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THE SOVEREIGN OF THE ROUND TABLE.

Brillat-Savarin!" said Idalia, glancing at it. "Do you like cards, Sir Fulke?"

"I think no man could say honestly he did not, though it is the most dangerous of pastimes," he answered her, with a smile. "I have seen its evils in South America, where, as in Pizarro's time^ the old proverb still holds good, and they 'game away the sun before it rises.'"

"Many do that over other things than play, and before they know what their sun is worth!" she said, with that profound sadness which now and then chequered her careless brilliance with so dark a shadow. "We will have some baccarat, then. I am fond of play—when it is high enough."

"I should not have thought that."

She looked at him with a smile; she knew his reasons as well as though he had uttered them; there was something of irony, more of melancholy in the smile.

"No? But it is true all the same. Why should it not be? High play is excitement, and it whirls thought away."

"But you, should hare no thoughts that are pain."

"Those are idle words! There are few lives without pain, there are none without reproach."