OPINION

August 18, 1957

FROM ‘AN ATHENIAN’S NOTES’: «I had known the general when he was a lieutenant colonel, at that time commanding an artillery regiment. Every morning his equerry brought him his horse and he would set off for his regiment, riding through the small provincial town where everyone would admire him. When he rode, the ground beneath him trembled. I recall that once he punished a junior officer with 10 days in the stockade for allowing a grocer to ‘be cheeky with him’ because he was being particular over the aubergines he was buying. He later married well, taking as his bride the lovely daughter of an excellent family and was promoted to colonel and transferred elsewhere, after which we heard no more of him. Once in a while, however, I saw his name in the newspapers and knew that he had fought in the war and later was promoted to the rank of general. The years passed and the other day I saw him. I almost didn’t recognize him, until I heard the rude voice of the neighborhood grocer yelling ‘Put the peaches down, uncle, you mustn’t squeeze them!’ He had been sent out to do the family shopping. Sic transit gloria mundi.»