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EPILOGUE I.
As my present aim is confined to purveying food for babes in an elementary and easily assimilable form, and to calling your attention to Law 91, any lengthened disquisition on the more recent conventions would be out of place.

More competent critics than myself flatly deny that they are food for anybody, and have denounced them, lock, stock, and barrel, in The Field, Longman’s, Cornhill, Knowledge, Whist, and numerous daily and weekly papers.

Having given my opinion elsewhere, I would merely remark that though, in your allotted span of three-score years and ten—after deducting a reasonable time for rest and refreshment, say eight hours a day—you may possibly master such an intricate absurdity as the plain suit echo, that result is highly improbable, and most assuredly not worth the trouble.

Still, though the thanes have revolted, they are not immortal, and must shortly join the great men who have gone before; the future is in your hands, and if you wish Whist to endure you must bestir yourselves at once; there is no time to lose. “The[116] times have been, that when the brains were out, the man would die;” those times may return at any moment and where will the modern game be then?

Already its authors have provided you with the following dogmata:—

    the lead of uniformity;
    the discard of uniformity;
    the suit of uniformity;

all three of them rooted in error—a melancholy tripod to hang the fine old game upon, with a strong family likeness to the Manx emblem, three legs all abroad and no head-piece—if you give these iconoclasts a little more rope, they have only to formulate the hand of uniformity, and the corpus or rather the cadaver of Whist will be complete.
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