CHAPTER  XXXI

Addendum to a Spy’s Report 


I apologize, Sir,  my stubborn wobbly north German head is stumbling over itself, even if anatomically impossible. It may be then, my feet, over which I stumble, but where has gone  the “I” of me which is  supposed to be in charge of my feet?  A deep question, Sir, arising from the wine, for, yes,  I spent too much wine, no I should say time, writing the formal report of the clandestine visit, for their god-business has overweighed my farmer’s logic, even so the tilt and stumble are in the wine. I have too much  mumbling in my head over that Christian business, Sir, I put to parchment this quill dipped more in alcohol than ink. It is the thought of your disapproval, Sir, as much as the empty wine jugs’, yes the plural of them which may or may not be my seeing double, their doubled revenge, which hangs me over. Sir.  But my deep wisdom, Sir, is that to be hung over is better, Sir, than to be hung, for the former is cured by, as they say, eating more of the hair of the dog that bit you, or, some Stoical waiting the pain of it out, whereas, to be hung, Sir, is by all accounts, more permanent. The discipline imposed by death on drinking is a punishing discipline indeed. Sir. Again Sir, I apologize for the vengeance of wine on the man, Sir, it has made my head larger the more to suffer it.  But do, Sir, suffer me, as fools are to be, and I am one such, although at other times less foolish, or so I hope. Sir!


I proceed, Sir, a bit later and much more clear by my own account, and although on such occasions my wife thinks me entirely of no account. You know, Sir, it was mentioned before, that Greek women can have what they call “the wandering uterus” (“hystero).”  Symptoms go hopping about, unpleasant of course, but no one can quite put their finger on the where or what of it, whereas any Greek peasant lad, given the girl’s family not looking, can put his finger and what follows quite on and into the uterus,  as long as it stays where it is supposed to be,  not that the couple at play are supposed to be playing with said uterus which would, if matters go as far as pregnancy, have done well itself also to have gone elsewhere for more solitary wandering, like the disease then, not so easily fingered, so to speak.  


 Well, Sir, my Addendum here, better say “Appendix” since that fits the case, is a “wandering appendix” to be sure, but whereas an appendix in the body is an entirely useless thing, in no way like a uterus the several uses of which are long attested by anyone born or making love, my wandering appendix is likely little use at all.  I think it contains observations of interest, the propelaea, mayhap proscenium as well which signify and are the entrance to a uterus, are of considerable interest to all who have explored the matter, which I think is most of the adult world and, if I am any instance, a very large number of randy children as well.  “Show and don’t tell” was how it was with that little girl and small boy I in our barn.  Anatomists of a sort, I would say, a prefiguring science. I make this census then of inspectors of the gates of pleasure, misnamed some say, being hell. I admit that wine makes an uncertain census taker but does lead to uncountable other events, some if discovering truth, for wine speaks well of itself, and pens write of that as vino in veritas, but then the wine is no judge of the pen, albeit as a judge of vaginal proscenia wine says of itself it is a very good judge indeed, smacks its very lips in saying so, so to salaciously speak, but less good may be said of wine’sjudgment if trouble follows, which it often does.


In a word Sir, in this wineful state I put full trust in you to whom I submit in this appended submission.  On the other hand, were I you, and a judge as such, I would measure me as directly worthy of trust as is the level of wine in my wine jug, the higher the level in the jug, the lesser drunk, and indeed that is exactly the case, but that at the moment I may be more a major drunk and even so, the jug is not empty.  That is because it holds large measure.  In doing that it holds its wine, Sir, better than I do.  Having told you then of my state, not complaint since that is likely yours to come, and being unsure, I whisper the content of my appendix—mostly intestinal matter I would assume given its placement in the body- lest it not be worthy, and such matter is, in the vulgar tongue, most assuredly unworthy. As for whispering, as before, I, no scribe, might do that had I a shrinking quill. We must grow geese with shorter feathers, Sir, that would seem the lesson. I know for myself, when sober, that what is important can be dullest of all, facts and details and so forth, all tedious. Mine here then is my intelligencer’s tedious duty, think no more of it than most reporting.  I am not man with an overview seeing grand plots, for tonight these  arebeyond me entirely. Not beyond me, nor my vinous, blurred perspective, these Christians. 


Be bored at my peril, Sir, for we have reciprocals here. inverses;  you will in reading me more so thinking the less of me, whereas I, in drinking more, think the more of me, and again inverting, as the wine jugs empty I become ever more full of myself.  Is there some miracle in that arithmetic, or simply the forecast of proportionate hangover?   


