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Matilde Serao

  • One starts gambling for a joke, out of curiosity, as a little challenge to fortune. One goes on, pricked to the quick by delusions, excited by vague desires that grow. Woe to you if you win anything — an AMBO, a small TERNO! It is all up with you, for your chance of winning seems certain. ... It is the devil's money going back to hell.

  • [Gambling] is a perfidious passion. ... It is bad for one to win, and bad not to win. ... it ends by setting your blood on fire, and to increase your chances of winning at any cost, your stakes increase frightfully; the desire of winning gets to be a madness. The soul gets sick; it neither sees nor hears anything. No family ties, position, nor fortune, can stand against this passion.

  • In money matters no relationship counts; money hardens all hearts.

  • ... he swore not to stake another sou. Only this oath and his healthy constitution freed him from sleeplessness, which sits at the bedhead of all gamblers.

Matilde Serao, Greek-born Italian journalist, novelist

(1856 - 1927)