« PreviousContinue »
him (about the usual odds) 20 to 1 against an outsider, which A takes in hundreds, viz. 2000 to 100. The outsider improves ; he comes out in the spring, and wins a race, and the odds drop to 10 to 1. A bets 1000 to 100 against him. He is now on velvet; he cannot lose, and may win 1000. In fact, he has a thousand pounds in hand to play with, which the alteration of the odds has given him. But mark! he is only playing with it, he may never pocket it, so he acts thus. The outsider—we will call him Repealer—comes out again, wins another race, and the odds are only 5 to 1 against him. A bets 500 to 100 more against him, and let us now see how he stands. If Repealer wins, A receives from B
£2000 He pays to
Balance in A's favour by Repealer losing
£100 But is there no contingency here? Yes, the colt might have died before A had hedged, and then he must have paid his 100l. ; but, on the other hand, he would have been out of the field, which might have been worth all the money to him, in his deeper speculations on other horses. But let us suppose our colt to have remained at the original odds, viz. 20 to 1. In that case, A must have betted 2000 to 100 against him, and then no harm would have arisen.
In what is called making a book on a race, it is evident that the bettor must be early in the market, taking and betting the odds for and against each horse: for backing a favourite to win is not his system. His chief object is, to take long odds against such horses as he fancies, and then await the turn of the market, when he sells dearly what he has purchased cheaply. For example, how often does it happen that 12 to 1 is the betting against a horse two months before his race, and before he starts it is only 4 to 1? If the bettor has taken 1200 to 100 against him, and then bets 400 to 100 the other way, he risks nothing, but has a chance to win 800. It is by this system of betting that it often becomes a matter of indifference to a man which horse wins, his money being so divided amongst them all. In
fact, what is called an outsider is often the best winner for him, as in that case he pockets all the bets he has made against those horses which gentlemen and their friends have fancied. There is, however, too often what is called the book-horse,' in some of the great races, in which more than one party are concerned. What the term “ book-horse' implies, we need not explain further than by saying, that it would signify little were he really a book, and not a horse :-the animal with the best blood in England in his veins, and the best jockey on his back, shall have no more chance to win, if backed heavily to lose, than a jackass.*
* As we well know that a huge fortune was made in the betting ring, by a certain person now deceased, who could neither read nor write, and that one of the heaviest betters of the present day is in the same state of blessed iguorance, we may safely conclude that if these two persons ever heard of fractional arithmetic, they could know no more of it than of the division of logarithms. Nevertheless, the probability of events can only be found by such help; and even then, as far as racing is concerned, although the adept in this part of the mathematician's art may be able to ascertain the precise odds that may be given or received, so as to provide against loss, yet he will find that, to be certain to win, advantage must be taken of all chances more favourable than the precise odds. In fact, it will be by advantageous bets on particular events, that he will have a balance in his favour, at the winding up of his book, and it would avail him little to work for no profit. The main point, however, on which it is indispensably necessary to keep the eye in betting, is, in a series of different events, the exact odds to be readily had on every individual event : and having made a round of these engagements, as opinion Auctuates, opportunities will offer themselves where great advantage may be gained.
It is on a plurality of events that figures must be resorted to, the chances on which must be put to the test of arithmetical solution. As everything may be under. stood which man is permitted to know, a few lessons from the schoolmaster will furnish this, and we now give the following simple examples, which are easily under. stood, and generally applicable. And let us add, that to a betting man, who speculates largely, the difference of half a point in the precise odds may win or lose a large fortune in the course of a few years.
Examples—Two horses are about to start. The betting on one is even, and the odds on the other is 6 to 4. What odds must B bet A that he does not name both the winners? The expression for the former is $, and for the latter 1%; but to is equal to }, therefore say
3 3 Х
; and 10 - 3 = 7: 2
10 hence the odds is 7 to 3. B, therefore, lays A 7 to 3 that he does not name both winners, and then hedges as follows:-Aš 31. is the sum to which he has staked his 71., he lays that sum even, that A wins; and on the other event he lays 6 to 4, (the odds in the example, the same way. Now A wins both, and receives of B 71.; but B wins 31. on the former by hedging, and 41. on the latter, which is equal to what he has lost to A. It is here obvious, that had B, in hedging, been enabled to have made better bets—for instance, could he have done better than by taking an even 31. on the first event, and had greater odds than 6 to 4 on the latter, he might have won, but could not have lost.
