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Fortune Telling by Cards, by P.R.S. Foli, [1915], at

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Important Questions

How to answer them—Specimen questions—Cupid and Venus at work.

How to Answer Them.

WHEN an answer to an important question is required, and the inquirer wishes to consult the cards on the subject, the following simple method may be adopted.

Let the question be asked by the inquirer, then let the dealer take the pack of thirty-two cards, which must be shuffled and cut in the usual manner. The dealer throws out the first eleven cards, which are useless, and proceeds to turn up the others upon the table. The answer is determined by the absence or presence of the special cards applying to each question among the exposed twenty-one.

Specimen Questions.

We will give some examples. Suppose the question to be:—

"How far off is the wedding?"

The needful cards in this case are the queen of spades, who should come out with or near the queen of hearts, and the ace of spades, which should accompany the eight of diamonds. These must be taken in conjunction with the other eights—each of which signifies a year; the four nines—each of which stands for a month; and the four sevens—each of which represents a week. Supposing the above-named cards—the two queens, the ace of spades, and the eight of diamonds—should not come out in due order, or be absent altogether, it may be feared that the date is postponed to vanishing point.

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"Have I real cause for jealousy?"

If the seven of diamonds comes out in the first fifteen cards, the answer is "Yes." If the five of hearts and the seven of clubs appear instead among the first fifteen, it means "No."

"Shall we be parted?" or "Shall I sustain the loss of my goods?"

If the four nines are included in the twenty-one cards, the answer is "Yes." Should the four kings and the four queens come out, the meaning is "No, never! "

"Shall I succeed in my present or projected undertaking?"

To ensure a favourable answer the four aces and the nine of hearts must come out. Should the nine of spades appear just before the card representing the inquirer, it prognosticates failure, sure and certain.

"Will the change of residence or condition that I am considering be satisfactory?"

Should this question be asked by the master or mistress of a house, or an employer of labour, a favourable answer is secured by the presence of the four knaves, the eight and ten of diamonds, and the ten of clubs. In the event of the inquirer being an employé, or a paid worker of any grade, the twenty-one cards must include the ten and seven of diamonds, the eight of spades, and the four queens, to ensure a satisfactory reply. In both cases the nine of diamonds means hindrances and delay in attaining success.

"What fortune does the future hold for this child?"

The four aces foretell good luck and a suitable marriage. If the child in question be a girl, the four eights and the king of hearts should come out to secure peace and concord for her ie the home of her husband.

Cupid and Venus at Work.

Among the many ways in which cards can be used to provide entertainment, seasoned with a spice of the unexplainable, the following round game may be given a prominent place

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The ace of diamonds is the most valuable asset in winning tricks, as it takes all the other cards. The pack of fifty-two cards is used.

The queen of hearts represents Venus.

The knave of hearts stands for Cupid.

The knave of diamonds, The knave of clubs, The knave of spades—all represent sweethearts.

The ace of hearts—a new house.

The ace of clubs—conquest.

The two of diamonds—the ring and marriage.

The twos of clubs, spades, and hearts—good luck.

The threes—show surprise.

The fours—that present conditions will remain unchanged.

The fives—lovers’ meetings.

The sixes—pleasure.

The sevens—disappointment.

The eights—mirth.

The nines—changes.

The tens—marriage settlements.

The queens represent women.

The kings represent men.

Any number may take part in the game. The dealer Is chosen by lot, and when this has been settled, he or she proceeds to deal out the cards, leaving ten face downwards on the table. The stakes are agreed upon, and each player puts into the pool, the dealer being expected to pay double for the honour done to him by the fates.

The cards are then taken up, and each player looks at his own hand. The dealer calls for the queen of hearts, Venus, who ranks next to the ace of diamonds in value. Should any one have the ace of diamonds in his hand, he plays it straight out. Should the ace not be among those that have been dealt round, the queen of hearts is supreme, and the happy holder of Venus may look confidently forward to standing before the altar of Hymen during the current year. The ace of diamonds only counts as one card, but should any lucky player hold both Cupid and Venus in his hand he is entitled to clear the pool, and so end the game right off. In

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the event of the holder of these cards being married, their presence promises him some special stroke of good fortune.