As to what I observed in the Christian assembly:


This religion is not an entertainment, not even diversion. It appears central to their lives, composure, conduct, contentment, obviously since they have the prospect of eternal life, their futures.     They believed this Jesus, telling the story of how their future is an eternal one with a real life with a real body forever.  A novel idea, I should say.   I add, importantly, it was conditional upon their obedience to what they call “the Word” which is what their priest reads to them so as to order their lives.  There is much telling and reading, therefore it is a religion with a potential for multiplying priests. Priests, I know our own Druid, Roman, Mithra or others hereabouts are an odd lot, given to power which, if they can really extract it from the gods, is, however sought after, also a troublesome advantage should they go wrong.


I allow myself to contrast their beliefs with Rome, or its warmer, rampant, Eastern self, Antioch, Hellenized, orientalized, for me, luxurious.   The words of the philosopher Anneaus Seneca came to mind, no, forced themselves as I sat on a cushion in the rear of the Christian incense- fragrant hall.   Seneca, decent in public service, fine in dramatic writings, remarkable as stoic and moralist, well, his fate seems to epitomize the reception of thoughtful moral genius in Rome, the charge of conspiracy against him of course false, the emperor condemning him of course was mad—it was Nero- and his fate, as with Socrates, poison. I am no historian, but there is a pattern, inevitable.   It was Seneca said,  “Rome where men drink the blood of men”.   I add, and where philosophers who say so must drink poison.


Seneca was speaking of our entertainments, spectacles in particular.   But sitting in this room of poor, well mannered Christians, where I was the stranger and expected my thoughts to betray my disguise, I realized we had no alternatives in our lives but to bricks, wars, speeches, gluttony and murders Rome of the spectacles.  War has also played that role, as can public torture, thus that Rome where men drink the blood of men.   The Christians can’t escape the same urge, so they drink the blood of their own sacrificed Jesus.  They have civilized the urge, they call the holy wine “blood” The Romans, look at this north German recruit today, also drink wine.  We get drunk and misbehave. I saw there no Christian drunk.


In the meeting hall there was a deep voiced male singing somewhat orientalized Greek music, to the music of Horace, revision of Carmen Saeculare, There was a more than Roman emphasis on music, the members competent musicians themselves.  There was no dancing to it, but the members, particularly the women who were the majority there, swayed rhythmically.  I have seen Egyptian dancers hired in Rome for bacchanals, so called ‘ionic’ dancing which led inevitably to all-comers in orgy, but for Christians none of that, they were quite caught up in the rhythm. 


Several got up to speak of their lives, what Jesus meant each day as they practice him.  One said, ‘I’m practicing for Heaven” Then and there he had a vision of it,  painted the scene he saw of all would meet whom had died and he had loved .  Attractive balderdash I say, the group were much taken with it.


The bishop, Heron, wore an odd kind of high priestly gown, not rabbinical, no imperial-pretending purple either.  Since he was obviously Syrian with imperfect Greek, I imagine his costume was borrowed from something he had earlier known.  I am no scholar of religions at all, beyond the Greeks I do know, my own homeland druidism and that Mithra rage thing besotting the legions these days, perhaps Heron was taking something out from Baal , Anath, Isis, or Ishtar or, more to my liking Hellenic Artemis in Ephesus. They say some of her priests are hermaphrodites.  For me Heron, like a chick, was difficult to sex.  He was not a fellow to remember, nor would I have had him command any of my troops, not be a trooper either, I can tell you that.  Too soft, a bit greasy- the sheen on his skin almost had prisms in the light, it was that oily. It was too smooth, his black hair too slick,.  If the Christians are to make it they had better have stronger leadership than this, although I will say Heron behaved well enough, friendly, didn’t make any passes at man, boy or woman. Those attending brought him gifts, chickens, a goat, vegetables. He accepted these courteously enough, but no great warmth in his doing it.


Heron did set himself apart in dress from, he called the members his ”concordium”.  To mark his priesthood he was overdressed in white linen and russets, in yellow, in ruddier deeper red. His outer tunic was woven with scarlet cross dissecting some embroidered flowering stuff.  He didn’t wear roman sandals but Egyptian slippers.  I’m sure he thought himself a pious picture, this borrowed idea of finery, robes seeking an institutional tailor, but I suspect his costume was made up along the way.  This was a religion and a ritual in the process of inventing itself, with its a priest ad libbing his presentation. His logic wobbled, his Jesus portrait and parables were more stable, his god presented was simple, embellished with the promissory notes that are the Christian currency.    Heron himself, crudely schooled as his Greek evidenced, his Latin worse, was hardly credible. He should have taken care not to rush into the ridiculous.


