Ears--A Hardened Offender. The traveller to the City o
Usiness, that is for the professional player or the saloon-keeper.
Indeed it was looked upon as quite respectable. It has a strange
fascination at all times for a certain class, with whom
it becomes a passion as much as love for the wine-cup, and one must
be well grounded in principle to resist its influences. Many once
who had been tenderly brought up were led astray. Away from home and
its restraining associations, gambling, drinking, and other sins and
vices became their ruin. In calm moments when alone
or under some momentary impulse of goodness there would rise before
them the vision of God-fearing parents--of
open Bibles--of hallowed Sundays; but the thirst for gold could not
be quenched, the mad
race must be run, and to the bitter end, dishonour, death, the grave!
Shelley, if he had stood in the midst of the gamblers, staking
all, even their souls, for gold, in those California days of wild
revelry, could not have expressed himself more
appositely than in his graphic and truthful
lines, in Queen Mab: "Commerce has set the mark of selfishness; The
of its all-enslaving
power Upon a shining ore, and called it gold: Before whose image bow
the vulgar great, The vainly rich, the miserable proud, The mob of
peasants, nobles, priests, and kings, And with blind feelings
reverence the power That grinds them to the dust of misery. But in
the temple of their hireling hearts Gold is a
living god, and rules in scorn
All earthly things but virtue." The saloons fifty years
ago were the centres of attraction for the over-wrought miner, the
wanderer, the creature of impulse, the child of passion.
They were decorated with an eye to brilliant colours, to gorgeous
effect, to all that appeals to the sensuous element in our nature.
They were the best built and most
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