CHAPTER XXXII. Of Forbidden Amusements.
DICE, cards, and the like games of hazard, are not merely dangerous amusements, like dancing, but they are plainly bad and
harmful, and therefore they are forbidden by the civil as by the ecclesiastical law. What harm is there in them? you ask.
Such games are unreasonable:—the winner often has neither skill nor industry to boast of, which is contrary to reason. You
reply that this is understood by those who play. But though that may prove that you are not wronging
anybody, it does not prove that the game is in accordance with reason, as victory ought to be the reward of skill or labour,
which it cannot be in mere games of chance. Moreover, though such games may be called a recreation, and are intended as such,
they are practically an intense occupation. Is it not an occupation, when a man’s mind is kept on the stretch of close attention,
and disturbed by endless anxieties, fears and agitations? Who exercises a more dismal, painful attention than the
gambler? No one must speak or laugh,—if you do but cough you will annoy him and his companions. The only pleasure in gambling
is to win, and this cannot be a satisfactory pleasure, since it can only be enjoyed at the expense of your antagonist. Once, when he was
very ill, S. Louis heard that his brother the Comte d’Anjou and Messire Gautier de Nemours were gambling, and in spite of
his weakness the King tottered into the room where they were, and threw dice and money and
everything out of the window, in great indignation. And the pure and pious Sara, in her appeal to God, declared that she had
never had dealings with gamblers.