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It is thought by many that we owe our cards to the gipsies, who are supposed to have been the offspring of a low caste of Hindus, and who, driven from their own land, found their way, as fugitives, through Western Asia into Egypt, and from Northern Africa into Europe. It is certain that all kinds of fortune-telling, whether by Cartomancy or whatever method, are inseparably connected with that curious, fascinating, highly gifted and elusive people. They excelled in music and all mechanical pursuits; they could learn a language, or distinguish themselves in metal work, with equal ease ; but they had to live more or less on the defensive, as very children of Ishmael, and years of persecution only deepened their craftiness, sharpened their intuition, and rendered them more keen to assert their mysterious power over those who oppressed and yet inwardly feared them.
These Romany folk have preserved intact the ancient lore of the East, while incredulous Europe has turned the sacred pages of divination 'from the book of fate into mere instruments of amusement, and a vehicle for winning or losing money. The gipsy remains a past master in the art of Cartomancy, and though we may scoff, there are very few amongst us who do not feel a sense of disquietude when brought face to face with an instance of her uncanny power. We can afford to laugh when the sun of our lives is shining brightly and all is well in mind and body, but there come dark days in the lives of all, and then some are impelled to seek the aid of these weird sons and daughters of an unknown land.