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time he had ever felt interested for a fellow being; for to the feelings of pity and benevolence he had hitherto been a stranger.
"Tell me (cried he), is it the loss you have this night sustained, that forces you to this dreadful determination ?”
"It is (replied the young man); the small sum I had in my possession was risked in the hope of winning enoughto extricate me from the difficulties into which credulity and false friendship have plunged me. I had nearly gained the sum I wanted when you became my opponent; your good fortune prevailed, and I saw myself stripped of all."
"Well (cried the count), taking out his pocket-book, this loss shall not drive you to despair; I will return your money, and if the additional sum is not a very large one, you shall have it
The sudden transition from misery to happiness was more than the stranger could bear; he staggered, turned
tone, but the count, who was particularly attentive to it, heard it distinctly. The gentleman soon after placed himself at one of the tables; he threw, and was successful. Never did Montalva behold anxiety so strongly depicted as in the countenance of this young and interesting man; he did not appear more than twenty, and his *features were strikingly handsome and expressive. For nearly an hour his success was uniform; at the end of that time his antagonist declined playing any more, and the count challenged him. The strager readily accepted his offer, and for a short time he continued to win; but Montalva's usual good fortune prevailed, till he had stripped the young man not only of all his gains, but a sum besides.
From the time he began to lose, his countenance had gradually changed from the expression of delight that it had worn while he was winning, to an
anxiety that was succeeded by the deepest despair.
"I will play no more" (said he, rising abruptly).
"I am willing to give you your revenge at any time, sir" (cried the count).
"I shall not trouble you (replied he); I shall never play again."
There was something in his tone, rather than the words, that struck Montalva with an idea that he meditated suicide; and when he left the room, the count followed him. The. gentleman who had accompanied him. to the gaming house, had been gone a considerable time, and, he hurried forward alone, with a degree of speed that almost mocked the count's efforts to
keep up with him. He continued walking at this pace till he reached Buckingham-gate, through which he entered the Park; he walked a ferry paces farther, and then made a fanstop. For some moments his gesturned
pale, and but for the support of Montalva's arm, would have fallen to the ground; when he could speak, he expressed his gratitude with an incoherent fervour, that proved his sincerity; hé declined, however, taking the money till he had explained the particulars of his situation, and as the count, when he was out late, usually slept at a hotel, he asked the young man to accompany him, and they walked to the Hum
Montalva made the stranger recruit his spirits with some Madeira, before he would suffer him to relate the following tale.
"My name is Henry Villars, and my father was once looked on as one of the first merchants in London, and no man was ever better calculated to support with credit the character of a British merchant; open, benevolent, and sincere, of known probity, and acknowledged skill in business, his charac ter was respected by all ranks, and his.
credit was unbounded. By one of those vicissitudes, to which commercial men are liable, he saw himself stript of wealth; but friends and credit he thought yet remained; he was mistaken, he had hitherto seen the world only on one side, and he suspected not that it had another; that there were men, malignant enough to exult in his downfal and that even those whom he had saved from beggary, could, without the smallest uneasiness, belold him reduced to it. He applied to a man to whom he had been a most liberal benefactor, to lend him five thousand pounds, he thought not of soliciting this loan as a favour, he asked it as an act of friendship, which he supposed Mr. Clementson would be happy in having the power to show; I have frequently heard him mention the manner in which it was refused.
"I am really very sorry, Mr. Villars, (Mr. was an appellation rarely used between the friends), that it is not in