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Essays, Sketches and Illustrations of bygone Sussex

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TUNBRIDGE WELLS.                        219
surrounded with sharpers, who with calmness lay in ambush for his fortune, and coolly took advantage of the precipitancy of his passions.
" His lady perceived the ruin of her family approaching, but at first, without being able to form any scheme to prevent it. She advised with his brother, who at that time was possessed of a small fellowship at Cambridge. It was easily seen that whatever passion took the lead in her husband's mind, seemed to be there fixed unalter­ably. It was determined therefore to let him pursue fortune, but previously take measures to prevent the pursuit being fatal.
" Accordingly, every night this gentleman was a constant attender at the hazard tables. He understood neither threats of sharpers, nor even the allowed strokes of a connoisseur, yet still he played. The consequence is obvious. He lost his estate, his equipage, his wife's jewels, and every other moveable that could be parted with except a repeating watch. His agony upon this occasion was inexpressible; he was even mean enough to ask a gentleman who sat near to lend him a few pieces in order to turn his fortune ; but this prudent gamester, who plainly saw there were no expectations of being repaid, refused to lend a
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