Yet I may do that, for it is an active wine in me, for I have cured my hangover Sir, by biting the dog that bit me, glass of Greek red vintage dog. It dissolves my thoughts into a similar liquid state, flowing. And yes, I digress, but that wine in me follows no set channel,  it spills out as we see it do when a glass is spilled, whereas I spill nothing as precious, for I am spilling words, Sir, this Addendum, more “add” now with more drink, is just that, gerundival.   I suspect the scribe himself, Sir, may write this smaller, opining it is indeed boring, although it is my view that if I have written it, there must be some farmer’s wisdom to be gleaned.


I recognize a Mithraic element to the Christian: The possibility that Heron’s robes might have mimicked a Mithra priest, puts me in mind of that sect, for I was initiated in it once.   The Persian’s  Mithra came to Syria and was beloved of the troops. Initiation to that cult for one gushing, inundating, moment.  I was literally bloody furious as that bellowing knife- gutted bull above us, all huddled in a trench, gushed his innocent jugular scarlet over us. I hadn’t expected this sticky flood and so, furious as I said, I scratched my knife into the officiating priest’s porky belly, told him he’d be the one bellowing his own initiation into Hades unless he laundered me tip to toe and changed my clothes for his. He had made sure; after all, to remain dry and clean; some convert had done the butchering. It’s the sacrifice thing the Christians copy in better taste; wine not blood, and no one getting stained.    


I could have gutted that priest as easily as a fish, no one protesting too much, for I was officer in charge of the legionnaires, all them holiday fools shouting heartily in pleasure now mithra’s secrets were revealed, these mostly alcohol’s effects as far as I could tell, for they were given buckets of wine as well as drenched with dying blood of bull.  A further incentive was a number of not yet entirely naked women waiting, merry enough their hired selves and readily positioning to welcome the lads to the meat of the cult in another kind of wet initiation. “Melting joy” the priest promised, rapture.   I didn’t stay for the orgy.  I’d had enough of that not so mysterious religion.  And yes, I had been a little bit drunk when accepting my soldiers’ invitation, the priest’s invocation, and such salvation as can be found in an agile, willing woman’s parts. I hate ascetics and Gnostics. They deny us our appetites. The Mithra cult may have been example to the Christian,  for both the flesh is undeniable.


When the Christians say their Christ was flesh, approving its appetites within ordinary bounds, they make their god into a lover not just in spirit.  Good.  In doing so they escape the curse of those ascetic Syriacs hereabouts, those Gnostic of whom we have heard, indeed Simon Magus comes to my mind.  He and they are in the Christian competition. With others before them, I am advised,  they despise the flesh. Since it’s their own, they despise themselves.  One day it will lead to self-flagellations and other stupidities.   We all know the flesh rules and hasn’t much interest in the lofty arcana which these ascetics weave as the secret path to recite to a god higher even than the Christian almighty.  These were much denounced by Heron in the second or third hour of his discourses.  Of the Christian god, the Gnostics say, since he made man and the earth that contain more than aplenty of ugliness and evil, he must himself be evil.  The Christians use the same reasoning to blame another god; Hebrew originated but only as a servant demon, “Shatan” but now the Devil.   To have some hope as to the other worldly being totally good, and their own private way to goodness known, the Gnostics have heaped one god upon another, their highest being seems two highest joined, being some kind of male supreme being mated in their minds to an also supreme female named Sophia, wisdom.  They should have more of it.


I do not understand Gnostics or Heron on them, for he hates them passionately. I grant him that for showing normalcy, for myself I prefer the flesh to an elaboration of gods stacked one on another, secret paths and all that. There is enough mystery to getting on with a wife.  The Gnostics fool themselves, for the path of the flesh they denounce is for a man always to a woman.  They have missed the very secret of their secret, they have disguised it from themselves.  It is the ordinary business of sex convoluted so the Gnostics don’t recognize their own urges, covering them, indeed subduing the energy of it into secrets.  I’ll wager some have orgasm in reciting the secret way to the tippy-top stairs beyond the gods. 


