sovereigns, in his left hand--staked their money at every roll of the ball with a business-like sedateness which showed that they were used to it, and had been playing all day, and most probably all the day before, there was no very distinctive character about the players, who were chiefly young men, apparently attracted by curiosity, or staking small sums as part of the amusement of the day, with no very great interest in winning or losing. There were two persons present, however, who, as peculiarly good specimens of a class, deserve a passing notice.

Of these, one was a man of six or eight and fifty, who sat on a chair near one of the entrances of the booth, with his hands folded on the top of his stick, and his chin appearing above them. He was a tall, fat, long-bodied man, buttoned up to the throat in a light green coat, which made his body look still longer than it was: and wore, besides, drab breeches and gaiters, a white neckerchief, and a broad-brimmed white hat. Amid all the buzzing noise of the games, and the perpetual passing in and out of the people, he seemed perfectly calm and abstracted, without the smallest particle of excitement in his composition. He exhibited no indication of weariness, nor, to a casual observer, of interest either. There he sat, quite still and collected. Sometimes, but very rarely, he nodded to some passing face, or beckoned to a waiter to obey a call from one of the tables. The next instant he subsided into his old state. He might have been some profoundly deaf old gentleman, who had come in to take a rest, or he might have been patiently waiting for a friend, without the least consciousness of anybody's presence, or fixed in a trance, or under the influence of opium. People turned round and looked at him; he made no gesture, caught nobody's eye,--let them pass away, and others come on and be succeeded by others, and took no notice. When he did move, it seemed wonderful how he could have seen anything to occasion it. And so, in truth, it was. But there was not a face that passed in or out, which this man failed to see; not a gesture at any one of the three tables that was lost upon him; not a word, spoken by the bankers, but reached his ear; not a winner or loser he could not have marked; and he was the proprietor of the place.

The other presided over the rouge-et-noir table. He was probably some ten years younger, and was a plump, paunchy, sturdy-looking fellow, with his under lip a little pursed, from a habit of counting money inwardly as he paid it, but with no decidedly bad expression in his face, which was rather an honest and jolly one than otherwise. He wore no coat, the weather being hot, and stood behind the table with a huge mound of crowns and half-crowns before him, and a cash-box for notes. This game was constantly playing. Perhaps twenty people would be staking at the same time. This man had to roll the ball, to watch the stakes as they were laid down, to gather them off the colour which lost, to pay those who won, to do it all with the utmost dispatch, to roll the ball again, and to keep this game perpetually alive. He did it all with a rapidity absolutely marvellous; never hesitating, never making a mistake, never stopping, and never ceasing to repeat such unconnected phrases as the following, which, partly from habit, and partly to have something appropriate and business-like to say, he constantly poured out with the same monotonous emphasis, and in nearly the same order, all day long:--

`Rooge-a-nore from Paris! Gentlemen, make your game and back your own opinions--any time while the ball rolls--rooge-a-nore from Paris, gentlemen, it's a French game, gentlemen, I brought it over myself, I did indeed!--rooge-a-nore from Paris--black wins--black--stop a minute, sir, and I'll pay you, directly-- two there, half a pound there, three there--and one there--gentlemen, the ball's a rolling--any time, sir, while the ball rolls!--the beauty of this game is, that you can double your stakes or put down your money, gentlemen, any time while the ball rolls--black again--black wins--I never saw such a thing--I never did, in all my life, upon my word I never did; if any gentleman had been backing the balck in the last five minutes he must have won five-and-forty pound in four rolls of the ball, he must indeed--Gentlemen, we've port, sherry, cigars, and most excellent champagne. Here, wai-ter, bring a bottle of champagne, and let's have a dozen or fifteen cigars here--and let's be comfortable, gentlemen--and bring some clean glasses-- any time while the ball rolls!--I lost one hundred and thirty--seven pound yesterday, gentlemen, at one roll of the ball, I did indeed!--how do you do, sir?' (recognising some knowing gentleman without any halt or change of voice, and giving a wink so slight that it seems an accident), `will you take a glass of sherry, sir?--here, wai-ter! bring a clean glass, and hand the sherry to this gentleman--and hand it round, will you, waiter?--this is the rooge-a-nore from Paris, gentlemen--any time while the ball rolls!--gentlemen,

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