Paris: I was greatly disappointed by your not coming to town, as you intended, having been for some time impatient to inform you of what passed between your young friend —— and me; I relied till the moment of our departure on having an opportunity of doing this personally, and I seize the first occasion of communicating the whole to you, in the only manner now in my power. You will remember the uneasiness you once expressed to me on account of that gentleman’s propensity to gaming, and of the inconveniences to which he had been put by some recent losses; you will also remember the resolutions which, in consequence of your request, he formed against play; but you have yet to learn, that he resumed the dice before the month was ended in which he had determined never to touch them more, and concluded one unfortunate night, by throwing away a sum far exceeding any of his former losses. Ashamed of his weakness, he carefully concealed his misfortune from you, and thereby has been subjected to some distresses of a more mortifying nature than any he had formerly felt. What shocked him most, was a circumstance which will not greatly astonish you—the indifference which many who call themselves his friends, showed at his situation, and the coldness with which they excused themselves from making any attempts to relieve him from his difficulties. Several to whom he had advanced considerable sums in the days of his good fortune, declared a perfect inability of repaying any part of their debt; they told some sad tale of an unforeseen accident, which had put that entirely out of their power for the present; yet one of those unfortunate gentlemen, the same evening that he refused to repay our friend, lost double the sum, every farthing of which he actually paid in ready money. Mr. ——’s expectations from those resources having in a great measure failed, he applied to Mr. P—— in the City, who supplied him with money, at legal interest, sufficient to clear all his debts, for which he has granted him a mortgage on his estate.—While our young friend informed me of all this, he declared, that the remorse he felt on the recollection of his folly was infinitely greater than any pleasure he had ever experienced from winning, or could enjoy from the utmost success. He expressed, at the same time, a strong sense of obligation to you and to me, for our endeavours to wean him from the habit of gaming, regretted that they had not been sooner successful, but was happy to find, that he still had enough left to enable him to live in a decent manner, agreeable to a plan of œconomy which he has laid down, and to which he is resolved to adhere till the mortgage is relieved. “I have now (added he in a solemn manner) formed an ultimate resolution against gaming for the rest of my life; if I ever deviate from this, you have a right to consider me as devoid of manly firmness and truth, unworthy of your friendship, and the weakest of mortals.”A View of Society and Manners in France, Switzerland, and Germany with Anecdotes Relating to Some Eminent Characters (Complete) - eBook
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John Wheeler Moore
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