If religion is secret, whether Mithra or Gnostic, it is of little use to the world, especially if at its base it is nonsense confounding the ordinary.  The “now” of Antioch, as I earlier commented, must have religion.  Well then, let them have it.  Rome has always been tolerant, it’s the sects who can’t stand one another.


I’m trying to be as smart as Pliny. Look at my headings:


“Sir, having read him and proud of it, I must cite Pliny the Junior reporting to Emperor Trajan.  Like my report to you, oh wine does put one in good company, Pliny’s report, what most intelligencers confirm, these Christians will not fight Rome. I warned though; they could conquer us. Absorption by attraction, permeable chemistry and positive valence.   More subversive, as I have been told of Jesus, it is certainly not seen in the strutting of Heron, are implications of equality in it mindful of Greek democracy made quite broad.    The Greeks who voted were only the elite, but since Christians consider themselves “God’s people’ they are, to their minds, all of them select.  The welcome is that everyone who abides the rules and nods sincere agreement may also be that.  One day that could empower plebs, then slaves 


Rome’s practicality, versus the incompatible


An emperor fearing the Christians is the future emperor I will fear most    An egotistical and ill tempered emperor, of which we have had too many, would not suffer Christians lightly, as  earlier instances show.  It is inevitable there will be worse rulers following, for Rome’s nature is to generate them. I mean no disrespect to methods of imperial selection, Sir, but they are haphazard and, as for as ease of generating undesirables out of riches, think of flies on the best of manure piles.  


Pliny saw Christians only as foreign and unnatural.   It is true, they are an incompatibility, as they announce by being and credo.  Consider with the world as ruled only by man’s nature, and man is an animal, whatever that nature is and does.  That nature seeks power and power as Rome’s law of practicality has it, knows neither respect, nor morality, nor limits. It judges itself positively by measuring the extent of its malignancy.   A further danger from Christians, if men are brothers, an intimate and egalitarian philosophy grows, itself malignant is that appeal.   If not simply the mob, the plebs that is, but any of the upper classes, knights and above, would be so brash as to demand an empire founded, even if not on “love” as reaching too far in any world of tribes, anger and selfishness, but if they ask only a dominant rule of kindness, Rome as we know it, subverted.   


An exodus into love is not the path of emperors, nor any of us well served by their power, and privilege.  I myself,  yet junior but in this palace and province have consequential sway.  I command the appearances of kindness, I buy love –and cheaply,  encourage obsequiousness. As for superiors who can require these things from me I am grateful for you, Sir, who is indifferent to their giving or receiving. For others, in expecting or showing obsequiousness, since self-serving advantage requires it, it has rewards. For one’s client, supplicant, petitioner,  employee, it works.  Conversely, if it is oneself lower on the ladder of power, rank, patronage,, then in observing the exacting, humiliating rules of subservience etiquette, one learns by the rewards forthcoming, how useful insincerity is,  and better, if one’s skill is at subservience, one hardly needs any others.


In Rome, so much so there is a tax on clients and an obligation on patrons to pay their clients regularly. That means the only income for many in Rome is the dole, call it “sport” which their patrons hand out.  Many of course do not qualify; a client has to afford an expensive toga, which may cost him his patronage coins.   Here in the near-orient we can be slovenly, but Romans playing urban theater, or aspiring snobs of locals mimicking them, put on the expensive and tiring show of having clients as such.  Working in government manners, as duties are obligatory anywhere in a well-run province of empire. We see whom we must as clients of government business, have no duty to pay or please them, and as I have told you, at least in this office, receive no favors in return. But their obsequiousness reeks like bad perfume.


I saw no obsequiousness in the Christian assembly, and believe me, Sir, it is not obsequiousness when I praise you, S. Cornelius, Quaestor.  I tell you of an old soldier at the palace office door, thereby thoughts of Cato and you, Sir, sober thoughts, sober as a respectful drunk can write them:  


I am too low to meet the Governor, but you, Sir, do regularly. I know he meets with the important people in the town. His reputation is that he can be overweening.  With you he is on his best behavior, imagine!  I learn that on the best authority from a fellow who not only observes but, when the door is shut, he listens ear to paneling.  No guard to stop him. Who is this?  He is the guard!   Of these meetings I have heard gossip pleasing to those who still mourn the dignity and intended democracy of Athens or our early Republic, or crusty old military commanders, as soldiers first born and bred. By now everyone knows that you behave with all respect due, address superiors only with titles earned, and with superiors you are modest but say nothing that is self debasing.  With inferiors it is said you are kindly, and treat all petitioners fairly.  In sum, Sir, you know what goodness is without having to be Christian. In sum, one need not be a Christian to have their virtues. 


