Puslapio vaizdai

abhorrence of the gaming-table; and declared, that he never vifited thofe fcenes, except to ftudy the human character, and to moralize on the fatal effects of the impetuous paffion of avarice. His reflections were foon finished that evening, for in a little time he profeffed himself wearied with the scene, and he proposed to lord Monteith that they should retire to a private room. There too he felt the moments drag heavily, and it was mutually agreed to enliven them by a friendly game at picquet.

The ftake first propofed was trifling. Monteith was unfuccefsful. He tranfferred his latent refentment to the cards, which he ftamped under his foot; called for a new pack, and infifted upon doubling the fum they played for. The events of the evening put feveral hundreds into Fitzofborne's pocket; and his fuccefs might ftill have been greater,


but neither his friendship nor his honour would (he protested) permit him to urge his good fortune any farther. "Your temper," faid he, "is too "warm; and I hope the little vexations "of this evening will convince you of "the neceffity of self-control, or at least prevent you from trying your chance "with those who might take the ungenerous advantage of your agitation, "which I fcorn to use."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

"I value not money," faid Monteith angrily!" nor can the curfed cards agi

tate me. A truce with your morality "therefore, Edward; when I want a "monitor, it is time enough for you to "inveft yourself with that dignity."

"I am not in a refentful humour," returned Fitzofborne fmiling. "I fhall "therefore very gladly refign my dig"nity, as you term it. Indeed, I have "been a little unlucky in the exercife


"of it this evening. Yet if my well"meant admonitions are but remem"bered by my friends, the difintereft"edness of my attachment will enable "me to fupport a little tranfient acrimony."

"Where else did you play the lec"turer?" inquired Monteith, carelessly. "Where I faw a little impropriety," replied Fitzofborne, with fuppreffed fignificance.

: "And did you fucceed no better "than you have done with me?" continued the earl, with increafing anxiety.

"I don't know. The character I "had to deal with was more guarded "than you are."

"What caused your reproof?" said his lordship, with affected ease, and apparently occupied in forting the cards into three divifions.

"I believe nothing but the too great "nicety of my own feelings: for on re"viewing the affair, I cannot see any

[ocr errors]

thing effentially wrong; and I begin " to think thofe rules which impofe fuperior caution on perfons who are objects of public admiration unneceffarily fevere."

[ocr errors]

"The sentiments of ladies," resumed Monteith," are generally more delicate "in these points than those of men.

[ocr errors]

Suppose you make Geraldine your "cafuift in this bufinefs? She will tell "you if you went too far in your ad"monitions."

"By no means," faid Fitzosborne, fnatching the cards.

"Come, enough " of one subject. Shall we have an"other game?"

"No! I am tired; and as I love to "have every doubtful business cleared “up, up, we will go home to fupper, and

" I will

[ocr errors]

"I will mention your uneasiness to lady "Monteith, that you may fleep with a "difburdened confcience.".

Fitzofborne ftarted. "How came "you to discover that the hafty opi"nion which I injudiciously uttered, really difpleafed her? Let me conjure you, my lord, by all our friend


[ocr errors]

ship, endeavour to reftore me to her "favour, and be convinced that I can "only have forfeited it through inad"vertence."

Lord Monteith fmiled with the confcious fuperiority which attends a fuccessful feint, and affured the alarmed Fitzofborne, that, if he would candidly acknowledge the nature of his offence, he might depend upon his interposition.

"It really," returned Edward, "was "nothing of confequence. You have " often charged me with poffeffing a "ftoical fternnefs, and I confefs fome

« of

« AnkstesnisTęsti »