On the same two events, what odds may B lay A that the latter does not lose both ? Set down for the former \, and the latter will now be jo ; but it is equal to $; therefore, it will be
1 2 2
; and 10
We now dismiss this subject, with no probability of our ever returning to it. Although the perusal of Xenophon might have made Scipio a hero, we have not the slightest intention of manufacturing jockeys by any effort of our pen; and yet we wish we had touched on these matters sooner. But why so? Is it that we would rather have been Livy, to have written on the grandeur of Rome, than T'acitus, on its ill-fated decline ? It may be so ; for we are loth to chronicle, in any department, our country's dispraise ; but we are not without the reflection, that we might have done something towards preventing the evils we have had to deplore, by exposing the manner in which they have accumulated and thriven. That there are objections to racing, we do not deny, aš, indeed, there are to most of the sports which have been invented for the amusement of mankind, and few of which can gratify pure benevolence; but when honourably conducted, we consider the turf as not more objectionable that most others, and it has one advantage over
Proof by hedging-B begins to hedge, by betting an even 11. on the first event, which A winning, he wins. On the subsequent event, B takes the odds, 3 to 2, which A winning, he also wins. Thus he receives 4l., which pays the 4 to I he betted on A, losing both events.
Upon two several events, even betting on the one, and 7 to 4 in favour of A on the other; what odds may B lay against A winning both ? The one, as before, is , and the other is represented by 11:
; and 22 -7 15:
22 thus 15 to 7 is the odds.
Proof by hedging—The sum against which B laid his odds is 7; therefore he begins by laying 71. on the first event; which, as A wins, he wins. On the next event, he lays 14 to 8, or twice 7 to twice 4, as per terms of question, which he also wins; making together 7 and 8 = 15; the odds he had laid with, and lost to A.
Upon the same two events, what odds may B bet Á, that the latter does not lose both? Set down for the former $, for the latter A ;
1 4 4 Then
; and 22 - 43 18:
2 11 22 therefore, 18 to 4= 9 to 2 is the odds.
Proof by hedging-B bets first the sum to which he has laid his odds, namely 21., which he wins; and then, taking 7 to 4 on the second event, he wins 2 + 7 = 9, which pays the 91. he lost to A; and had more favourable odds been offered, B must have been a winner without risk of losing.
When three distinct events are pending, on the first of which the betting is even; on the second, 3 to 2 in favour of A, and the third 5 to 4 ; what odds should B lay A, that the latter does not nämé all the winners? The first is expressed by t; the second hy , and the third by $ :
1 3 5
(by cancelling); and 6 – 1= 5:
5 hence the odds is 5 to 1.
Proof by hedging-B begins to hedge by betting an even 21., that A wins the first event; he then bets the odds on the next, viz., (3 to 2) = 2=1} to 1. B also bets the odds on the third event, viz. (5 to 4) - 2= 24 to 2. Now A wins all three; therefore, B wins 2 +1+2 = 51, which pays what he lost to A. The odds that A die not lose these three events would be 41 to 4.
almost all now in any measure of fashionable repute :-it diffuses its pleasures far and wide. The owner of race-horses cannot gratify his passion for the turf, without affording delight to thousands upon thousands of the less fortunate of his countrymen. This is no trivial feature in the case, now that shooting is divided between the lordly battue and the prowl of the poacher,and that fox-hunting is every day becoming more and more a piece of exclusive luxury, instead of furnishing the lord, the squire, and the yeoman, with a common recreation, and promoting mutual goodwill among all the inhabitants of the rural district.