The most wonderful praise of you came to me- we are do gossip over the courtyard fountain, - from an old soldier, bodyguard to the Governor, the-thank Jupiter easy going- Publius Marcellus, This old soldier, not one of the fancy dressed lads who are being put on as the fashion display new “palace honor guard” said that in all things with the Governor, “S. Cornelius dared be firm, putting in mind the severity of Cato the Elder, (Porcius, Marcus) known to all of Rome for 3 centuries now as the most fiercely assertive of moral guardians of Rome,  be assured not a patron or client type”    The old soldier,  still in harness, added, and it is worth my telling you that Cato on behalf of the morals of the Republic, that stoic Cato fought a losing battle,  one continuing skirmish of which was with that successful Cornelii, that Scipio Africanus,  whom you know in your blood. The old soldier regretted to say,  brave to say it, that it was Scipio’s whose dictatorial tendencies that lit the path for the later Julius Caesar. I am only a bit over-winded Sir, not a noisy–flows-the-Rhine-totally-German drunk, but I say anyway, no, because of it, that when you have Cato, Scipio and Kindness and an excess of honor all flowing in your blood, it is a potent mix.   What I see Sir, excuse me I hiccough too much, I am personally grateful for, a good and honest man, 


I have seen the portrait bust of Cato on Capitoline hill in Rome, awesomely fierce indeed.  I see you sometimes with that Cato look, the energy, opinions, words, posture come with it.  Imagine, S. Cornelius as a new times Cato conjured, there in official meetings, that moral likeness.  No, I didn’t tell you but the wine does, oh forgive me Boss, so I am the more puzzled by the semblance of that Drusus puzzlement that flickers on your face.  How, Boss, can it be that you of all people are uncertain?  Cato with doubts?  Next time we’re drunk together, I guess never since you don’t get that way, tell me why?   


I’ll tell you what the old soldier, he’s probably seen more dead men than Charon who ferries them across the Styx, more than Pluto who runs the Hotel Hades h itself, he tells me the Governor,  Publius Marcellus, likes flattery as much as the next man and accumulates much more of it, says he enjoys a discrete bribe or two, -or three or more-, his tastes running a bit to decadence not public so not unseemly, well our old trooper says the Gov is a bit wary of you, Sir, not entirely comfortable it seems, too much Cato maybe,  and besides, you outrank him in blue blood.


By the bottle beside me,  Mum’s the word, Sir. 


The old trooper has good ears for a closed office door.  Says he heard the gov talking with the visiting Asian Proconsul about his instruction from your “patron” telling the guv to treat you right, or else.    What kind of patron tells ‘the Gov.’ what do?  Between, the old trooper and me, but there’s only one man who can do that.  Wow, quite a patron, but a touchy one too. His being a poofter, that Antoninus stuff, may contribute. The fact is he’s  jealous when people look too good.  I’d say to you, caution, Sir, it’s the Roman world and it’s full of knives. Back home in Germany,  we just hit the fellow over the head with a tree trunk, praying forgiveness of the spirit that lives inside the tree if, by mischance, the tree as well as the fellow’s head is split by that good strong blow. 


Turbulent wine, soul and concern:


My mind is turbulent with more than different wines flowing, yes I just got a new jug full, mean to finish it.  Don’t usually have the luxury of a private drunk; usually some damn girl on the bed swigs more than I do.   I don’t mind telling you, oh I’ll be sorry tomorrow but that’s tonight, no I mean tomorrow is tonight, no, I’ll write what I have to, Sir, and that’s that I’m worried, Sir, and damn, I can’t even say exactly what it is, but some surgeon opening up my conscience. Pricking my soul to see if I have one, sic, and so, what if I don’t.  I don’t want to know what the Christians think, not be bored by what that silly fool Heron says, not wonder why such a glorious emperor as Hadrian so quickly sent a respected man like Cornelius P. Frontonianus to death.   The only way not to worry is not to know anything. Don’t change anything either, at least not oneself.  And here I am, I say being opened up that mind surgeon I can’t see and the damned Syrian gnats are coming in, biting. Bite my conscience, boys, bite my soul, and a good meal to you!  Boss, be careful.


