Daily entries from the 17th century London diary
Dice under die as lifted from OEDI. With plural dice. (The form dice (used as pl. and sing.) is of much more frequent occurrence in gaming and related senses than the singular die.) 1. a. A small cube of ivory, bone, or other material, having its faces marked with spots numbering from one to six, used in games of chance by being thrown from a box or the hand, the chance being decided by the number on the face of the die that turns uppermost. Also, a cube bearing other devices on its faces, or a solid with more or less than six faces (see quots.). b. pl. The game played with these; esp. in phr. at (the) dice. sing. dee, dye, dy, die. 1610 B. JONSON Alch. II. i, You shall no more deale with the hollow die, Or the fraile card. 1656 STANLEY Hist. Philos. VIII. 85 So to cast the dy that it may chance right. 1634 SIR T. HERBERT Trav. Aiijb, Is the die cast, must At this one throw all thou hast gaind be lost? c1386 CHAUCER Pard. T. 5 They daunce and pleyen at dees [so Harl., Heng.; Camb. deis, Petw. dys, Corp. dyse, Lansd. dise] bothe day and nyght." pl. des, dees, deys, dys, dyse, dyce, dise, dice.
To Gambol or to gamble that be the question, or would it be to die or dice away thy life
not this I dothe thinke.II. with plural dies. 4. a. A cubical block; in Arch. a cubical or square block of stone forming part of a building; spec. the cubical portion of a pedestal, between the base and cornice; = DADO 1. " b. A square tablet. 1664 EVELYN tr. Freart's Archit. 123 The Italians call it the Zoccolo, Pillow or Die (because of its Cubique and solid figure).
The throw of the dice.
(Book of Days…Cavalier claims on the Restoration)
The Calendar of State Papers for the year 1660 is little else than a list of royalist grievances, for the bulk of documents to which it forms an index are cavalier petitions…
James Towers was forced, on account of his loyalty, to throw dice for his life; and, winning the cast, was banished.
An entry by Evelyn that our good friend Dirk may have missed last year?
6th. This evening, according to custom, his Majesty opened the revels of that night by throwing the dice himself in the privy-chamber, where was a table set on purpose, and lost his 100l. (The year before he won 1500l.) The ladies also played very deep. I came away when the Duke of Ormond had won about 1000l., and left them still at passage, cards, &c. At other tables, both there and at the Groom-porter's, observing the wicked folly and monstrous excess of passion amongst some losers; sorry am I that such a wretched custom as play to that excess should be countenanced in a Court, which ought to be an example of virtue to the rest of the Kingdom.
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