(26) Again, if unsuccessful and yet of neverending precautions those writers who have written the history of Sicily are witnesses, for they say that the tyrant of Sicily suspected even his most affectionately loved wife; and a proof of this is that he ordered the entrance of his chamber by which she was about to have access to him to be strewed with planks, in order that she might never come upon him without being observed, but that the noise and tumult made by her stepping on these boards might indicate her approach beforehand; and besides this he compelled her to come not only without her robe, but even naked in every part, and even in those which ought not to be seen by men. And in addition to this he ordered the whole of the flooring along the road to be cut in width and depth like a trench made by farmers, out of fear lest anything should be secretly concealed so as to plot against him, which would inevitably be detected by the leaps and long steps which a person coming along this path would be compelled to take.

(27) Of how many miseries, then, was that man full who took all these precautions and practised all these contrivances against his own wife, whom he ought to have trusted above all other human beings? But he was like those men who scale precipices and climb over abrupt and steep mountains for the purpose of attaining to a more accurate comprehension of the natures of things in heaven, who at last after they have with great difficulty ascended to some overhanging ridge, find themselves unable to advance any further as they are too much exhausted to think of attempting the remaining portion of the mountain, and also want courage to descend, being giddy at the sight of the chasms and ravines below them; (28) for he, being in love with sovereign power as a godlike thing to be desired above all other objects, looked upon it as unsafe either to remain where he was or to retreat, for he considered that if he remained where he was innumerable other evils would come upon him in rapid and uninterrupted succession, while if he decided on retracing his steps his very life would be in danger, as there were enemies around, if not as to their bodies at all events in their minds, against him.