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The Generous Gambler
THE SEVEN DROPS OF BLOOD
DEATH CLEW
The Fatal House
Chita : A Memory of Last Island
THE PONSONBY DIAMONDS
The Memoirs of Louis XV/XVI, V7
Michel and Angle
The Master of the World
THE GREEN EAGLE
The Emissaries
The Mohawks; a Satirical Poem
Discours préliminaire de l'Encyclopédie
The Famous Missions of California
FREUD AND HIS SCHOOL: NEW PATHS OF PSYCHOLOGY
MYSTERY ISLAND
A Lady's Visit to the Gold Diggings of Australia in 1852-53
Histoire d'un casse-noisette
The Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals
MORDRED, A TRAGEDY
The Nightingale and Other
Sea Spray and Smoke Drift
The Question "How?"
Abraham
Sword Blades and Poppy Seed
Four Comedies -- William Shakespeare
Seven Wives and Seven Prisons
Worldwide Effects of Nuclear War - - - Some Perspectives
ACTS OF THE HOLY APOSTLE THOMAS
ON THE WORKMANSHIP OF GOD, OR THE FORMATION OF MAN
PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
Green Fancy
The Overthrowing
The Seventh Man
Jules Verne
The Rosicrucian Principles of Child Training
The Life of John Bunyan
Essays on Life, Art and Science
The First Men In The Moon
The Mysterious Mummy
Wacousta or The Prophecy, Volume I
Belinda
THE CHINESE TAPESTRY
Inyo
A WISH UNEXPECTEDLY GRATIFIED
ORIGINAL PAPERS IN THE CASE OF ROUX DE MARSILLY.
The Lottery
Poems of Progress
Gulliver of Mars
Wild Wales: Its People, Language and Scenery
Old Man's Calendar and Other
The Thames Valley Catastrophe
The Immortal Dickens
Women
ORATION ON THE PALMS.
The Tale of Mulan, the Maiden Chief
The Playboy of the Western World
Bethmoora
THE GHOST MURDERS
The Effects of Cross & Self-Fertilisation in the Vegetable Kingdom
THE DEVIL'S PARTNER
Epistles on Women
Negro Progress in Virginia
The Fugitive
The Window at the White Cat
The Wallet of Kai Lung
COUNTER-STATEMENTS TO CYRIL'S 12 ANATHEMAS AGAINST NESTORIUS
Five Weeks in a Balloon
THE SLAVE OF THE LAMP
ON THE SOCIAL UPHEAVAL
The Nature of Goodness
THE GHOST WALKER
WOLVERDEN TOWER
Tales from the Arabic, V3
The Perfumed Garden of the Shaykh Nefwazi
Green Tea
Robur-le-Conquerant
The Lani People
Caterpillars
JIMMY GOGGLES THE GOD
JEPPE OF THE HILL
The Railroad Builders: A Chronicle of the Welding of the States
THE PICTURE, OR, THE Cuckold in Conceit
THE THIRD EPISTLE
THE CRYSTAL EGG
Ogrin the Hermit
The Monk
The History of the Reign of Ferdinand and Isabella The Catholic, Vol. 3
I Have a Dream
VIKING TALES
THE MARRIAGE OF HEAVEN AND HELL
A-Bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
DEATH'S MASQUERADE
The Memoirs of Louis XIV., His Court and The Regency, V14
WITHOUT WITNESSES.
Brann The Iconoclast, Volume 10
The Post Office
Wakulla
The Expansion Of Europe
Young Folks' History of England
PARTNERS OF PERIL
The Paris Commune and the Idea of the State
The Galleries of the Exposition
Don Juan
The Yellow Sign
The Unbearable Bassington
Charles the First
The Treasure-Train
The Call of the Wild
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The Old Bachelor
Edward II
The Princess
The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Jan/Feb 1664/65
State of the Union Addresses
Cumberland Sheep-Shearers
Chiefly a Dialogue
Four Beasts In One: The Homo-Cameleopard
Major Battles of Alexander's Asian Campaign
The Old Nurse's Story
An Old Man Sees Himself
The Shadow of a Midnight
The Beasts of Tarzan
SWEET WILLIAM'S FAREWELL TO BLACK-EY'D SUSAN: A BALLAD
The Winds of Chance
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The Life of the Spider
'Twixt Land & Sea
LA SAINTE COURTISANE, or, THE WOMAN COVERED WITH JEWELS
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An Historical Mystery
Marius the Epicurean, Vol. I
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The Age Of Reason
The First Men In The Moon
RICHELIEU; OR, THE CONSPIRACY
KILLER 'ROUND THE BEND
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Martin Eden
