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THE DOMESTIC RUBBER.
“Let the doors be shut upon him, that he may play the fool nowhere but in his own house.”—Shakespeare.

A third variety of whist, the domestic rubber, I have passed over in silence; what takes place in the sanctity of private life it would be as unbecoming for me to divulge as for you to seek to know;
“O’er all its faults we draw a tender veil,
So great its sorrows and so sad its tale.”

At the same time I don’t think I am violating any confidence in stating that you will find there neither signalling, nor the penultimate of five and its developments: yet, though free from these annoyances, the game, even when mitigated by muffins, music, and the humanizing influence of woman is inexpressibly dreary, and you had better keep out of it if you can; but should this not be practicable,—for some relative from whom you have a reasonable expectation of a tip may be staying in the house, and you may be compelled to sacrifice yourself either on the altar of duty or of self-interest—then never forget that sweetness of temper is much more important here than knowledge of Whist, and consoling yourself with the following two reflections:

(1) That (according to Epicurus) prolonged pain is pleasant rather than otherwise, extreme pain always short;[62]

[114]

(2) That those whom the gods love die young; when your hour arrives, bare your throat to the knife with a smile.

So shall your memory smell sweet and blossom in domestic circles.
———
DOUBLE DUMMY.

Double dummy is not Whist, nor anything like it, it much more closely resembles chess; one is a game of inference, the other is an exact science, where the position of every card is known.

Often, in the course of a controversy on Whist, you will hear one of the disputants challenging the other to play double dummy, imagining that he has clenched the matter; it would be quite as germane to suggest trial by battle, or to move an adjournment to a good dry skittle alley.

“The bearings of these observations lays in the application of them. That an’t no part of my duty. Avast then, keep a bright look out for’ard, and good luck to you.”


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