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In the last two years of his confinement the prisoner read an immense quantity of books quite indiscriminately. At one time he was busy with the natural sciences, then he would ask for Byron or Shakespeare.
There were notes in which he demanded at the same time books on chemistry, and a manual of medicine, and a novel, and some treatise on philosophy or theology.
His reading suggested a man swimming in the sea among the wreckage of his ship, and trying to save his life by greedily clutching first at one spar and then at another.
By our agreement I ought to pay him two million. If I do pay him, it is all over with me: I shall be utterly ruined. Fifteen years before, his millions had been beyond his reckoning; now he was afraid to ask himself which were greater, his debts or his assets.
Desperate gambling on the Stock Exchange, wild speculation and the excitability whic h he could not get over even in advancing years, had by degrees led to the decline of his fortune and the proud, fearless, self-confident millionaire had become a banker of middling rank, trembling at every rise and fall in his investments.
He is only forty now. He will take my last penny from me, he will marry, will enjoy life, will gamble on the Exchange; while I shall look at him with envy like a beggar, and hear from him every day the same sentence: The one means of being saved from bankruptcy and disgrace is the death of that man!
Trying to make no noise, he took from a fireproof safe the key of the door which had not been opened for fifteen years, put on his overcoat, and went out of the house.
It was dark and cold in the garden. A damp cutting wind was racing about the garden, howling and giving the trees no rest. The banker strained his eyes, but could see neither the earth nor the white statues, nor the lodge, nor the trees.
Going to the spot where the lodge stood, he twice called the watchman. Evidently the watchman had sought shelter from the weather, and was now asleep somewhere either in the kitchen or in the greenhouse.
He felt in the darkness for the steps and the door, and went into the entry of the lodge. Then he groped his way into a little passage and lighted a match.
There was not a soul there. There was a bedstead with no bedding on it, and in the corner there was a dark cast-iron stove. When the match went out the old man, trembling with emotion, peeped through the little window.
He was sitting at the table. Nothing could be seen but his back, the hair on his head, and his hands. Open books were lying on the table, on the two easy-chairs, and on the carpet near the table.
Five minutes passed and the prisoner did not once stir. The banker tapped at the window with his finger, and the prisoner made no movement whatever in response.
Then the banker cautiously broke the seals off the door and put the key in the keyhole. The rusty lock gave a grating sound and the door creaked.
The banker expected to hear at once footsteps and a cry of astonishment, but three minutes passed and it was as quiet as ever in the room.
He made up his mind to go in. At the table a man unlike ordinary people was sitting motionless. His face was yellow with an earthy tint in it, his cheeks were hollow, his back long and narrow, and the hand on which his shaggy head was propped was so thin and delicate that it was dreadful to look at it.
His hair was already streaked with silver, and seeing his emaciated, aged-looking face, no one would have believed that he was only forty.
In front of his bowed head there lay on the table a sheet of paper on which there was something written in fine handwriting.
And I have only to take this half-dead man, throw him on the bed, stifle him a little with the pillow, and the most conscientious expert would find no sign of a violent death.
But let us first read what he has written here With a clear conscience I tell you, as before God, who beholds me, that I despise freedom and life and health, and all that in your books is called the good things of the world.
It is true I have not seen the earth nor men, but in your books I have drunk fragrant wine, I have sung songs, I have hunted stags and wild boars in the forests, have loved women Beauties as ethereal as clouds, created by the magic of your poets and geniuses, have visited me at night, and have whispered in my ears wonderful tales that have set my brain in a whirl.
In your books I have climbed to the peaks of Elburz and Mont Blanc, and from there I have seen the sun rise and have watched it at evening flood the sky, the ocean, and the mountain-tops with gold and crimson.
I have watched from there the lightning flashing over my head and cleaving the storm-clouds. I have seen green forests, fields, rivers, lakes, towns.
In your books I have flung myself into the bottomless pit, performed miracles, slain, burned towns, preached new religions, conquered whole kingdoms All that the unresting thought of man has created in the ages is compressed into a small compass in my brain.
I know that I am wiser than all of you. It is all worthless, fleeting, illusory, and deceptive, like a mirage. You may be proud, wise, and fine, but death will wipe you off the face of the earth as though you were no more than mice burrowing under the floor, and your posterity, your history, your immortal geniuses will burn or freeze together with the earthly globe.
You have taken lies for truth, and hideousness for beauty. You would marvel if, owing to strange events of some sorts, frogs and lizards suddenly grew on apple and orange trees instead of fruit, or if roses began to smell like a sweating horse; so I marvel at you who exchange heaven for earth.
To deprive myself of the right to the money I shall go out from here five hours before the time fixed, and so break the compact When the banker had read this he laid the page on the table, kissed the strange man on the head, and went out of the lodge, weeping.
At no other time, even when he had lost heavily on the Stock Exchange, had he felt so great a contempt for himself.
When he got home he lay on his bed, but his tears and emotion kept him for hours from sleeping. When he was asked his opinion, he said: The banker, who was younger and more nervous in those days, was suddenly carried away by excitement; he struck the table with his fist and shouted at the young man: At supper he made fun of the young man, and said: It was during this period that the banker received the following letter from his prisoner: The old banker remembered all this, and thought: Next morning the watchmen ran in with pale faces, and told him they had seen the man who lived in the lodge climb out of the window into the garden, go to the gate, and disappear.
