Researches into the History of Playing Cards. By Samuel Weller Singer. 40, London, 1816.
The Tarot is probably of Eastern origin and high antiquity, but the rest of Court de Gebelin's theory is vague and unfounded. Cards were known in Europe prior to the appearance of the Egyptians. The work has a good deal of curious information and the appendices are valuable, but the Tarot occupies comparatively little of the text and the period is too early for a tangible criticism of its claims. There are excellent reproductions of early specimen designs. Those of Court de Gebelin are also given in extenso.
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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.