Essays
No Defense
TATIAN'S ADDRESS TO THE GREEKS
Jane Talbot
The Magic Pudding
The Mysteries of Udolpho, A Romance; Interspersed with Some Pieces of Poetry
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Margot Asquith, An Autobiography
Palestina
The Life of Harriet Beecher Stowe
The Diary of Samuel Pepys, October 1667
HEGESIPPUS
THE PASCHAL CANON
The History of King Richard the Third
DEATH HAS GREY EYES
RUPERT OF HENTZAU -- FROM THE MEMOIRS OF FRITZ VON TARLENHEIM -- Sequel to The Prisoner of Zenda
Xantippe and Other Verse
THE THIRD EPISTLE OF THE SAME ST. IGNATIUS TO THE EPHESIANS
De Cive
CRIME OVER BOSTON
Mr. Froude's Progress
THE PURPLE CLOUD
POOR MISS FINCH
The BHAGAVAD-GITA
UGH-LOMI AND UYA
Common Sense
Narrative Of The Life Of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave
THE DEAD DON'T TALK
Courts and Criminals
THE EPISTLE ON THE TRANSLATION OF BISHOPS AND OF EPISCOPAL SEATS
Evil Eye
The Ranks
The Grey Brethren and Other Fragments in Prose and Verse
Via Crucis
BROOD OF THE WITCH-QUEEN
The Diary of Samuel Pepys, Aug/Sep 1666
Bartholomew Fair
The New Machiavelli
Time's Laughingstocks and Other Verses
Diary of Samuel Pepys, Sep/Oct 1668
Records of a Family of Engineers
MOBSMEN ON THE SPOT
The Princess de Montpensier
Christopher Columbus, v8
Menschliches, Allzumenschliches
State of the Union Addresses
THE LETTER OF THE CHURCHES OF VIENNA AND LUGDUNUM TO THE CHURCHES OF ASIA AND PHRYGIA
The Mucker
The Bard. A Pindaric Ode
Keeping His Promise
THE AMBER WITCH
Sawney Bean and His Family
Elegiac Sonnets, and Other Poems
Rape Upon Rape
BATTLE OF BRUNANBURH
DEVOTIONS UPON EMERGENT OCCASIONS
Responsibilities
SHIWAN KHAN RETURNS
Poems
THE MUGGERS
THE HEPTAMERON: Sixth Day
Castle Rackrent
THE MAN IN THE IRON MASK
The French Revolution, Volume 3
Study and Stimulants
The Complete Works of Artemus Ward, Part 4
GOD OR LABOR
Lowering the Coins
VOICES FROM BEYOND
Criticism and Fiction
Life of Chopin
As Easy as A.B.C.
THE DECAY OF LYING
LINGO
In Darkest England and The Way Out
Al Hijr
Beethoven: the Man and the Artist as Revealed in his own Words
Aurora Leigh
The Stranger at the Gate
Le Grand Meaulnes
In Direst Peril
First Book of Adam and Eve
TALES OF THE MIDNIGHT CLUB
The Faithful Amulet
Memoirs of Marie Antoinette, v5
Effects of the Corn Laws
The Occupant of the Room
Round the Moon
THE ANGEL OF THE REVOLUTION
Princess Bethrothed to Garba
THE TENURE OF KINGS AND MAGISTRATES
Consultation
DECREES OF FABIAN
Shayest Na-Shayest (Proper and Improper)
Knights of the Art: Stories of the Italian Painters
The Colour of Life
HEX
Healthful Sports for Boys
SOLIDARITY IN LIBERTY
Manacled
COUNT BUNKER
Indian Fairy Tales
THE MASKED HEADSMAN
The Roaring Girl, or Moll Cutpurse
The Permanent Stiletto
MR. LEDBETTER'S VACATION
Allan Quatermain
Father Meuron's Tale
The Instinct of Workmanship and the Irksomeness of Labor
Se-quo-yah
Wild Animals I Have Known
Not to be Taken at Bed-Time
The Witch
Guarica, the Charib Bride. A Legend of Hispaniola
Many Swans: Sun Myth of the North American Indians
THEOPHILUS, BISHOP OF CAESAREA IN PALESTINE
Sir Roger de Coverly Essays from The Spectator
MASTER OF DEATH
Mary Stuart
The Dog
Carnac's Folly
DISCOURSE XI.—ARETE.
The Private Life of Napoleon, V3
Isabella, or The Adventures of A Nun
THE BLACK SPOT
THE RIBBON CLUES
Legends and Lyrics 1st Series
A SONG FOR ST. CECILIA'S DAY, 1687
Chapters of Opera
The Curse Upon Edward
THE ROBOT MASTER
THE NEW ACCELERATOR
A KEY
THE TRAFFIC IN WOMEN
For All Ladies of Shalott
Report of the Committee on Alleged German Outrages
THE SECOND BOOK OF Adam and Eve
The History of England from the Accession of James II
The Verse-Book Of A Homely Woman
A Prayer in Darkness
Pages from a Journal with Other Papers
State of the Union Addresses
Lines Written Among the Euganean Hills
Succour
James Otis The Pre-Revolutionist
Woman's Progress a Comparison of Centuries
