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Dear Sir, -- I have always been considered the third-best whist-player in Europe, and (though never betting more than five pounds) have for many years past added considerably to my yearly income by my skill in the game, until the commencement of the present season, when a French gentleman, Monsieur Lalouette, was admitted to the club where I usually play. His skill and reputation were so great, that no men of the club were inclined to play against us two of a side; and the consequence has been, that we have been in a manner pitted against one another. By a strange turn of luck (for I cannot admit the idea of his superiority), Fortune, since the Frenchman's arrival, has been almost constantly against me, and I have lost two-and-thirty nights in the course of a couple of score of nights' play. Everybody knows that I am a poor man; and so much has Lalouette's luck drained my finances, that only last week I was obliged to give him that famous gray cob on which you have seen me riding in the Park (I can't afford a thoroughbred, and hate a cocktail), -- I was, I say, forced to give him up my cob in exchange for four ponies which I owed him.
Thus, as I never walk, being a heavy man whom nobody cares to mount, my time hangs heavily on my hands; and, as I hate home, or that apology for it -- a bachelor's lodgings -- and as I have nothing earthly to do now until I can afford to purchase another horse, I spend my time in sauntering from one club to another, passing many rather listless hours in them before the men come in. Your obedient servant, George Savage Fitz-Boodle
William Makepeace Thackeray (1811 - 1863) was a British novelist and author. He is known for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of English society. Thackeray began as a satirist and parodist, writing works that displayed a sneaking fondness for roguish upstarts such as Becky Sharp in Vanity Fair and the title characters of The Luck of Barry Lyndon and Catherine. In his earliest works, written under such pseudonyms as Charles James Yellowplush, Michael Angelo Titmarsh and George Savage Fitz-Boodle, he tended towards savagery in his attacks on high society, military prowess, the institution of marriage and hypocrisy.