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Atrocities, Duels, Suicides, And Execution Of Gamblers

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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Atrocities, Duels, Suicides, And Execution Of Gamblers

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Edward Wortley Montagu was the only son of the celebrated Lady
Mary Wortley Montagu, whose eccentricities he inherited without
her genius. Montagu, together with Lords Taffe and Southwell,
was accused of having invited one Abraham Payba, alias James
Roberts, a Jew, to dine with them at Paris, in the year 1751; and
of having plied him with wine till he became intoxicated, and so
lost at play the sum of 800 louis d'ors. It was affirmed that
they subsequently called at his house, and that on his exhibiting
an evident disinclination to satisfy their demands, they
threatened to cut him across the face with their swords unless he
instantly paid them. Terrified by their violence, and, at the
same time, unwilling to part with his gold, the Jew had cunning
enough to give them drafts on a Paris banker, by whom, as he had
no dealings with him, he well knew that his bills would be
dishonoured; and, to escape the vengeance of those whom he had
outwitted, quitted Paris. On ascertaining how completely they
had been duped, Montagu, with his associates Lords Taffe and
Southwell, repaired to the house of the Jew, and after ransacking
his drawers and strong boxes, are said to have possessed
themselves of a very considerable sum of money, in addition to
diamonds, jewels, and other valuable articles. The Jew had it
now in his power to turn on his persecutors, and accordingly he
appealed to the legislature for redress. Lord Southwell
contrived to effect his escape, but Lord Taffe and Montagu were
arrested, and were kept in separate dungeons in the Grand
Chatelet, for nearly three months. The case was subsequently
tried in a court of law, and decided in favour of the
accused,--the Jew being adjudged to make reparation and defray
the costs! Against the injustice of this sentence he appealed to
the high court of La Tournelle at Paris, which reversed it. Lord
Taffe and Montagu afterwards appealed, in their turn, but of the
definitive result there is no record.

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