Who Was Who: 5000 B. C. to Date: Biographical Dictionary of the Famous and Those Who Wanted to Be
My Life, Volume I
The Confession of Charles Linkworth
The Botathen Ghost
L'Avare
Life of John Coleridge Patteson
Muhammad
THE THIRD SHADOW
THE BLANK SHOT
A MURDER CASE
JUSTIN ON THE SOLE GOVERNMENT OF GOD
Marxism, Freedom and the State
Immensee
THE YOUNG AMERICAN
The Farm That Won't Wear Out
On a Torn-Away World
Moments of Vision
The Parish Register
In Kropfsberg Keep
The Hand in the Dark and Other Poems
Diversities of American Life
The Sovereignty
The Duel
Absolute Spirit
Le Mariage Force
Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen V.1.
Diddling. Considered As One Of The Exact Sciences.
The Story of Creation as told by Theology and by Science
Mediaeval Lore from Bartholomew Anglicus
The Ways of Men
EPISTLE TO DR. ARBUTHNOT
CRIME, INSURED
Style
THE BLUR
Tales of War
Notes to The Complete Poetical Works of Percy Bysshe Shelley
Herbert West: Reanimator and Other Stories
West-oestlicher Divan
THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO POLYCARP
She Stoops to Conquer
The Unknown Guest
The Sign of the Four
Moral Emblems
Poems
Legends of the Kaw
THE LAKE ISLE
The Lion and the Unicorn
Chess History and Reminiscences
Charon
Ballads and Lyrics of Old France: with other Poems
BOOTS AND SADDLES: OR LIFE IN DAKOTA WITH GENERAL CUSTER
Thomas Wingfold, Curate V1
Tennessee's Partner
THE DEVIL'S PAYMASTER
The Circassian Slave
The Screaming Skull
BOOK IV. OF TRUE WISDOM AND RELIGION.
WAIL
Farewell
Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions, Volume Two
The Education of Freedmen, part 1
The Cold Embrace
THE EPISTLE OF IGNATIUS TO THE EPHESIANS SHORTER AND LONGER VERSIONS
Canterbury Pieces
The Private Life of Napoleon, V1
SONG IN A MINOR KEY
DOWN WITH THE CITIES!
How Fear Departed from the Long Gallery
THE RUN OF THE YELLOW MAIL
Corporal Cameron
Cow-Country
THE EPISTLE TO ARISTIDES
Nick Carter, Detective: The Solution of a Remarkable Case
The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam Jr.
Armadale
The Spectacles and Other
The Spectral Coach of Blackadon
THE FATE JOSS
The Evolution of Expression Vol. I
Letter to the King and Queen of Spain
The Hand of Fu-Manchu
Essays in Rhyme on Morals and Manners
The Puritan, or The Widow of Watling Street
DEATH'S BRIGHT FINGER
THE ACTS OF THE DISPUTATION WITH THE HERESIARCH MANES.
Billy and the Big Stick
The Essays of Montaigne, V2
Thomas Wingfold, Curate V3
THE HEPTAMERON: Third Day
The Entire Memoirs of Louis XIV. and the Regency
Crossways
THE TRINITY IS ONE GOD
The Valley of the Moon
Liber Amoris, or, The New Pygmalion
Adela Cathcart, Volume 2
Colloquies on Society
The Derelict
The Pit Prop Syndicate
The Dancing Partner
The Wondersmith
Dust
Child Christopher and Goldilind the Fair
Germinal
ETHICS PART V. ON THE POWER OF THE UNDERSTANDING, OR OF HUMAN FREEDOM.
The Story
California and the Californians
Some Poems by Sir Walter Scott
Wilhelm Tell
DEATH SHIP
The Malay Archipelago, Volume 2
The Covent-Garden Tragedy
Diary of Samuel Pepys, November 1667
State of the Union Addresses
UNEXPLORED SYRIA
PSEUD-IRENAEUS.
Cuchulain of Muirtheme
The Maryland Toleration Act
Annals and Reminiscences of Jamaica Plain
The Story of the Glittering Plain
Pallinghurst Barrow
Poems of Cheer
THE REVENGE OF HER RACE
Song of the Storm-Petrel
Leni-Leoti; or, Adventures in the Far West
The First Men In The Moon
THE CREMONA VIOLIN
VENGEANCE IS MINE!
Satires of Circumstance, Lyrics and Reveries, with Miscellaneous Pieces
A Journey to the Interior of the Earth
At Large
Poems of Purpose
A Torture by Hope
THE BOOK OF THE THOUSAND NIGHTS AND A NIGHT, V7
The Princess and Curdie
Zone Policeman 88
Red Harvest
The Lure Of The Dim Trails
Sociology and Modern Social Problems
Zastrozzi
Against the Grain
Chief Joseph
THE PHILOSOPHY OF HISTORY
The Iliad of Homer
The Dream of Eugene Aram
AN ASPIRANT FOR CONGRESS