Art. V. - The Inferno of Dante. Translated by Ichabod
Charles Wright, A.M. London. 8vo. 1833. WE
E have, on various occasions, expressed our high opinion of
the translation of the Divine Comedy executed in our own time by Mr. Cary. To say that it was on all points superior to every preceding English version of that extraordinary poem, would have been little praise : they had all been execrable—it was really excellent. Mr. Cary understood bis author as well perhaps as any Englishman did at the period of his labours--and he gave us a transcript, almost always clear, generally vigorous, and in many passages indicative of warm poetical feeling in the mind of the interpreter. We speak of the substance of Dante :—of his peculiar manner, as distinct-a
-as unlike any other-in many respects as nobly original as that of Homer or of Shakspeare—the version, masterly as it was, certainly conveyed, as a whole, no approach to a likeness. The measure alone in which Cary wrote rendered this almost impossible. The sweeping, long-drawn-out harmony of good English blank verse could retlect no livelier iinpression of the compact, terse, if we may so call it sculptural precision of Dante's terza rima, than Pope's heroic couplets of Homer's hexameters; and when Cary, in the desire to come closer to Dante, flung away the guiding echo of his Milton, he produced an effect positively disagreeable. Tercets, without the grace of cæsura, and the varieties of interlinked lines, in the absence of rhyme, are indeed unmelodious monsters.
The attempt to introduce the terza rima itself as an English measure, often unsuccessfully bazarded in our earlier times, has been repeated, since Mr. Cary published his book, by a great master of versification; but although Lord Byron seems to have thought very highly of the execution of his Prophecy of Dante and his translation of an Episode in the Inferno, the public taste has not in the main ratified his judgment. The Prophecy' has the air
of a translation, quite as much as the Francesca'-perhaps more
Its effect to the ear is stiff, hard, laboured--and we venture to say, it has been less read, and is now more nearly forgotten, than any other production of Lord Byron's mature years ever will be. After that failure, we think few will doubt that terza rima is essentially unfit for our adoption. We have indeed such a paucity of perfect rhymes in our language, and imperfect rhymes have now become so distasteful, so offensive, that it may be doubted whether a serious poem of considerable length ought ever again to be attempted in any measure requiring a multiplicity of assonances-except indeed the noble Spenserian stanza, in the case of which there is a prescriptive privilege to employ occasionally archaic rhymes, together with what is even of greater importance a strain of amplification and redundancy such as would not now be tolerated in any other form of English versification. We speak of serious poetry—in ludicrous verse, the more jingle the betterthe search for the rhymes is pretty sure to multiply the jokes : indeed
every one sees, in Don Juan, that nine times out of ten the rhyme suggested the thought-and all this is well; the bizarre, the grotesque, the incongruous, being excellent materials and instruments for the jester. It is true that Don Juan contains several fragments of pure high poetry, superior perhaps to anything in the rest of the author's writings ;—and that in these the demands of the verse have been met at no expense of beauty or of dignity: But we much doubt if any art could achieve a continuous grave poem, as long as the shortest canto of Don Juan, in English ottava rima, without leaving, ever and anon, a painful impression of unnecessary difficulties inefficiently encountered.
But will any hand ever execute a translation of any long poem, at once closely faithful and buoyantly energetic, in any English measure that requires rhyme at all? We suspect not: as yet certainly we have had no such example. The poet is he who feels more intensely than other men, and expresses his feelings more vividly: and great are the difficulties which the most skilful poet must overcome before he can succeed in presenting his feelings in rhyme, without dislocating them from the natural order in which they evolved themselves in his own mind—which order being disturbed, they lose, pro tanto, the power of com manding our sympathy. He can soar higher than we, but unless we can follow him through every winding of his flight, we lose our interest in him as a nobler self; we stare at, but do not feel with him; the link between us is gone. How hard then must be the task of re-presenting, not only in a new language, but amidst the fetters of jingle, the thoughts and feelings of another man, in their natural sequence of original development! We are not sure