When the matrimonial cards are out, or proved absent, the game is played on similar lines to whist, the same order of precedence being observed in taking tricks, and the larger the number secured the better the luck of the winner during the current year.

The nine of spades is the worst card in the pack, and the unfortunate holder has to pay for its presence in his hand by a treble stake to the pool. Should any player fail to win any tricks, he must pay in advance the stakes agreed upon for the next game.

Marriage by Lot.

For this appeal to the fates we require a pack of cards, a bag, and stakes either in money or counters. When the players have fixed upon their stakes and placed them in the pool, one of those playing must thoroughly shuffle the pack of cards and place them in the bag. The players then stand in a circle and draw three cards in turn from the bag as it is handed to each of them. Pairs of any kind win back the stakes paid by the holder, and promise good luck in the immediate future. The knave of hearts is proclaimed to represent Hymen. He wins double stakes, and is a happy augury that the holder will soon be united to the partner of his tit her choice. Should Venus, the queen of hearts, be found in the same hand, the owner takes the pool and wins the game. Fours and eights are losses and crosses, compelling a pre-arranged payment to the pool in addition to the usual stakes. A lady who draws three nines may resign herself to a life of single-blessedness, and the one who has three fives must prepare to cope with a bad husband.

Your Fate in Twenty Cards.

Only three or four girls are required to pursue this search for hidden knowledge. All the kings, queens, knaves, aces, and threes must be taken from the pack and dealt round to the players. Each one examines her hand for an answer to

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her inward questionings. The one who holds the most kings possesses the largest number of friends. The one with most queens has a proportionate number of enemies. Where kings and queens are united, there is the promise of speedy and happy marriage. Should a queen come out with knaves, we may be sure that intrigues are being woven round some unlucky person. Knaves by themselves represent lovers. Threes are evil omens betokening great sorrow. A knave with four threes means that the fair holder will not enter the holy estate. A king with four threes encourages her to hope, for she has a good chance of matrimony. A queen with four threes is the worst combination a girl can draw, for it speaks of sorrow deepened by disgrace. Mixed hands have no special significance, nor is there any great meaning attached to the four aces. Where only two or three of one kind of card fall together, the meaning ascribed to the four collectively is lessened in proportion to the number held.

Hearts are Trumps.

This game might by some be called an apology for whist. Four players, or three and a dummy, are necessary, and the whole pack is dealt out in the usual way. Hearts are trumps in every deal, and carry everything before them. The highest card is the queen, who is the goddess of love, and takes precedence of the ace, which only counts as one. The person on the left hand of the dealer leads trumps, and the stronger the hand the better the chances for love and marriage. The one who wins the largest number of tricks has, or will have, the most lovers. The presence of the king and queen of trumps in one hand is the sign of a speedy union of hearts, and of the approaching sound of wedding bells. A sorry fate awaits the luckless maid or youth who is without a heart—in the hand—for Cupid and Hymen have turned their faces away, and no luck will come of a love affair in that quarter. Where only one or two small trumps can be produced, the holder will have to wait long for wedded bliss. Each one plays quite independently of the others, and the one who undertakes dummy must not connect its cards in nay way with those he holds himself.

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Another Lottery.

Put a well-shuffled pack of cards into a bag deep enough to prevent the contents from being seen. An uneven number of girls must then form a ring round the one holding the bag, and each must draw a card. The cards thus drawn must then all be exposed, as they have to be compared. The lucky lady who draws the highest card will be the first to be led to the altar. She who draws the lowest will have to emulate Mariana of the Moated Grange, and resign herself to the fact that "he cometh not" for many weary days to follow. Any one drawing the ace of spades may cheerfully prepare for the pleasures of a bachelor life. The nine of hearts is the presage of serious trouble, coming to the holder through loving "not wisely but too well"

Next: Chapter XII. How They Tell Fortunes in Italy