What you have now read is how a proper spy’s report should read, were it written differently where I sober.  I petition your well-known tolerance, Sir, to allow the wandering Addendum splashing about where the wine and truth mix.  Part I, I call it, comprises the careful observations, serious cogitation, good recommendations, Frankly Boss, Part I is a stock report, a kind of a form we use.  Like a teaching rhetor’s speeches.  One has heard it all before, although in this case, only if you employ spies.  The Part I stuff must be deep and stuffy, all objective sounding. But behind it? The premise of any spy is that there are enemies and they are everywhere. There is no friend who is not an enemy to worry about. There are no enemies so weak that they need not be worried about.  Identify all enemies early. Make the forecast for their mischief long reaching. Assume conspiracy when any two men or more meet. If either have any ideas at all, they are the more dangerous.  Understand in full the menace. That’s the punch line, “menace” Gets attention, money for more spies, money for promoting spies some of whom will be the very conspirator to worry about.  As a general principle, know that it is symbiotic.  Spies need other spies, all require conspirators, or else there is no living to be made by knowing what others’ don’t.  Since ordinary folk don’t know what spies know,  it takes another spy can to verify information.  You see the chain.  One spy keeps other spies in business and the more suspicious the employer, the more of us at work. Since some of that work is likely to lay the ground to overthrow, kill some spy’s employer, suspicion is guaranteed. Well it should be, for it is a dangerous world.  A good job then which, if this Christianity ever worked, would put spies and suspicion out of business. I say to that, Boss, fat chance!   


Now I speak as a counselor to Rome, not a spy.  Truth is, Rome does not need more spies right now.  Not any surely on account of the Christians,  at least not until the Christians get into power and behave like the rest of us.   Boss,  not today is any Jesus army going to break down the gates of Rome.  Tomorrow the gates would be in jeopardy if the Army were to Christian and also go totally, no more killing, soft.  I assure you, humans never go that soft. It will be an unstable tomorrow when some  emperor come along who fails to understand a diverse Empire embraces even kind people who believe odd things. That emperor, one who has no idea what fierce controls will cost the treasury,  will persecute Christians en masse.    The lions and Empire will suffer indigestion,  martyrs will be as popular as gladiators with the advantage of mob sadism always satisfied. Jesus as Phoenix rises,  for every one killed a thousand new ones arise from the ashes.  The appeal itself is monstrous, for the new converts are those who liked the sight of martyr’s blood, got all fired up by it.  Those kind of folk will be trouble for a persecuting emperor.  Wear an “I-love-you” amulet and they’re sure their god sends them to heaven. I could make quite an army out of that optimistic ferocity. They’d come cheap, for god’s sake. False banner recruitment, I’d tell them it’s Heron’s scheme.


Not all Christians are going to be the same, mind you, I already hear Christian sophistic tongues tying themselves in convoluted knots arguing various illogicals, implacables, imponderables, invisibles and, I say of them, oh who cares?, where breath, brains, time and tongues all wasted. If ever most of the population joins up, then rogues, crazies, Simon Magus types, are in the mix.  And of course they’ll be killing each other.. When the Christians turn ordinary, someone will come along with another new religion. Polybius would have seen it coming. The search for variety, and hope for the impossibly good,  and always for the clever fellow, a way to make money from it all, is endless.  


There you have it, I is humans who will spoil that religion. It’s what’s happened before. Historians have a daunting problem. Take this example: when he was an Athenian leader, Polybius tried to save Athens from Rome.  When Athens was conquered, as you know, he was captured and enslaved, but honored by Scipio,  he turned to being an historian. Being a good historian is a curse.  You learn the events accounting for your grandfather being killed in battle, your father executed, and once you’ve deduced the reasons,  the themes that humans enact over time, you can forecast who is going to kill your children.  You sit there, reading, writing, shackled, cursed with helpless knowing, cursed because if you warn others of what is going to happen, what they are doing to make it so,  or are failing to do to prevent one or another disaster, folks just don’t listen.  Prophets have the same problem, but since they have not an ounce of hard study behind them to support what they shout,  it’s the honest historians who carry the curse of being right.

 

Not that I really mind. When the end happens, my life’s jug will be empty. The world is already beginning to irritate me. Words are a bother, thoughts go nowhere, ideals are dangerous, people are fools.  Wine is my poultice, more wine my cure.    I have the solution, Boss,  every good jug of wine does. I’ll tell you when I wake up,  if you don’t have me executed as a cure for my wandering Addendum, over -familiarity,  so many other failings.  I have got to go to sleep now, Boss, my wine jug is empty.  I leave it to you, respectfully, to plot the course of the world. 

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