To hunt, to ride horseback, now and then to go on parade, to look after his small-holders and agricultural slaves, to drive one of those bargains in which African cunning triumphs--such were the employments of Patricius. In short, he drifted through life on his little demesne. Sometimes this indolent man was overcome by a sudden passion for work; or again he was seized by furious rages. He was violent and brutal. At such moments he struck out right and left. He would even have hit his wife or flogged the skin off her back if the quietude of this woman, her dignity and Christian mildness, had not overawed him. Let us not judge this kind of conduct by our own; we shall never understand it.
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