Fools of Fortune; or, Gambling and Gamblers by John Philip Quinn
Of all the vices which have enslaved mankind, none can reckon among its victims so many as gambling. Not even the baneful habit of drink has blighted so many lives or desolated so many homes. Its fascination is insidious and terrible, and its power is all the more to be dreaded in that it appeals to a latent instinct in nearly every human breast. In view of these considerations it appears strange that English literature contains no authentic work specially devoted to this subject; while there exists literally no exposition of its allurements and its dangers written from the standpoint of one on the inside.
It is to fill this vacant place in literature that the author offers this volume to the public. For a quarter of a century he has witnessed and practiced every variety of gambling known to the professional. From the shores of the Atlantic to the canons of Colorado, from the frozen lake of the North, drained by the mighty Mississippi, to the sunken bayous that skirt its delta, he has journeyed to and fro, plying his nefarious calling. At times realizing the success of his schemes, at times a penniless wanderer, he has tasted all the joys of a gambler’s career and drained to the dregs the wormwood which lurks at the bottom of the cup of illusive, hollow happiness. No art of the fair gamester is unknown to him, nor is there any device of the sharper with which he is unacquainted. With shame and remorse he confesses his fault, and it is in the hope of measurably atoning for his wrong doing, that the present volume has been prepared.