The Generous Gambler

Charles Pierre Baudelaire


Yesterday, across the crowd of the boulevard, I found myself touched by a mysterious Being I had always desired to know, and whom I recognized immediately, in spite of the fact that I had never seen him. He had, I imagined, in himself, relatively as to me, a similar desire, for he gave me, in passing, so significant a sign in his eyes that I hastened to obey him. I followed him attentively, and soon I descended behind him into a subterranean dwelling, astonishing to me as a vision, where shone a luxury of which none of the actual houses in Paris could give me an approximate example. It seemed to me singular that I had passed so often that prodigious retreat without having discovered the entrance. There reigned an exquisite, an almost stifling atmosphere, which made one forget almost instantaneously all the fastidious horrors of life; there I breathed a somber sensuality, like that of opium smokers when, set on the shore of an enchanted island over which shone an eternal afternoon, they felt born in them, to the soothing sounds of melodious cascades, the desire of never again seeing their households, their women, their children, and of never again being tossed on the decks of ships by storms.

There were there strange faces of men and women, gifted with so fatal a beauty that I seemed to have seen them years ago and in countries which I failed to remember and which inspired in me that curious sympathy and that equally curious sense of fear that I usually discover in unknown aspects. If I wanted to define in some fashion or other the singular expression of their eyes, I would say that never had I seen such magic radiance more energetically expressing the horror of ennui and bf desire—of the immortal desire of feeling themselves alive.

