Tristram was one of the many who judge their actions in the light of after-circumstances, and who towards middle-age discover that the world is a treacherous world. He had not been "in a position to marry" when he had fallen in love with Rachel.
The Athenians, on hearing the response, forestalled the time specified by the oracle by erecting at once a temple to Aeacus in their forum. After-circumstances did not allow them to delay to the end of thirty years the prosecution of the war. Meanwhile the unsleeping wrath of their old enemy, Cleomenes, demanded their full attention.