The Devil’s in the Deal
A True and Surprising Account of the Appearance of the Devil, to a Company of Card Players in Manchester, England, on the Evening of January 1, 1808. In a Letter from a Gentleman Residing in the Town, to his Friend in Connecticut. Connecticut, March, 1812.
This 1812 edition of A True and Surprising Account, with a dramatic full-page silhouette of the devil on the verso of the title page,was previously unknown. A card game among friends starts them down a chain of sins from gambling to drinking, cheating, lying, profanity, blasphemy and ultimately a Bible being pitched into the fire. The devil who then appeared is described as having a tongue like a serpent, darting and hissing, with smoke pouring from his mouth. After some blasphemous conversation, the devil grabbed the main infidel and disappeared with him in a stench of sulphur. The story was meant as a warning for “all who are daily pursuing the same round of wickedness; who devote that time to cards which was allotted to them to expiate their many crimes.”