Henry Fielding: The History of Tom Jones, a foundling

14. Chapter xiv. In which the Man of the Hill concludes his history. (continued)

"I very well understood the language of setting up, and broken merchant. I therefore said to him, with a very grave face, Mr Watson, you must endeavour to find out some business or employment, by which you may procure yourself a livelihood; and I promise you, could I see any probability of being repaid hereafter, I would advance a much larger sum than what you have mentioned, to equip you in any fair and honourable calling; but as to gaming, besides the baseness and wickedness of making it a profession, you are really, to my own knowledge, unfit for it, and it will end in your certain ruin.

"`Why now, that's strange,' answered he; `neither you, nor any of my friends, would ever allow me to know anything of the matter, and yet I believe I am as good a hand at every game as any of you all; and I heartily wish I was to play with you only for your whole fortune: I should desire no better sport, and I would let you name your game into the bargain: but come, my dear boy, have you the hundred in your pocket?"

"I answered I had only a bill for L50, which I delivered him, and promised to bring him the rest next morning; and after giving him a little more advice, took my leave.

"I was indeed better than my word; for I returned to him that very afternoon. When I entered the room, I found him sitting up in his bed at cards with a notorious gamester. This sight, you will imagine, shocked me not a little; to which I may add the mortification of seeing my bill delivered by him to his antagonist, and thirty guineas only given in exchange for it.

"The other gamester presently quitted the room, and then Watson declared he was ashamed to see me; `but,' says he, `I find luck runs so damnably against me, that I will resolve to leave off play for ever. I have thought of the kind proposal you made me ever since, and I promise you there shall be no fault in me, if I do not put it in execution.'

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