THE FINANCIER 
death? He did not know. It was not for him to bother 
about the subtleties of evolution, which even then was 
being noised abroad, or to ferret out the curiosities of 
history in connection with this matter. He had no time. 
Suffice it that the vagaries of temperament and conditions 
with which he came into immediate contact proved to him 
that there was great dissatisfaction, and over and under 
surface variability in connection with the rule. People 
did not cleave to each other until death ; and in thousands 
of cases where they did, they did not want to. Quickness 
of mind, subtlety of idea, fortuitousness of opportunity, 
made it possible for some people to right their matri- 
monial and social infelicities; whereas for others, because 
of dullness of wit, thickness of comprehension, poverty, 
and lack of charm, there was no escape from the slough of 
their despond. They were compelled by some devilish 
accident of birth to stew in their own juice of wretched- 
ness, or to shuffle off this mortal coil—which under other 
circumstances had such glittering possibilities—via the 
rope, the knife, the bullet, or the cup of poison. 
"I would die, too," he thought to himself, one day, 
reading of a man who, confined by disease and poverty, 
had lived for twelve years alone in a back bedroom at- 
tended by an old and probably decrepit housekeeper. A 
darning-needle forced into his heart had ended his earthly 
woes. " To the devil with such a life ! Why twelve years ? 
Why not at the end of the second or third ?" And if this 
smiling fate, which now turned to him such a radiant face 
and seemed to be bending over him with outstretched and 
protecting wings, should turn away and reveal only 
hate or indifference, he would quit also. He would not 
want to live like that. He did not know, however, how 
much he really did love life. 
Again, it was so very evident, in so many ways, that 
force was the answer—great mental and physical force. 
Why, these giants of commerce and money could do as 
they pleased in this life. The little guardians of so-called 
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