CHAPTER I. CHEVALIERS D'INDUSTRIE, OR POLITE SHARPERS. Chevaliers d'industrie, or polite and accomplished sharpers, have always existed in every city, from the earliest times to the present. The ordinary progress of these interesting gentlemen is as follows. Their debut is often difficult, and many of them are stopped short in their career. They only succeed by means of great exertion and severe trials; but they endure everything in order to be... more...

To the readers of the present generation much of this book will, doubtless, seem incredible. Still it is a book of facts—a section of our social history, which is, I think, worth writing, and deserving of meditation. Forty or fifty years ago—that is, within the memory of many a living man—gambling was 'the rage' in England, especially in the metropolis. Streets now meaningless and dull—such as Osendon Street, and streets... more...