amount hibiting the publication of all odds and news of betting of demonstration as to the universality of the passion for before the event, in order to prevent the constant stimulus gambling deters the European Governments without a single and incitement to betting which the publication of such exception from preventing the running of gaming-houses. news supplies. Secondly, to passan Act sendingevery newsThe exception of Monte Carlo in the petty State of paper proprietor to prison who publishes any returns of Monaco only proves the rule, and emphasises the betting after the event, which could be proved to have had unanimity of European civilisation on this point. In the effect of facilitating gambling. This may be objected every State in Europe where gaming-houses are sup to as an unwarranted interference with the liberty of the pressed there is plenty of private gambling. That is a press. But that is another question. I am not discusthing which the State has to put up with, because it sing what ought to be done at present, but what could be cannot hinder it. The limits of our responsibility are done. If all betting news was eliminated from the newsconterminous with the limits of the possible, hence all papers the anti-gambling majority would still be far civilised nations suppress public gaming-houses, because from having exhausted all the resources of civilisation. they lie within the range of what they can do, and no What is there to hinder them passing an Act rendering civilised Gozornment suppresses private gaming, every chief constable liable to prosecution if it can be because, with the best will in the world, it finds proved that within the range of his jurisdiction betting that such a thing is beyond its powers. Similarly with took place on any race-course or public place without lotteries. Private lotteries cannot be interfered with; intervening to enforce the law? Further, what is there

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to prevent the Post

and Gaming-House Acts, master - General, if he

to take action with a view were the nominee of the

of repressing the evil ? anti-gambling majority,

On this last question it from declaring that all

is obvious that many telegrams relating to

men will differ. Some, bets should be dealt

probably a larger numwith as telegrams are

ber than our administrato-day which contain

tors and journalists imobscene and profane

agine, would gladly wellanguage ? At present

come legislation which the telegraph depart

would cut up racing root ment lays itself out to

and branch. But as these the uttermost to facili

are admittedly in tate the transmission of

minority we need not betting intelligence from

consider that solution at every betting-ring in the

present. We may have kingdom. All that could

to come to it, and it is be stopped if not by a

tolerably certain that we departmental order then

will come to it if the by a short Act of Parlia

present mania for gamment. If all other pallia

bling continues to spread tives failed to limit the

as it has been doing in evil under consideration,

the last few years. there would remain as a

BETTING AS IT 18 last resource the drastic measure of the summary suppression of all racing

Let look in the kingdom. This

narrowly at this quesmight be most unadvis

tion, and ask ourselves able and most tyrannical,

what it is that makes fraught with conse

betting more pernicious quences detrimental to

to-day than it was thirty the best interests of the

years ago. Betting thirty community, but still it

years ago was chiefly conis conceivable that gam From Ji.dy.]

(June 27, 1894. tined to a very limited bling on races might

class. Individuals betted reach such a pitch as

much more heavily would, in the opinion of the House of Commons, justify twenty or thirty years ago than they do to-day. Lord the abolition of racing throughout the kingdom. It will George Bentinck, who repeatedly stood to win £100,000 hardly be debated that if Mr. Hawke were Prime Minister to £150,000 upon a single horse or a single race, has left with an anti-gambling cabinet supported by a majority of sew, if any, successors. Mr. Chaplin was probably the a hundred in the House of Commons, all these measures last man who ever won £100,000 on a single race, and coulù be carried out and be enforced.

then he did not receive all the money which was due to

him on his bets. In those days people began to bet upon THE VITAL QUESTION.

the next Derby almost immediately after the year's race It is therefore a mere shuffling evasion of the question had been won. But betting was practically confined to a to pretend that betting on horse-racing could not be small class with the exception of two or three of the prevented. It is much nearer the mark to say that our large races of the year. When I was a boy on present betting system is the creation of the law, or if Tyneside the betting was chiefly confined to the not of the law then of institutions which are absolutely Northumberland Plate. No doubt there were profesunder the control of the legislature: the pnblic neurs sional bookmakers who bet on every race, but one-half papers, the publie police force, and the Government the population never bet at all under any circumstances. telegraphs. The question, it will be seen, is thus a very Betting, in those days, was exclusively a man's vice. simple one. It is fair to say, first, that in the opinions To-day all these conditions have changed. Betting is of all the best authorities betting has attained the no longer confined to one-half the population. At dimensions of a national curse, and that it is as much Sandown last month an old bookmaker told me he was of an evil to be combated by the legislature as the scandalised by seeing ladies going up to make their bets lotteries or as public gaming-houses. Secondly, it is with all the confidence of old hands, and everyone who clear that whatever other evils exist as inimical or is aware of the condition of things in the North of Engmore inimical to the community than betting on land knows that working-men's wives often het as largely horses this more justifies acquiescence in the and with as disastrous consequences as working men lesser evil than the prevalence of murder would justify themselves. Factory girls in Scotland bet as heavily, the granting of immunity to pick-pockets. Thirdly, according to their means, on football matches as fleet betting on racing, which is admitted to be an evil, can Street loungers on the Two Thousand or the Derby. be suppressed by the legislature. The whole question. Further, while betting is diminishing among the therefore, narrows itself down to this, are the evils noblemen and gentlemen who patronise the turf, connected with betting on races sufficiently great to betting, like everything else, has been democracompel the legislature in accordance with the Lottery tised and generalised. Workmen in a shipyard or




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