As for mine host and myself, we were already, as we sat down, as perfect friends as if we had always known each other. We drank immeasurably of all sorts of extraordinary wines, and—a thing not less bizarre—it seemed to me, after several hours, that I was no more intoxicated than he was.

However, gambling, this superhuman pleasure, had cut, at various intervals, our copious libations, and I ought to say that I had gained and lost my soul, as we were playing, with a heroic carelessness and lightheartedness. The soul is so invisible a thing, often useless and sometimes so troublesome, that I did not experience, as to this loss, more than that kind of emotion I might have, had I lost my visiting card in the street.

We spent hours in smoking cigars, whose incomparable savor and perfume give to the soul the nostalgia of unknown delights and sights, and, intoxicated by all these spiced sauces, I dared, in an access of familiarity which did not seem to displease him, to cry, as I lifted a glass filled to the brim with wine: "To your immortal health, old hegoat!"

We talked of the universe, of its creation and of its future destruction; of the leading ideas of the century—that is to say, of progress and perfectibility—and, in general, of all kinds of human infatuations. On this subject His Highness was inexhaustible in his irrefutable jests, and he expressed himself with a splendor of diction and with a magnificence in drollery such as I have never found in any of the most famous conversationalists of our age. He explained to me the absurdity of different philosophies that had so far taken possession of men's brains, and deigned even to take me in confidence in regard to certain fundamental principles, which I am not inclined to share with anyone.

He complained in no way of the evil reputation under which he lived, indeed, all over the.world, and he assured me that he himself was of all living beings the most interested in the destruction of Superstition, and he avowed to me that he had been afraid, relatively as to his proper power, once only, and that was on the day when he had heard a preacher, more subtle than the rest of the human herd, cry in his pulpit: "My dear brethren, do not ever forget, when you hear the progress of lights praised, that the loveliest trick of the Devil is to persuade you that he does not exist!"

The memory of this famous orator brought us naturally on the subject of academies, and my strange host declared to me that he didn't disdain, in many cases, to inspire the pens, the words, and the consciences of pedagogues, and that he almost always assisted in person, in spite of being invisible, at all the scientific meetings.

Encouraged by so much kindness, I asked him if he had any news of God—who has not his hours of impiety?—especially as the old friend of the Devil. He said to me, with a shade of unconcern united with a deeper shade of sadness: "We salute each other when we meet." But, for the rest, he spoke in Hebrew.

It is uncertain if His Highness has ever given so long an audience to a simple mortal, and I feared to abuse it.

Finally, as the dark approached shivering, this famous personage, sung by so many poets and served by so many philosophers who work for his glory's sake without being aware of it, said to me: "I want you to remember me always, and to prove to you that I—of whom one says so much evil—am often enough bon diable, to make use of one of your vulgar locutions. So as to make up for the irremediable loss that you have made of your soul, I shall give you back the stake you ought to have gained, if your fate had been fortunate—that is to say, the possibility of solacing and of conquering, during your whole life, this bizarre affection of ennui, which is the source of all your maladies and of all your miseries. Never a desire shall be formed by you that I will not aid you to realize; you will reign over your vulgar equals; money and gold and diamonds, fairy palaces, shall come to seek you and shall ask you to accept them without your having made the least effort to obtain them; you can change your abode as often as you like; you shall have in your power all sensualities without lassitude, in lands where the climate is always hot and where the women are as scented as the flowers." With this he rose and said good-by to me with a charming smile.

If it had not been for the shame of humiliating myself before so immense an assembly, I might have voluntarily fallen at the feet of this generous gambler, to thank him for his unheard-of munificence. But little by little, after I had left him, an incurable defiance entered into me; I dared no longer believe in so prodigious a happiness, and as I went to bed, making over again my nightly prayer by means of all that remained in me in the matter of faith, I repeated in my slumber: "My God, my Lord, my God! Do let the Devil keep his word with me!"

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