Page:Pictures From Italy.djvu/268

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hundreds of times my stake. If three, three thousand five hundred times my stake. I stake (or play as they call it) what I can upon my numbers, and buy what numbers I please. The amount I play, I pay at the lottery office, where I purchase the ticket; and it is stated on the ticket itself.

Every lottery office keeps a printed book, an Universal Lottery Diviner, where every possible accident and circumstance is provided for, and has a number against it. For instance, let us stake two carlini—about sevenpence. On our way to the lottery office, we run against a black man. When we get there, we say gravely, "The Diviner." It is handed over the counter, as a serious matter of business. We look at black man. Such a number. "Give us that." We look at running against a person in the street. "Give us that." We look at the name of the street itself. "Give us that." Now, we have our three numbers.

If the roof of the theatre of San Carlo were to fall in, so many people would play upon the numbers attached to such an accident in the Diviner, that the Government would soon close those numbers, and decline to run the risk of losing any more upon them. This often happens. Not long ago, when there was a fire in the King s Palace, there was such a desperate run on fire, and long, and palace, that further stakes on the numbers attached to those words in the Golden Book were forbidden. Every accident or event, is supposed, by the ignorant populace, to be a revelation to the beholder, or party concerned, in connection with the lottery. Certain people who have a talent for dreaming