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Anecdotes Of The Passions And Vicissitudes Of Gamesters

Volume I

The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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Anecdotes Of The Passions And Vicissitudes Of Gamesters

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'Immense as this loss was, he was more struck--more appalled, let
us say--at the strangeness of the surrounding scene, than even by
his own ruin. As he looked upon his fellow-gamesters, he seemed,
for the first time in his life, to gaze upon some of those
hideous demons of whom he had read. He looked in the mirror at
himself. A blight seemed to have fallen over his beauty, and his
presence seemed accursed. He had pursued a dissipated, even more
than a dissipated, career. Many were the nights that had been
spent by him not on his couch; great had been the exhaustion that
he had often experienced; haggard had sometimes even been the
lustre of his youth. But when had been marked upon his brow this
harrowing care? When had his features before been stamped with
this anxiety, this anguish, this baffled desire, this strange,
unearthly scowl, which made him even tremble? What! was it
possible?--it could not be--that in time he was to be like those
awful, those unearthly, those unhallowed things that were around
him. He felt as if he had fallen from his state, as if he had
dishonoured his ancestry, as if he had betrayed his trust. He
felt a criminal.

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