"Monsieur le Banquier, let us in the first place tie a stone round the neck of this unfortunate animal, and throw his body into the Mare, and then, as we are the only witnesses of this adventure, we swear that we will never divulge it to any one, or make the slightest allusion to it; and, as we are men of honour, you will of course believe us; the secret shall be kept inviolable.
"Then, for the first time, the thought of the wonderful luck he had had at the faro table rose vividly before his mind's eye, and, waking and dreaming, he saw cards before him, and heard the monotonous gagne-perd of the banquier, and the clink of the gold pieces.
Lend me the tenth part of the sum you have won from me, that I may recommence my business, and raise myself from the depths of poverty. "'How can you be so absurd, Signor Vertua, said the Chevalier. 'Don't you know that a banquier never lends his winnings? It would be against all the rules, and I abide by them. "'You are right, Chevalier, said Vertua. 'What I asked was absurd, extravagant.
In a moment the rouge won, and the second deal I repeated the bet, and so continuing on with the like success; when I was preparing my rouleau for the fifth, the banquier rose, and saying "Messiers, la banque est fermee pour ce soir," proceeded to lock his casette, and close the table.
With the very large sum he had now won he started a banque of his own; and here, too, fortune favoured him, so that in a very short time his was the richest banque in Paris. As lies in the nature of things, to him, as the luckiest, richest banquier, resorted the greatest number of players.
'Nota bene, that same banquier, though he will deliver to me your letter, knows nothing about me, nor who I am. . . . Change your name, and, in fine, keep as private as possible, till I tell you what is to be done. Harrington failed, and lay for months in pawn at Venice, pouring out his griefs in letters to Goring. He was a lachrymose conspirator.
"Pour etre bon philosophe," says this last great psychologist, "il faut etre sec, clair, sans illusion. Un banquier, qui a fait fortune, a une partie du caractere requis pour faire des decouvertes en philosophie, c'est-a-dire pour voir clair dans ce qui est." Everything that is profound loves the mask: the profoundest things have a hatred even of figure and likeness.
'P.S. Tell ye Bearer when to comback for the answer of ye enclosed or any other Letters you want to send me. 'P.S. to Lord Marischal. Whatever party you take, be pleased to keep my writing secret, and address to me at Venise to the Sig. Ignazio Testori to Mr. de Villelongue under cover to a Banquier of that town, and it will come safe to me. 'To Md. Henrietta Drummond.
And he kicked the dead carcass before him in his rage. "But, Monsieur le Banquier, the night is getting chilly and damp, and remember you are only just convalescent; come, let us be off." "Gentlemen, I have already told you I shall not accompany you." "Why, this is madness, sir." "Anything you please; but thus it shall be.
"Taking no interest in the game, with his mind fully occupied about something else, he strolled up and down the room, just now and then casting a glance at the table, where the gold was streaming in upon the banquier from every side.