Gateway to the Classics: Peter of Amsterdam by James Otis
Peter of Amsterdam by  James Otis

I Go My Way

Whatever speech these two may have had together afterward, I know not; but certain it is that Master Marais, speaking to me hastily, as if it were not well I should hear what passed between him and his friend, directed that I go my way until nightfall, when I was to come into the University grounds with the intent of seeing him.

It was all very well to tell me to go my way; but I had none. One section of Leyden was the same as another to me, who was penniless and hungry, casting about in the hope of earning as much, by whatsoever employment came my way, as would buy what might serve for supper.

However, I was not so dull as to fail in understanding that Master Marais would have me out of his path for a time, and I went off rapidly, as though business in Leyden would come to a standstill if I did not make haste.


Then, once out of sight of these two, I looked about, keeping my eyes wide open in the hope of seeing one who required my services, but failing utterly, so that when night came, hunger had such a hold upon my stomach that I was like to have begged from whosoever passed me on the street.

Had I done so, it would have been the first time in my life, and since that afternoon I have had no reason to ask in charity aught of any one, for surely have I earned double that which I have ever received.

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