The Royal Game of Human Life played by the Egyptians. The Unity of Games in the
THE ROYAL GAME OF HUMAN LIFE, ACCORDING TO THE EGYPTIANS.
1. When the players have chosen their Magian, they also choose from amongst the nonplayers a man and a woman, whom they name Osiris and Isis.
2. When commencing a game, the Magian having taken the central place, the players settle the amount of the principal fine together (we will suppose it to be one halfpenny), and a basket is placed on the table to receive the money.
3. When all the players axe seated, the Magian takes the Book of Thoth, i. e. the pack of Tarot cards, and shuffles them, carefully placing their heads alternate ways, but without looking at them, lets them be cut by some player on his left, and then deals the cards to his right, giving as many as he likes, up to seven, to each player and to himself p. 336
4. Each player should notice that the top of the card (when the Magian deals it) is facing his chest; it is therefore in that sense, and according to the order in which the cards are dealt, that the players should read the oracles traced upon it, which they refer to whomever they choose amongst the persons in the house.
5. When one of the players reads an oracle he assumes the character of an interpreter, and if the person to whom he refers the oracle will not give him a present, be must pay half the fine.
6. When a person has received three veracious oracles upon the past, the present, or according to probabilities the future, and he refuses to reward the interpreter, the players will hold a council, and judge by a majority of voices whether his refusal is justified or not. In the latter case, the Magian must pronounce the word PAMENES, which warns all the household that there is one person present who does not join in the royal game of the Human Life, and then Osiris and Isis are obliged to pay for him, for when they accepted these titles, they undertook to diffuse peace and abundance over the heroes who are playing.
7. When one of the spectators asks to buy the hand of one of the players, the Magian fixes its price, which is divided into three parts: the first third is paid into the fine-box; the second to the Magian; and the third to the player, who however can avoid parting with his cards by paying the two first thirds of the price fixed by the Magian.
8. When one of the spectators has acquired the hand of one of the players, he takes with it all the player's chances of fines and presents.
9. When one of the players cannot read the oracles, he p. 337
places his seven cards on one side and pays one-fourth of the fine.
10. If the player, although able to read the oracle, cannot find any one to whom he can refer it, he must lay his cards upon the table, face upwards, and read the meaning that he sees in them, without paying anything. If, on the other hand, he interprets them badly, according to the judgment of the other players, the Magian condemns him to pay half the fine.
11. When the interpreter has pronounced the oracle, aloud or privately, and has received a present, he can have his seven cards re-shuffled by the Magian, who will return them to him to cut; and finally, if the same cards produce three presents from the same or other persons to whom the oracles have been uttered, all the players, except the Magian, give the interpreter three times the value of the fine. This is the civic crown.
12. The Magian arranges and directs the games as he likes; he awards the fines according to the nature of the faults, such as showing the cards to other players, biding them from the spectators, any indiscretion in the utterance of the oracles, reading oracles which are not justified by the cards, etc.
13. The spectators can join in the game until the Magian indicates that it will soon end, by saying in a quarter of an hour, or half an hour, the game will close.
14. If the Magian should forget to announce the coming end of the game, all the spectators have a right to share the fines, which are divided equally amongst all the players, when the expenses have been paid.
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The pathology of the poet says that the undevout astronomer is mad the pathology of the very plain man says that the genius is mad and between these extremes, which stand for ten thousand analogous excesses, the sovereign reason takes the part of a moderator and does what it can. I do not think that there is a pathology of the occult dedications, but about their extravagances no one can question, and it is not less difficult than thankless to act as a moderator regarding them.