THE thousand injuries of Fortunato I had borne as I best could;
but when he ventured upon insult, I vowed revenge. You, who so well
know the nature of my soul, will not suppose, however, that I gave
utterance to a threat. At length I would be avenged; this was a
point definitively settled - but the very definitiveness with which
it was resolved, precluded the idea of risk. I must not only punish,
but punish with impunity. A wrong is unredressed when retribution
overtakes its redresser. It is equally unredressed when the avenger
fails to make himself felt as such to him who has done the wrong.
It must be understood, that neither by word nor deed had I given
Fortunato cause to doubt my good will. I continued, as was my wont,
to smile in his face, and he did not perceive that my smile now was
at the thought of his immolation.