ad already dissipated the best part of the immense fortune which the double heritage had given him. Instead of cultivating the talents which he possest by nature and sustaining the glory of his name, he passed his days in sleeping and his nights in playing at the house of a certain Countess Orsini, or at least so-called countess, who made a profession of ruining the gilded youth of Venice. Every night there assembled at her house a large company composed of nobles and courtezans; there one supped and played, and as one did not pay for one's supper, it goes without saying that the dice helped to indemnify the mistress of the house. Meanwhile, the sequins and the Cyprian wine began to flow freely, loving glances were exchanged, and the victims, drunk with love and wine, lost their money and their reason.
It is from this dangerous resort that we have seen the hero of this story emerge. He had met with more than one loss during the night. Besides having emptied his pockets at cards; the only picture he had
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