With these words I put on my sword, and recruited
my strength with a square meal to prevent my losing the battle through weakness. I
rushed out of doors at once, and went round all the arcades like a madman. My face
was as of one dumb foundered with fury, I thought of nothing but blood and
slaughter, and kept putting my hand to the sword-hilt which I had consecrated to the
work. Then a soldier, who may have been a swindler or a footpad, noticed me, and
said, Hullo, comrade, what regiment and company do you belong to?" I lied stoutly
about my captain and my regiment, and he said, “Well, do soldiers in your[p. 165]
force walk about in white shoes?” My expression and my
trembling showed that I had lied, and he ordered me to hand over my arms and look
out for myself. So I was not only robbed, but my revenge was nipped in the bud. I
went back to the inn, and by degrees my courage cooled, and I began to bless the
footpad's effrontery. . . .
Poor Tantalus stands in water and never drinks, nor plucks the fruit above his head:
his own desires torment him. So must a rich great man look when, with everything
before his eyes, he fears starvation, and digests hunger dry-mouthed. . . .
It is not much use depending upon calculation when Fate has methods of her own. . . .