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C.D. Warner, et al., comp.
The Library of the World’s Best Literature. An Anthology in Thirty Volumes. 1917.

Unlucky Luck—Chytrolictes to Patellocharon

By Alciphron (Second Century)

From the ‘Epistolæ,’ iii. 54.

PERHAPS you would like to know why I am complaining so, and how I got my head broken, and why I’m going around with my clothes in tatters. The fact is I swept the board at gambling: but I wish I hadn’t; for what’s the sense in a feeble fellow like me running up against a lot of stout young men? You see, after I scooped in all the money they put up, and they hadn’t a cent left, they all jumped on my neck, and some of them punched me, and some of them stoned me, and some of them tore my clothes off my back. All the same, I hung on to the money as hard as I could, because I would rather die than give up anything of theirs I had got hold of; and so I held out bravely for quite a while, not giving in when they struck me, or even when they bent my fingers back. In fact, I was like some Spartan who lets himself be whipped as a test of his endurance: but unfortunately it wasn’t at Sparta that I was doing this thing, but at Athens, and with the toughest sort of an Athenian gambling crowd; and so at last, when actually fainting, I had to let the ruffians rob me. They went through my pockets, and after they had taken everything they could find, they skipped. After all, I’ve come to the conclusion that it’s better to live without money than to die with a pocket full of it.