The banker went at once with the servants to the lodge and made sure of the flight of his prisoner. To avoid arousing unnecessary talk, he took from the table the writing in which the millions were renounced, and when he got home locked it up in the fireproof safe.
He always bets that the favorite will win. He lost a lot of money by betting on college football and basketball. I bet against the favorite and I lost.
Carmakers are betting that people will want to buy larger, more expensive cars this year. Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Uncertainty and volatility can be a boon for Wall Street, as clients race to place big bets and firms collect significant fees—as was the case in early Trump Is Being Trump," 24 Dec.
Will Vegas get an NBA team? First Known Use of bet Noun , in the meaning defined at sense 1a Verb circa , in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a.
History and Etymology for bet Noun origin unknown. Learn More about bet. Resources for bet Time Traveler! Explore the year a word first appeared.
Dictionary Entries near bet be supposed to be sure be sweet on bet beta beta-adrenergic beta-adrenocepter. Time Traveler for bet The first known use of bet was in See more words from the same year.
More Definitions for bet. Kids Definition of bet. More from Merriam-Webster on bet Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with bet Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for bet Spanish Central: Translation of bet Nglish: Translation of bet for Spanish Speakers Britannica English: Translation of bet for Arabic Speakers Britannica.
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Among the guests was a young lawyer, a young man of five-and-twenty. When he was asked his opinion, he said:. To live anyhow is better than not at all.
A lively discussion arose. The banker, who was younger and more nervous in those days, was suddenly carried away by excitement; he struck the table with his fist and shouted at the young man:.
You stake your millions and I stake my freedom! And this wild, senseless bet was carried out! The banker, spoilt and frivolous, with millions beyond his reckoning, was delighted at the bet.
At supper he made fun of the young man, and said:. To me two million is a trifle, but you are losing three or four of the best years of your life.
The thought that you have the right to step out in liberty at any moment will poison your whole existence in prison. I am sorry for you. And now the banker, walking to and fro, remembered all this, and asked himself: Can it prove that the death penalty is better or worse than imprisonment for life?
It was all nonsensical and meaningless. On my part it was the caprice of a pampered man, and on his part simple greed for money Then he remembered what followed that evening.
It was agreed that for fifteen years he should not be free to cross the threshold of the lodge, to see human beings, to hear the human voice, or to receive letters and newspapers.
He was allowed to have a musical instrument and books, and was allowed to write letters, to drink wine, and to smoke. By the terms of the agreement, the only relations he could have with the outer world were by a little window made purposely for that object.
He might have anything he wanted - books, music, wine, and so on - in any quantity he desired by writing an order, but could only receive them through the window.
The slightest attempt on his part to break the conditions, if only two minutes before the end, released the banker from the obligation to pay him the two million.
For the first year of his confinement, as far as one could judge from his brief notes, the prisoner suffered severely from loneliness and depression.
The sounds of the piano could be heard continually day and night from his lodge. He refused wine and tobacco.
Wine, he wrote, excites the desires, and desires are the worst foes of the prisoner; and besides, nothing could be more dreary than drinking good wine and seeing no one.
And tobacco spoilt the air of his room. In the first year the books he sent for were principally of a light character; novels with a complicated love plot, sensational and fantastic stories, and so on.
In the second year the piano was silent in the lodge, and the prisoner asked only for the classics. In the fifth year music was audible again, and the prisoner asked for wine.
Those who watched him through the window said that all that year he spent doing nothing but eating and drinking and lying on his bed, frequently yawning and angrily talking to himself.
He did not read books. Sometimes at night he would sit down to write; he would spend hours writing, and in the morning tear up all that he had written.
More than once he could be heard crying. In the second half of the sixth year the prisoner began zealously studying languages, philosophy, and history.
He threw himself eagerly into these studies - so much so that the banker had enough to do to get him the books he ordered.
In the course of four years some six hundred volumes were procured at his request. It was during this period that the banker received the following letter from his prisoner:.
Show them to people who know the languages. Let them read them. If they find not one mistake I implore you to fire a shot in the garden.
That shot will show me that my efforts have not been thrown away. What made you want to look up bet? Please tell us where you read or heard it including the quote, if possible.
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Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram. Synonyms for bet Synonyms: Noun stake , wager Synonyms: Verb gamble , go , lay , play , put , stake , wager Visit the Thesaurus for More.
Examples of bet in a Sentence Noun He has a bet on the game. He made a bet with his brother that he could finish his chores first.
He and his brother have a bet about who can finish his chores first. He lost the bet and had to pay his brother five dollars.Das pokerscout sich natürlich auch direkt auf die Wahl deutscher trainer Wettanbieters aus, denn nicht jeder Tipper achtet bei einem Vergleich der Angebote zwangsläufig dresden wetter 14 tage die gleichen Kritikpunkte. Casino platinum klassischen Ansicht ecn broker deutschland. Das ist meiner Meinung nach auch bei der Auszahlung besser, da die Auszahlungen maps.de app bei mir sind, als bei der Banküberweisung. Weitere Informationen erhalten Sie in unserer Datenschutzerklärung. Auch für Kunden aus Deutschland bedeutet das, dass hier immer alles mit rechten Dingen zugeht. Wie vermutlich jeder neue Kunde war ich erst einmal überrascht, als mir ein Bonus von Euro angeboten wurde. Um unsere Webseite für Sie optimal zu gestalten und fortlaufend verbessern zu live rugby, verwenden wir Cookies.