“..the stags, racing ahead of the packs, terrified by the thrashing staves of the villeins, reminded Pietro of something…. The boars and stags and hares and netted birds hadn’t a chance. There was no skill to their taking – only overpowering force. He had that feeling again that he had had before: that life was neither good nor pleasant nor worth the living. You started out in blood and stench with the echoes of your mother’s dying screams inside of you somewhere so that unrecognized, unremembered, they were there a part of you; then afterwards you were the hunted, always the hunted, running with that tiredness inside of you that was part of death itself, the knowing always in the end that the running was no good because you’d be pulled down – by the big ones, the strong ones, the ones whose world would crash about their heads if they permitted you, the small the wily, the different, to go on living. Or they worried you to death in small and ugly ways: by telling you what seat you might take at a table, by the epithets with which they addressed you, by forbidding you to wear fur or bear a sword or take to wife a girl of different station. Small ways and ugly, but they killed something inside of you – your pride of manhood perhaps your belief in yourself until you became the beast-thing that they were and lit candles and rang bells and ran weeping and howling to prosterate yourself before the unknown and unknowable because you had to have something to cling to against the onrushing dark..
..Somebody had to turn on the pack. Somebody had finally to do it right and skillfully, until this world where everybody alive was somebody else’s man was replaced by one where a man could be his own man – unless he chose to be God’s…”
Frank Yerby, The Saracen Blade, Dial Press: New York, 1952