Rabbi Elazer ben Charsom inherited from his father a thousand towns and
a thousand ships, and yet he went about with a leather sack of flour at
his back, roaming from town to town and from province to province in
order to study the law. This great Rabbi never once set eye on his
immense patrimony, for he was engaged in the study of the law all day
and all night long. And so strange was he to his own servants, that
they, on one occasion, not knowing who he was, pressed him against his
will to do a day's work as a menial; and though he pleaded with them as
a suppliant to be left alone to pursue his studies in the law, they
refused, and swore, saying, "By the life of Rabbi Elazer ben Charsom,
our master, we will not let thee go till thy task is completed." He then
let himself be enforced rather than make himself known to them.
THE TALMUD, _Yoma_, fol. 35, col. 2.